After 15 years in a marketing role, Dan Boudet was finally ready to take the leap and pursue his long-held passion for coding. So, he enrolled at Boca Code, took the Full Stack Software Engineering Career Course, and has not looked back since.
Here’s how Boca Code helped him launch a career as a software engineer.
Tell us a bit about your background. What were you doing before attending the program?
Prior to Boca Code, I had 15 years of marketing experience. It was split evenly between various AdOps positions at The Palm Beach Post, and more recently, as a director of marketing for a local nonprofit where I also managed the organization’s website.
What motivated you to consider a new career? Why did you decide to pick Boca Code?
As I progressed towards higher management in the marketing field, I was getting further away from what I really enjoyed doing, which was working with websites and coding. I realized I needed to take a step back and transition to a more technical career but to make that transition, I would need to strengthen my skills.
What did you like about the program?
Their approach was thorough, yet it was broad enough to cover everything I needed to hit the ground running as a software engineer. It was amazing how things would just come together and click as you moved from one topic to another at a pretty rapid pace.
How did you fit the program into your schedule?
I quit my perfectly good (though not personally satisfying) job to enroll in the full-time course. Fortunately, my wife and I had savings that allowed me to take the leap and survive without a paycheck for the duration of the course…as long as I landed a job not long after graduation.
Can you share some examples of the projects you’ve worked on in the program?
Among a handful of smaller scope projects, I built a simple yet fully functional Applicant Tracking System for my final project in the last two weeks that I’m still very proud of. I also built a very simple Futurama character info lookup as a side project using a free open-source API.
Do you have any advice for someone who might be considering this program?
Don’t bother if you’re not serious about becoming a software engineer. But if you are, you won’t regret it. It can be a very tough course though not impossible for someone with no experience in coding. However, for those who may have worked on websites or done somewhat similar technical work, it’s an absolutely fantastic way to fill the gaps and become a serious programmer, developer, or engineer.
What sort of support did the program provide in finding a job?
The school’s (and instructors’) reputation helped get my foot in the door, and actually connect me with the hiring manager. Not only that. Having an impressive final project, as well as other smaller projects helped to build a portfolio that showcased my skills and knowledge. Plus, the confidence [I gained] after completing such a thorough course definitely helped in the interview process.
How many companies did you have interviews with? How did you choose which one to work with?
Four or five. When I accepted my current position, I had another offer from a good company that was less technical (less coding). It came from the recommendation of a Boca Code instructor. And a third company I interviewed with probably would have given an offer, although it wouldn’t have been a great one.
The offer I accepted was great. The product was a good fit. The salary was more than I expected (though perfectly reasonable), and I knew some of the employees.
How are the skills you gained from the course useful in your current career?
I, absolutely, 100% would not have been able to do this job without completing the course at Boca Code. Even if I had gotten the job (though I absolutely would not have), sure, I would’ve eventually figured out what I was doing but they wouldn’t have kept me long enough to find out. It would’ve taken me months to figure things out on the job.
What have you noticed about your life that is different now compared to before the program?
I’m so much happier, doing what I really enjoy, challenged technically, and being truly proud of what I’m working on.
What do you find is fulfilling about your current work?
I’m constantly solving problems, learning new parts of the application, continually improving and building my skill set.
What do you enjoy about working at your current company? Any perks?
While they would love to have me in the office full-time, they don’t fully expect it. So, I have the flexibility of working from home quite a bit, which I’m enjoying more than I expected.
Do you have any job search advice for someone considering a career in your field?
Network as much as you can stand.