Douglass “Dexter” Moss used to work as a non-profit manager whose mission was to educate and inspire minorities. On the side, he also launched startups in fashion and home decor. Yet despite his experience across a wide range of industries, Dexter wanted to expand his skillset even more.
Recognizing his knack for problem solving and motivated by friends and family who found success in tech, Dexter enrolled at tech bootcamp Flatiron School. Today, he works as a full stack engineer at Alteryx where he says the skills he learned at the bootcamp remain “100% useful”.
Here’s his story.
Tell us about your background. What were you doing before attending Flatiron School?
Before joining the bootcamp, my mission was to educate, inspire and increase longevity in the life of minorities due to chronic illness and societal stressors. I was also launching startups in the fashion and home decor industry.
What motivated you to explore a new career, and why did you decide to pick Flatiron School?
I was limited in the number of tools I had in my possession, and I have three brothers and a sister in tech, so I decided to ask for advice. I started self-learning courses for a few months and then realized how great I was at problem solving and asking a ton of questions for clarity.
I joined a bootcamp because I come from a traditional school environment, and that structure helped me stay focused and graduate. I chose Flatiron School because my study squad had all graduated from a bootcamp, and hearing their success stories motivated me to take the chance.
What did you like about the Software Engineering program? Are there any highlights that stood out to you?
I enjoyed the layout and structure that the Software Engineering program provided. Highlights for me were the bond built over Zoom and meeting so many other developers seeking new careers—a special feeling once you graduate.
How did you fit the program into your schedule?
The program was my schedule! I was serious about graduating, and therefore, this bootcamp was my full-time everything! Gym, cooking, and any other extracurricular activities were scheduled around school and study time. Being that I had received my master’s degree, I knew how to plan and study and get ahead.
Can you give us any examples of projects that you worked on during the program?
Projects included sorting and displaying Pokémon cards, creating a mock Craigslist, and designing a music playlist like those on YouTube or Spotify. There are numerous times throughout the program when you can decide for yourself what to create.
Do you have any advice for someone considering this program?
Be serious about your intentions to complete the work. Do not beat yourself up because it will get hard. Please ask others for support and create study groups if needed. This is your pivot into tech, so make it count!
Was the job search process different from what you expected?
Yes! I had no expectations other than “engineers are wanted and needed,” which led me to believe that getting employed would be fast and simple. However, it took 35 days of additional learning after the bootcamp to prepare for my role today.
How many companies did you interview at? How did you choose which one to work with?
I interviewed with five companies, with three being solid opportunities. I chose my current job based on the company’s size and how many engineers were already working there.
How are the skills you gained from the course useful in your current career?
What do you find fulfilling about your current line of work?
As a full-stack engineer, I am fulfilled by the fact that I can learn and adapt quickly. Also, having a mentor at work who supports you and continues to help you grow has been fulfilling. And working on a product that customers and clients use to help shift their organizations has been a very rewarding experience.
What do you enjoy about working at your current company? Are there any specific perks you enjoy?
I enjoy my current company for many reasons. And yes, the main ones are why we all probably pivoted into tech: flexible work hours, work from home, great pay, unlimited paid time off, great company perks, and the ability to learn on the job.
Do you have any job search advice for someone considering a career in your field?
Find some friends to support you along the way, and be bold to step up and get ahead. Ask questions to people already working and go above and beyond for interviews. Use social media to get mock interviews, make connections, and alert your network that you’re looking for a job. Also, be courageous and happy about what you want from a company.