Jarue Johnson was already in the realm of tech as a Junior System Administrator for a financial technology company. But his hunger to reach his potential led him to consider a role in software engineering.
With Jarue’s significant background in tech, he sought a way to hone his skills further. This led him to Boca Code, a tech bootcamp offering an intensive Software Engineering Career Course that lasts 10 weeks. Jarue took the course head-on and is now a full-fledged software engineer for Torticity.
He shares, “Because of [Boca Code’s Software Engineering] program, I have been able to completely change my life and help others.” Here’s his story.
Tell us about your background. What were you doing before attending the program?
[I] migrated [FlexShopper] users from on-premise exchange to Azure, repaired hardware, troubleshot networking issues, and managed users in active directories. [I was also responsible for] troubleshooting various hardware and software issues with laptops and desktops.
[I] worked heavily on Azure and PowerShell and on networking equipment, such as switches and routers. [I configured] Enabling/Testing Autopilot functions and managed devices on Azure Cloud Environment.
What motivated you to explore a new career or upskill in your existing field, and why did you decide to pick this program?
[I wanted to] make a change in my life. With my previous experience in programming, I knew that I loved doing it. I realized that I needed to focus on building my [programming] skills.
I found that Boca Code had the most to offer as far as the curriculum [goes]. I knew that it was going to be a challenge, but after talking with [Boca Code’s Admissions Advisor], I was convinced that I would have the support I needed to succeed [in the program].
What did you like about the program? Are there any highlights that stood out to you?
[I liked that the Software Engineering course gave me] the right perspective in terms of development, managing expectations, and understanding patience. It was hard. However, after learning things the right way, it gave me so much freedom to do more.
How did you fit the program into your schedule?
I was [a] full-time [student], so the program was all I focused on. I spent the full eight hours in class and then spent an additional four to six hours reviewing and studying what I just learned after class.
Can you give us any examples of projects that you worked on during the program?
My final project was Majorlinkx.io, an application that allows you to house all your social media links in one place. It is tailored for professionals working in the music industry. However, it has other use cases as well.
Do you have any advice for someone considering this program?
Be patient, put in the time, and ask questions. And when you think about quitting, remember why you started. This is something you can’t learn overnight, so understand that it will take time.
How did the program support you in finding a job?
[Boca Code] held a career fair and hosted virtual and in-person round-robin interviews. We also went to networking events and connected with potential employers. Furthermore, [the bootcamp] helped us update our resumes and held mock technical interviews to prepare for the real world.
Was the job search process different from what you expected?
I have experience with interviews and trying to get jobs [in other fields], but nothing like this. It was different, and I had to make a considerable adjustment when interviews started to happen.
How many companies did you interview at? How did you choose which one to work with?
I interviewed with around 14 companies. I went with Watsco Ventures because of how I was treated during the interview process and the technology they were using. Watsco Ventures has a very agile way of developing software, and they believe in having dev teams [who can] self-manage. The culture is inviting and collaborative, and they believe in mentoring and improving the quality of their developers.
How are the skills you gained from the course useful in your current career?
The skills I have learned are instrumental in what I do daily—from understanding architecture, implementing new logic, and troubleshooting bugs to learning new technologies and researching to resolve errors. All of these skills are necessary for software engineering, which is what Boca Code focused on [developing among their students].
What do you think is different about your life now versus before the program?
Because of [Boca Code’s Software Engineering] program, I have been able to completely change my life and help others. I also make more money than I could ever dream of as a 24-year-old.
What do you find fulfilling about your current line of work?
My work directly impacts the company’s bottom line. I get to have conversations with stakeholders and solve real pain points. I also have the flexibility to work from anywhere.
What do you enjoy about working at your current company, are there any specific perks you enjoy?
I have unlimited PTO and my compensation is very good. I also have the flexibility to work from anywhere. With great perks, there are some drawbacks [as] I have more responsibilities and I need to deliver value frequently (every single day).
Do you have any job search advice for someone considering a career in your field?
Get connected with people in the industry and understand what it’s going to take to succeed. [You] also need to understand that it’s not going to be easy.