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Front End Web Developer @ Loot Crate - A Subscription Box for Gamers, Geeks & Nerds

My name is Austin Julius Kim, I've changed my career from finance to software development, and I'm loving every second of it.

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  • How much coding experience do you need to have before going into General Assembly?

    Hi Austin,

    I came across your LinkedIn and wanted to ask about your experience at GA. I think that coding bootcamps are amazing; the way they can train new engineers in a short amount of time is fascinating. It seems like you were a success story. :) (My roommate loves Loot Crate btw).

    Anyways, do you need to have previous coding experience before entering GA? Do you think anyone (with an interest in coding) can jump into GA's web dev program and successfully graduate/find an engineering job?

    Austin Julius Kim's avatar image.

    Hey Kyu!

    First of all, wanted to say LOVE what you guys do over at Wiselike and THANK YOU! I remember back to the days when you were still Career Dean. You helped me find a lot of peers and people to ask advice from during my job search while I was making my career transition from finance to development.

    There are many ways to learn web development. Before I attended the Web Development Immersive course at General Assembly, I spent time researching the paths I could take to attain a position as a developer. I asked my friends to connect me with people in the industry with similar backgrounds and people who had gone the four-year degree route. It was either the traditional education at a university or a new program disrupting the traditional education space in the form of coding bootcamps. I honestly felt that both paths required an overwhelming devotion of time and money. So, before I even applied to GA, I wanted to be 100% sure that this was something I could excel at.

    The first course I ever took was Codecademy's "Make an Interactive Website" (https://www.codecademy.com/en/skills/make-an-interactive-website). The course covered the basics of HTML/CSS and jQuery to build a site that emulated Airbnb's home page. I found it to be light enough material and entertaining to complete! This was when I started researching bootcamps in my area, and at the time (January 2015) there was really only one at the forefront of LA bootcamps, and that was General Assembly. The pre-work consisted of mainly Command Line Interface introduction, Github and my personal favorite, JavaScript fundamentals. JavaScript will always be my favorite language because of the memories of struggle and breakthrough moments. It wasn't until I fully comprehended how to write a basic FizzBuzz function that I knew I was ready to learn more.

    I don't believe that you need to have previous coding experience before being admitted into a coding bootcamp, however most bootcamps require students to complete pre-work that introduces a lot of basic development concepts (i.e. CLI, Version Control/Git, and programming fundamentals). If you are struggling to grasp these concepts it means that you need more time. If I were to be 100% honest, the results you get from a bootcamp come entirely from the effort that is put forth. If you treat the 12 weeks like 12 weeks of finals weeks (staying up late to work on homework, creating countless, simple apps and set meaningful benchmarks/milestones) you will be successful!

    And then comes the job search! I could write an essay alone on mine!

    Hope I could shed some light on my experience!