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Why I attended a coding bootcamp

Bertrand Chevalier
Consultant during the day, I transform into a software developer at night.
・1 min read

After 8 months of hard work, I'm finally there - about to graduate from my coding bootcamp. So now, what?


At around 18 years old, I attended an engineering school back in France. This is where I had my first experience coding. I was never really exposed to it before.
The least I can say is that experience was not very conclusive. It was almost 15 years ago and most memories are a bit fuzzy but what I do remember is how abstract it was.
We were asked to build some functions that will return some values. Hum... ok. and so? what happened? As you know, when you return a value, nothing is printed, you do not see the result of your function. This is exactly where I got lost. I needed to see what happened.
A few classes of physics and months after, my decision was made. I'll study economics and finance instead of engineering.

Fast forward 3 years:

I am now working towards my masters degree in Finance and as all finance students I need to be proefficient in Excel and part of my curriculum are dedicated lessons which extend to VBA and C.
This is the moment I became conscious of the power of programming. VBA is actually extremely visual. What ever code you write you see the changes in your spreadsheet. It's AWESOME. I love it! (I loved seeing the changes so much that I was initially using the spreadsheets as arrays so I could see even more changes...) In my group of friends, I become the "coding guy". Taking care of the programming aspect of projects (options pricer, stock market simulation etc).

Fast forward 11 years (roughly 8 months ago):

I am now working as a consultant in Finance, barely doing any coding. Over the years, I took a bunch of online tutorials and MOOC to teach myself. I understand the basics of object-oriented programming, almost got fired from an internship for programming a Christmas tree with decoration which changes color on Excel and recently moved to New-York City for work.
Coming from France, I discover a brand new world in New-York City. People have 20 side businesses, they keep learning new things and one very trendy thing to learn is coding. To answer for this demand, bootcamps are here and that's exactly what I did.

Current times:

It's been 8 months, I finished my online bootcamp, I "know" how to build a website. And so now, what?

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This article is the first of two. The second one reflects on the learning experience during the bootcamp and start to answer the "so now, what?". Please find it here
This article was originally posted on 9/29/2018

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