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A College Graduate's 3 Month Reflection into the Full-Time Workforce

tonyxgao profile image tonyxgao Updated on ・3 min read

Preface

Hi! This is my very first blog post on this site and I felt it would be remiss in not talking a little bit about my background before I jumped right into this. Last May I graduated from the (not so) lovely University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in linguistics and double minoring in computer science and informatics. I'm not sure what my thought process was at the time in studying such a mixed bag of things, but it had somehow managed to get me some decent internships in college and even landed me the gig I have with Capital One today (I'll touch more on that later).

Graduation

The only graduation picture I could fish up (featuring all my senior year roommates)

Without spending too much time talking about my college-career, I ended up moving out east to the Northern Virginia area in July and started "working" pretty soon after. Post-grad life has been a bit overwhelming to say the least, but after hearing one of my instructors mention dev.to (shout-out to Ali Spittel), I figured blogging here would be a great avenue to document all my thoughts as I go through the tech and corporate life.

Capital One Developer Academy (CODA)

CODA

A little bit about my job...

I firmly believe I have one of the best jobs in the world. About a year ago, Capital One created a program known as the "Capital One Developer Academy". It essentially functions as a 6-month immersive full-stack web-development bootcamp targeted for non-CS majors (more can be info on it can be found here: https://medium.com/capital-one-tech/untapped-tech-talent-why-its-worth-looking-beyond-cs-majors-6e242e672cf3).

The opportunity to be able to pivot my career into a high-demand technical field while still getting paid a full-time salary? Absolutely unheard of. Everyday as I walk into work I can't help but feel like I'm in some sort of fantasy world getting "paid to learn".

A little bit about what I've learned...

Like most coding bootcamps, theory tends to go (mostly) out the window. Such is the case for CODA. With only about five to six months of the actual bootcamp, there's only so much you can really fit in. However, the amount of web development knowledge I have gained has definitely been pretty stellar. Split into four different units, our first unit was fairly basic (HTML/CSS and Javascript used exclusively for front-end). From there, the class really picked up. Everything from Node.js, Express, Passport, Postman, and more were covered! The second unit concluded with a partnered project (second shout-out of this post goes to Sarah). The project was possibly the most excited thing I have worked on so far this program. The project was essentially a "LinkedIn" for CODA members. Our goal was to help enable users to connect with current and previous CODA cohorts. Since we are a rapidly growing program (150 new hires planned for 2019), we thought this would be a great idea. Being able to collaborate on a project that could potentially be used, even for internal use, was by far one of the most rewarding feelings of this program.

Unit 2 Project

My Unit 2 Project titled "CODA-Net"

A little bit about what I'm learning...

As of now, CODA is currently learning React! It's going great and I can definitely see how powerful it can be in streamlining web applications (definitely a step-up from the EJS layouts we were working on). It's also definitely more rewarding to be learning something that has pretty high use in the tech world! On top of that, we'll be learning tools like Angular and MongoDB!

Looking Forward

As I mentioned before, the immediate hope for this blog is to keep a log of my thoughts and growth throughout CODA. Once the program concludes, I will be placed immediately into the associate software engineering position at the company. I have my fingers crossed that I will be placed into a full-stack web-development role. I'm pretty nervous about what the future holds, but I really do hope this program lends itself as the first step towards becoming a full-fledged software engineer.

If you've made it this far, apologies for the "ranty-ness" of this post. My other hope of this blog is to continue to grow as a writer. Its only been about six months since graduation, but I can already feel the conciseness of my writing losing its edges. Hopefully you'll stick around throughout my journey!

Discussion

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aspittel profile image
Ali Spittel

🙌🙌🙌

CODA is an awesome program. I love the goal of really investing in employees and training people from untraditional backgrounds in tech.

Glad to see you posting here!

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

Welcome to dev.to Tony and good luck for your new job.

Linguistics is so fascinating and I'm sure it'll become useful during your career! :-)

ccing to @aspittel that has been mentioned in this post

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awwsmm profile image
Andrew (he/him)

Good for you, Tony! I'll follow to hear more about your progress at CODA.

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emilyglue profile image
emilyglue

can't wait to hear more about ur journey! :)