Getting a Job After a Coding Bootcamp as a Beginner

By Samantha Anderson

Last Updated: January 23rd 2023

How this Nucamp Full Stack Instructor went from novice to Software Engineer in a matter of a few years

"Don’t compare yourself to other people who may be learning alongside you. I feel like I’m proof that you can come from zero knowledge and still excel in becoming a developer. Be patient if it's what you want and keep working at it.” -Eric Olaveson, Nucamp Instructor

Eric Olaveson has been with Nucamp since its inception in 2017.

With 14 courses taught, 461 student ratings and counting, and an outstanding instructor rating of 4.66/5, he continues to elevate the Nucamp community every day.

He has taught most of the courses within the Full Stack Bootcamp.

Eric started his career trajectory aiming for a medical profession, but during his junior year in college, he received negligent medical care.

That left a bitter taste in his mouth and the more he job shadowed, the more he questioned wanting to be in the medical field.

While attending college, and a few years after graduation, Eric worked as a door-to-door salesman.

Eric did well financially in sales, but it was mentally taxing, and he did not agree with some of the tactics that felt manipulative.

Thankfully a friend of his took a coding bootcamp and recommended Eric do the same.

Before registering himself, Eric started by dabbling in learning Python for about 30 minutes a day for a week.

He became hooked and knew coding was something he needed to learn.

The prospect of becoming a developer, despite having zero prior experience, was incredibly exciting for Eric since the tech industry was (and still is) booming.

A month after discovering his new fondness for coding, Eric quit his sales job and signed up for a full-time, 3.5 month, in-person coding bootcamp at DevMountain.

Even with the support from his wife while he studied, Eric did consider dropping out only a week into the bootcamp.

The self-doubt crept in as other classmates with prior coding and tech experience talked about not feeling prepared for the pace of the $10,000 course.

This made Eric think there was no way he would make it, but he persevered.

Eric graduated from his coding bootcamp in 2018 and focused his free time on networking and applying for jobs.

In the meantime, he started doing door-to-door sales again and leveraged his time at that job to drop off his resume in person to businesses he noticed were hiring developers.

Eric was hired as an intern at Mizzen+Main completing projects in Liquid.

About the same time his internship ended, COVID-19 hit and the uncertainty of the job market pushed him to pick up door-to-door sales again while he applied for another development position.

Eric focused on putting himself out there and getting in front of hiring managers in person to set himself apart from the candidate pool.

To also elevate his chances of being hired, Eric took the time to research each company he applied to so he could tailor his resume and highlight relevant experiences.

Eric’s background in sales helped him market his talents to his future employers; his opening pitch when he delivered his resume would include a relevant topic to the company and he would ask what he could do to be a part of what they were accomplishing.

Eric also attributes his job search success to his commitment to coding regularly and continuing to work on projects.

He documented his progress on his GitHub profile for hiring managers to see.

Eric landed a job and worked at Nexrage as a Software Developer for a little over a year.

Then a company he had given his resume to in person over a year prior, reached out asking to hire him.

They offered him a pay raise and the opportunity to work remotely.

Eric is now still working at Dialexa as a remote Software Engineer writing custom software for others.

“I love being in the environment; being in tech, helping people, writing code, and solving problems.”

How did you cope with the ups and downs of applying for jobs, getting an internship, and then having to start over quickly after apply for jobs again?

“I focused on what I could control. I went to meetups, increased my skillset, completed practice interviews, coded with friends working on group projects.”

What is one piece of advice you would give bootcamp students (future or current)?

“After Nucamp, keep in touch with new friends to create projects together to work on collaboration and merge conflicts, etc. These would be great to show future employers. The first job is definitely the hardest to get, but once you’ve been in a dev role for about a year you will have recruiters knocking down your door.”
“I follow the rule of thirds: spend 1/3 of your time with a mentor, 1/3 with your peers, and 1/3 teaching others. With your mentor you are learning, peers you are applying what you learned, and teaching solidifies what you’ve learned.”

Watch Erics's live Campfire interview with Nucamp's CEO, Ludo, here.

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Samantha Anderson

Marketing Manager

Part Illustrator, part Graphic Designer, and part Digital Marketer—with a sprinkle of sales savvy and a dash of empathy. I'm all about using my creativity to craft captivating stories through both illustration and writing. When I'm not at my computer, you'll find me drawing nature inspired patterns and portraits on my other favorite screen: my iPad. To keep myself inspired (and to get away from my slight tech addiction) I garden, golf, and go on nature walks with my dog and cat leading the way.