It's never too late to hit the reset button on your career

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: July 14th 2022

From Police Officer to Software Engineer, Home Depot

"My instructors were really good. They were very knowledgeable."

This is Brad Reed, a Nucamp Full Stack Bootcamp graduate and now a Software Engineer at Home Depot.

Brad enjoys playing the bass guitar, working out, and playing video games.

At first, other than a good PS5 or PC game, his interest in tech was an afterthought.

Brad hadn't planned to become a software engineer; his first choice was to be a marine biologist.

After being concerned with job opportunities, he changed his strategy to pursue a forensic science degree with the objective of being a detective.

Brad had a friend encourage him to go into computer science instead, but he stayed on his current mission and earned a master's in forensic science.

As a police officer he eventually started facing glitches within his department and, paired with the amount of danger he faced on the job, Brad decided to redownload his friend's suggestion of coding.

To add to the matter, the pandemic hit.

This pushed him to hit start on teaching himself Java and C#.

His asked his friend who went into computer science advice about learning to code.

His friend suggested investing in himself by taking a coding bootcamp.

Brad looked into different bootcamp options and was put off by the $10,000-$15,000 price tags of some and the requirement to be on campus up to 3 days a week.

Wanting to keep his job while learning to code, he found Nucamp's online coding bootcamps to be the perfect fit!

"There were times I'd feel like I wasn't smart enough and I would get discouraged. But I learned how far I am willing to go, especially because I didn't like my job or feel valued. I learned a lot about my resolve."

Describe your job search process.

Brad was extremely active on LinkedIn and sent out about 350 job applications, which gained him about 6 interviews.

A recruited referred him to his new job as a software engineer.

His interview included technical questions that he was fully prepared to answer.

Tell me about a moment of doubt or difficulty and how did you overcome it?

Brad had a challenging time learning Redux– it made him feel stuck, but powered through the material regardless.

Brad overcame his difficulties while trying to help his classmates and found explaining something to others really helped him get through complicated concepts.

He also discovered getting away from a problem he was stuck on to do something else he enjoyed and coming back to the problem after a break was especially important.

What advice do you have for people who are thinking about attending a bootcamp, but haven't yet registered?

"They need to take a look at what different types of developers do. I took the Fullstack bootcmp because I wanted to learn everything. You need to pick the right programs and you need to pick a program that has the right teaching style, what will work in your schedule, and what will work for your finances."

What advice do you have for people who have already started the bootcamp and they are just about to finish Bootstrap?

"Get really comfortable with javascript array methods. These are super important further down the program, especially in Redux. You need to know vanilla JS, decent amount about loops."

Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.