Bring your career up an octave and learn to code

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: May 16th 2024

Bring your career up an octave and learn to code

From Mapping Operator to QA Engineer, ISC Engineering

"I think you need to look for a quality coding workshop over course content. I believe four hours in a workshop is like 30 hours of learning on your own.”

This is Hamza Bouthour, a Nucamp Full Stack Bootcamp graduate and now a QA Engineer at ISC Engineering.

Hamza has been playing guitar for 20 years and professionally for about nine.

When he moved to the United States five years ago, he hung up his strings and took a job as a mapping operator.

While he now enjoyed playing guitar more than ever as a hobby, his new line of work had him feeling flat.

Hamza’s job required communication and discipline, but it wasn’t a field that offered much personal growth.

He wanted to change the tune of his day to day by finding a career where he could learn and improve.

Hamza talked to his brother, a Sr Developer who has been programming for 20 years, about switching careers and he encouraged Hamza to learn coding.

At first it was frustrating, but Hamza stuck with it while being mentored by his brother.

Through online resources like W3schools, Hamza started to develop a rhythm.

But the tempo of his progress slowed, and his brother suggested he learn a more modern tech stack than he was able to teach.

This prompted Hamza to investigate coding bootcamps, especially ones that taught React.

He started with a bootcamp that wasn’t quite up to his standards; it only provided 30 minutes of mentorship, the workshops hosted too many students at once making it difficult to receive relevant help, and he felt the content was lacking.

Hamza reverted to teaching himself from YouTube until he came across Nucamp.

Between the positive reviews, 4 hour workshops each Saturday, and the opportunity to learn the MERN stack, he was excited to register at Nucamp.

During his time at Nucamp, Hamza liked how well concepts were explained and the extra content provided for further learning.

“I felt I was really learning. The picture in my head was readable. There was struggle, but that is normal and that’s how we learn. That’s when you need to focus the most and spend more time. It was all beneficial.”

Describe your job search process.

Six months after graduating Hamza secured his new job.

At first, he focused on his resume, portfolio, and continuing to learn important concepts like SQL.

Hamza built different apps and his own website to display his skills centerstage with each job application through LinkedIn and Indeed.

His experience of already working on automation in Node.js helped him get his job.

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

“I had my doubts with back end. I already had an idea about it, but when it came to MongoDB, I didn’t understand why I really needed a no relation database. But having learned MongoDB helped tremendously to learn a relational database. Learning both situations gave me perspective. Working with Node.js is what I do every day right now. It was really tough, but the only way to get out of it is to spend more hours and focus. “

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

“I think you need to look for a quality coding workshop over course content. Content can be simplified, it can be designed in a way to learn fast and easy. Having a chance to collaborate with people and be face-to-face with an instructor to ask questions is more valuable. You can begin learning JavaScript and forget what an HTML element is. Others' questions are opportunities to glean from other questions. I believe four hours in a workshop is like 30 hours of learning on your own.”

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

“Go back to JavaScript and go back to the first content, go back to the Web Developers. Use that week break to catch up. Learn JavaScript basics.”

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.