Defeated Final Boss, New Quest: Learning To Code

By Irene Holden

Last Updated: July 1st 2024

Defeated Final Boss, New Quest: Learning To Code

From Gaming Enthusiast to Software Engineer at Pathstream

"If you want it bad enough, you'll keep trying"

In the ever-evolving world of tech, stories of individuals who have carved their own path to success never cease to inspire. One such story is that of Tien Nguyen, a highly achieved web developer and JavaScript instructor at Nucamp.

Before embarking on his coding journey, Tien was a self-proclaimed video game fanatic. His love for gaming ran deep, and he even received an invitation from Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, to participate in a prestigious tournament during the game's peak popularity. While he didn't win the tournament, his achievement of being recognized by the game's developers was a testament to his skill and dedication. Something that would define Tien's approach to all aspects of life.

This passion for video games transcended into the start of a career. As a former Quality Assurance Tester at Activision, where he spent long hours playing and reporting bugs, he found himself surrounded by code. Feeling stuck and yearning for change, he stumbled upon Nucamp while searching for coding bootcamps online. "I Googled and found you guys, and I was like, alright, well, worse comes to worse, at least I'm not throwing $15,000 bucks," Tien recalls.

Tien's path was not without its challenges. He recalls waking up at 4:30 a.m. and studying until 6:30 a.m. before heading to work at Activision, where he would put in another 60-plus hours a week. Yet, his determination never wavered. "This is gonna pay off. This is gonna pay off. I need this," he says, reflecting on the motivating factors that kept him going.

After completing Nucamp's program, Tien's journey took an unexpected turn and he decided to become a Nucamp Instructor. Inspired by his own instructor's teaching style, he embraced the role with open arms. "I really admire what he does, and I kind of see that he's enjoying it. So...why don't I give it a shot?"

Tien's teaching philosophy is rooted in authenticity, a quality that has resonated deeply with his students.

"The more you are yourself, even if you break a little bit of professionalism, the more relatable and more (it shows) you care," he explains.

This approach has earned him an impressive 4.87 out of 5 rating across 35 classes, a testament to his ability to connect with and inspire his students.

Advice for aspiring coders and bootcamp students

Tien's advice is both practical and inspiring.

"If you want it bad enough, you'll keep trying"

he says, emphasizing the importance of perseverance in the face of challenges. Additionally, he encourages students to embrace experimentation and curiosity, urging them to "try it" instead of waiting for someone to provide the answers.

Tien's journey is a reminder that success is not defined by a single moment but by the culmination of countless efforts, failures, and triumphs. From his humble beginnings as a video game enthusiast to his current role as a high performing web developer and beloved instructor, Tien's story is a testament to the power of passion, determination, and authenticity.


Irene Holden

Operations Manager

Experienced Professional Realtor with a demonstrated history of working in the real estate industry. Strong real estate professional skilled in Microsoft Word, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Event Management, Team Building, and Management.