Completing a bootcamp gives the needed boost to cross the career-change finish line.

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: July 14th 2022

Completing a bootcamp gives the needed boost to cross the career-change finish line.

From Purchasing and Procurement to Software Engineering Apprentice, IBM

"What you put into it is what you get out of it."

This is Tim Liu, a Nucamp Bootcamp graduate and now a Software Engineering Apprentice at IBM.

Tim likes projects that have an end goal in sight and often that involves tuning import cars for drag racing and drifting.

When he wasn't behind the wheel, he was spending his days managing supply chains for a handful of companies in the area.

Tim paid close attention to detail to make sure the supply chain ran like a well-oiled machine, but the work required burdensome responsibility and there never seemed to be a finish line in sight.

Why coding?

Seeing Tim's dissatisfaction, it was his friends and family that kept telling him he needed to do something different.

Between his wife and two of his friends, all of whom were in the industry, they regularly encouraged him to explore obtaining education in coding.

Already with a degree in marketing, going to grad school for coding seemed too expensive, it would take too long, and he wasn't convinced he would get enough out of it.

One of his friends was self-taught while the other learned through attending a bootcamp, but it was the latter model of learning that made the most sense.

It was ultimately Nucamp's affordability and learning pace that fit into real life that convinced Tim to shift gears and sign up.

What it was like taking a Nucamp Bootcamp

The first thing Tim valued about the learning track was how the Full Stack Bootcamp flowed from one module to another, which promoted learning and retention.

Second, it was the instructor-led workshops that made the learning really fire on all cylinders as things started to click in his mind.

Third, having a set schedule made the difference and he was able to finish and comprehend everything despite being a self-proclaimed non-academic person.

Describe your job search process.

After graduating and a short break, he spent two months diligently looking for jobs.

One company he applied to requested that he build an app for the interview process, which he built in React and Express.

"I would not have been able to make the app without having learned everything from Nucamp."

Tim also spent the time to clean up his code in his various projects, load all of his projects into Github, and build a portfolio.

Even though he was not hired by the company that requested the app, he received two referrals for a position at IBM and it turned out they were pretty interested in the app he'd built and wanted to see its logic.

After seeing the app, they offered him an apprentice role with the goal of learning two proprietary languages for IBM.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

"If you're starting from zero, you want to get somewhere, and you don't want to spend 2-4 years in traditional education, then a bootcamp is the best bet."

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.