My Road to Code

- 4 mins

Around this time last year I was halfway through my time at Fullstack Academy in New York City. Going to Fullstack was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had.

In 2010, a few years after undergrad, I moved to Washington, DC. Over the course of the next four years I ended up working at the accounting department of two different preschools. I liked accounting and entertained the idea that I would become a CPA. I registered for Accounting 1 and 2 at UDC (University of the District of Columbia). After completing those courses, I realized that ultimately accounting was not for me. I yearned for something else that held my attention and I was much more interested in.

During the Summer of 2012, I finally decided I did not want to take anymore accounting classes but had no clue what classes to register to for that fall semester. I felt like my current path was leading me more toward having jobs and I was really looking for a career path. After a lengthy discussion with a good friend, he convinced me to look into coding. I had some direction and decided to register for an Intro to Programming class. The class hooked me, so I completed Computer Science 1 and 2 over the next semesters while I still worked full time. After each class, I realized more and more that I wanted to go into this field and how much I enjoyed coding.

Fall semester 2013, I was newly married and finishing up my Computer Science 2 class. I was discussing with my wife about how much I really enjoyed coding and this was the field I want my career in. I talked with UDC about getting a masters degree in Computer Science since I already have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After my conversation with UDC Computer Science department, I realized that this would take me three to four years to complete while I worked full time. This was way too much time and I wanted to jump head first into this field. I did some research and found out about web development bootcamps. These bootcamps are in various cities around the country and usually were 3 months long plus you would come out at a junior developer level if you had no experience going in. The wife and I discussed that this was the best option even though it was a bit nerve racking since I would have to quit my job and move to another city (we live in DC) while I completed the bootcamp.

January of 2014 I dove head first into applying to multiple bootcamps. I studied Ruby and JavaScript to meet the demands of all the admission requirements of the different bootcamps I applied to. In total, I applied to eleven and was accepted into seven of them. This was a bit crazy and I was not expecting to get into as many as I did. I settled on attending Fullstack Academy for multiple reasons. First, Fullstack Academy is a Full-stack JavaScript bootcamp. Which means that I would be learning JavaScript to use on both the front end and backend. This made a lot of sense to me since I would be learning and focusing on one language which in my mind would be better than having to learn Ruby/Rails plus JavaScript at a Rails heavy bootcamp. Second, Fullstack is in NYC which is very close to DC, plus I would not need a car. Third, I already had some friends who live in NYC. Fourth, it is New York City and who wouldn’t want to try living there for at least a little bit?

I gave my employer at the time an eight-week notice that I would be leaving in April (2014) and changing my career path in order attend Fullstack Academy. They were really receptive and I could not wait to get up to NYC to start the bootcamp. April comes, and I cannot say enough about how amazing my experience was at Fullstack Academy. David and Nimit, the co-founders and main instructors while I was there (3rd cohort) were top notch and two of the best teachers that I have come across. They were both very patient, insightful and had a good sense of humor. Also, my fellow classmates were all amazing. We had a blast together, learning and hanging out after class. The first six weeks of Fullstack was the learning phase, followed by a break week, which was much needed. After that we embarked on the project phase for the final six weeks of the thirteen weeks that we were there. During this time, I made a couple of projects. My personal project Morning Ninja, which was my wife’s idea, sends users a text message with the summary of the day’s weather for their area at the time they select. My group project Job Butler, was job search organizing tool that I actually used during my job search after graduating and moving back to DC.

In October 2014 I accepted a position with Vizuri in the DC area. This was it. This was the end of my road to changing my career, but the start of my journey to continual learning and growing as a developer. That’s my path until now.

Daniel Margol

Daniel Margol

Software Engineer at Bloomberg Government. Runner. Ice Hockey Fan and Player. Avid Atlanta Falcons Fan.

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