Alumni Spotlight

4 Years Later: Why Aveen Says BrainStation Was His Best Investment

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on November 3, 2023

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Four years ago, a simple coding project at work ignited Aveen Pattni’s desire to code full-time. After completing the Software Engineering Bootcamp full-time at BrainStation, Aveen went on to work in full stack and front end development roles at Walmart, Loblaw Digital, and now Intuit. Aveen shares what it took to kickstart a new career in software engineering through an immersive bootcamp, and how his bootcamp experience continues to inform his career as a Senior Software Engineer today!

What inspired you to launch a software engineering career in 2019?

I was working at a small IT consulting company and I was given an opportunity to build a small software application using simple tools. It definitely caught my interest. I had some experience with software from competing in educational robotics programs, so the interest has always been there. I decided to make a pivot after getting a taste of what the professional world is like.

A friend of mine referred me to BrainStation, so I did some research and spoke to someone on the phone. After that, I made the leap and I haven’t looked back since!

Since you had an IT background, did you feel like you needed to attend a coding bootcamp to get a job?

I wouldn’t say I needed to attend a coding bootcamp. There are always avenues for self-learning if someone prefers that. But I thrive under the structure of in-person learning rather than online videos; it suits my learning style. 

Another important aspect of the BrainStation bootcamp was the time commitment. I was fresh off of a university degree and didn’t want to spend a lot of time on self-learning or a full-length program. BrainStation’s bootcamp was the quickest way for me to get industry skills and start working as soon as possible. 

Was it hard to get into BrainStation’s Software Engineering Bootcamp?

I didn’t think the process was difficult. There was a small basic assessment, but it was straightforward. I come from a technical background so I was able to pick up the technical concepts quickly. I would rather code than write an essay, so the most challenging part of the process for me was probably the written questions.

Overall, what was the full-time coding bootcamp experience like at BrainStation?

We had 40 hours per week in the classroom, but we also had to do assignments at home. The effort you put in is the reward you get and I fully engrossed myself in the program during those 12 weeks. After we finished instruction for the day, I went home and continued to learn. It was a lot of work — I think that’s where the “bootcamp” name comes from! 

What did you learn in the Software Engineering Bootcamp at BrainStation?

The main programming language we worked with was JavaScript, but we also focused on all areas of web development. We covered industry tools like Jira, AWS, and GitHub that standard programs might not cover. These are tools developers use daily on the job and it’s important to be familiar with them. Knowledge of these tools gives you the ability to step into a junior role and perform without having to ask silly little questions along the way.

Did you end up using your bootcamp project portfolio in job interviews?

I actually got my first job from BrainStation’s Demo Day! Demo Day gave us the opportunity to present our capstone projects to people in the industry. I was able to meet some folks from Walmart Canada and present my project to their technical manager. They liked it which opened the door for me to get an interview there. That was my first full stack software engineer job out of BrainStation.

How did BrainStation prepare you for the tech job hunt?

In addition to technical skills, BrainStation taught us soft skills as well as tips and tricks to get jobs in the industry. We did mock interviews, networking sessions, resume workshops, LinkedIn workshops, and even opportunities to visit offices in the industry. Their career services was the whole nine yards when it comes to the soft skills side of recruiting and getting a job. 

Did BrainStation prepare you well for the technical interview at Walmart Labs?

I would say so — I got the job, so I guess they thought the same thing! There was obviously some self-studying, but I felt confident enough to be able to perform at the interview. BrainStation did a good job helping us understand the format. If they didn’t teach something specific about it, they taught the best way to learn it. They put us in a good position to succeed even if they didn’t go over a specific concept.

What kinds of projects did you work on while you were at Walmart?

I was working on their e-commerce website and building out that experience.

From Walmart, you went to work at Loblaw Digital. What inspired you to go from a full stack role to front end development role?

I’ve actually always been more involved on the front end since graduating from BrainStation. I have the technical skills to work at full stack after BrainStation, but I’ve focused more on doing front end work.

Did you end up using everything you learned from BrainStation at either of these jobs?

Yes! The nice thing about BrainStation is they teach you about the most popular topics in the industry. We learned about a framework called React, one of the most popular frameworks in the front end world. Every company I’ve worked for uses React and it was nice to be able to use those skills across multiple companies.

And now you’re a Senior Software Engineer at Intuit! What projects do you work on there?

I work on, which is the American marketing website for the TurboTax product. As a Senior Engineer, I still do a lot of coding, but there are more elements of architecting in my role. I’m part of conversations that are more architecture-focused and I spend more time developing junior talent on the team or reviewing the work of others. 

When did it feel like you were ready for a senior-level role?

I knew earlier this year that I wanted to take that next step. I felt like I had the technical skills and the soft skills and the timing worked out for me. This promotion at Intuit was effective in August this year, but really I’ve been working towards it all year. 

Have you found yourself working alongside more bootcamp graduates?

I have certainly seen a rise in bootcamp grads. It was much less common in years past. Recently, it’s become more popular and I’ve worked with people in the industry who are strong developers coming from a bootcamp background. 

Has your team integrated AI tools into the workflow?

I think almost every big company is using AI in one form or another. Our marketing team has seen potential for elements of personalization and we’re trying to figure out the best way to use it. It’s certainly still a work in progress!

At this point in your tech career, was BrainStation worth it for you?

I often say BrainStation is the best investment I ever made. At the end of the day, it’s an investment of your money and time. I got a quick return on my investment in BrainStation and it’s been compounding ever since. I often look back on the single most pivotal point in my life and that’s what it was. It put me on a career trajectory and who knows how long it would have taken me to succeed and grow to become a contributor to the professional world. I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Find out more and read BrainStation reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with BrainStation.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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