Barnum graduated from Canine Code Camp in January 2016, and has already found a howling good job as an app developer! Barnum tells us about his coding bootcamp experience, and even sent us some photos of his cute and clever canine classmates!
What is your pre-bootcamp story?
I studied obedience and tricks as a puppy and came in second at the Westminster Dog Show in 2014. I have always been adept at hand shaking, sitting, rolling, and playing dead. I was always best in the agility courses, which actually require a lot of logic and mathematics.
When did you decide to quit your job and become a doggy developer?
I wanted a way to stretch my mental skills, to see how far I could push myself. I had been to many dog shows around the world, and just felt I wanted to go one step further with my skills. I had read that almost any dog, cat, or monkey with enough energy and passion can learn to code, so I decided to give it a try.
Did you look at other bootcamps or just this one?
I looked at Digital Dev Dogs, and Hacker Hounds, but I chose Canine Coding Camp because the founders are so passionate about bringing dogs into the realm of computers. We are becoming empowered to join the technology revolution. Woof!
What factors were important to you when choosing a bootcamp — price? Location? Language or stack?
I live in Brooklyn, and I love all the parks nearby, so it had to be Brooklyn. I wasn’t too concerned about what languages and technologies to learn, it was more about learning the most up to date sticks. I love sticks.
Was your class diverse in terms of gender, race, life and career backgrounds?
Yes, it was pretty evenly split between male and female dogs, and we had a huge age range. I’m 5, but there were dogs as young as 1.5 ranging to about 12. It was great to have so many breeds there too.
What was the learning experience like at your bootcamp?
It was a very paws-on experience, we were actually building small web pages from the first week. Bow wow wow!
What was your favorite project that you created? Did you get to use your own ideas?
For our final project we created an app that allows users to find other users who want someone to play with in the park. So for example, if I was going to Prospect Park, I could enter an activity, like “chase a ball” then anyone in the area would get a notification to say “do you want to come chase a ball with Barnum”. It uses the Google Maps API to see your location, and the other users’ locations – that was one of the hardest features to implement.
What are you doing now?
How did the bootcamp prepare you for finding a job?
We had a fantastic hiring event, where huge tech companies like TinDog, BarkBox, and Petco came to meet us at the Canine Code Camp campus. One of the Westminster Dog Show hiring managers actually recognized me from when I came second in 2014! We got talking and I ended up applying for the app developer role.
What does a dog developer’s day to day look like?
I’m working with a team of five other dogs. My agility training was ideal preparation for working in an Agile development environment, so it’s going barkingly well.
What advice do you have for other dogs considering this career change into tech?
Any dog can do it! Or any animal for that matter. Just believe in yourself, and although it may be a hard day’s night and you’re working like a dog, just remember you’ll be able to sleep like a log at the end, knowing you put in eight days a week. Woof woof!
Find out more and read reviews on the Canine Code Camp Course Report page.