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Greg Oppman worked in design and animation in Los Angeles before deciding to return home to Indiana. Greg read about Eleven Fifty and saw an opportunity to start coding again and improve his current job skills as a digital marketer. With his company footing the bill, Greg attended Eleven Fifty’s week-long JavaScript course. Greg completed the class a few months ago, and tells us about the environment at Eleven Fifty, learning how to create CRUD (create, read, update, delete) applications, and how he’s incorporated his new skills into his current job.

 

Tell us first about your background before doing Eleven Fifty.

I graduated from the Indiana University School of Informatics. I studied Media Arts and Science and was specifically focused on 3-D graphics and animation. I pursued that career after college in Los Angeles at design studios and animation studios.

I saw that the business climate in that industry was changing and I decided to come back to Indianapolis and found an opportunity as a digital marketer with Jones Lang LaSalle in commercial real estate. At Jones Lang LaSalle, they do a lot of visualizations by maps and using their business data to communicate the current and future market trends to clients. Going back to my web background, I understood the importance of JavaScript and I began to realize it could help me quite a bit with what I’m trying to do at this company.

So I approached the Jones LaSalle office here in Indy about the class at Eleven Fifty; it was an intense process trying to learn outside of work, then apply it quickly.

 

Did your company pay for the course?

They did.

 

Did you consider doing other bootcamps, or only Eleven Fifty?

No. This is the only one that I looked at. It was local; it looked like a good program. It just all made sense. I live here so I don’t have to pay for a hotel.

 

What was the application process like for you? Did you do a formal interview or a technical interview?

The process to get in was just proving an interest in JavaScript and having the money to take the course. That was pretty much it.

I got in touch with Nick from Eleven Fifty and asked him some questions because I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to be in a super-advanced class. I was a novice, getting back into coding, so I wanted to make sure it was a beginner course.

 

Did you find that it was a beginner course?

It definitely was. The instructors read the group on the first day and scaled up or scaled back the curriculum. They’re really flexible depending on who’s sitting in the course.

 

How many people were in your cohort?

Including me there were four people who went through the whole week. There’s one gentleman who was with us for just half a day.

 

Who was the instructor for your class?

There were two instructors from the company Fretless, Dave Struss and David Jones. We called them The Daves: David and Dave.

 

What did a typical day look like?

We just jumped in and started coding. We went from the very beginning going through and writing JavaScript and its history. We went all the way through to Angular and built an Angular application. The instructors gave us an example, then they would run through and code it with us while going over the foundations. We would continue just adding layers to that application we were working on.

Periodically they would throw a pop quiz at us. That was kind of nice. It made you think about things on your own. We also had labs throughout the day.

We worked on taking data from an input and pushing that into functions as well and then doing something with that data then outputting it back out to the application. We build about three to four apps in the week, all surrounding the idea of create, read, update and delete; the CRUD basics.

 

What is CRUD?

CRUD stands for Create, Read, Update and Delete; You’re creating an input; then the application reads it then it updates on the screen, in the browser. You can delete it too, so the user can delete it or edit it with an update.

 

How collaborative was the work at Eleven Fifty?

The labs were done individually and if you needed help the instructors would be there; but everything else was collaborative and in a group.

 

Did you have to pass a test at the end of the course?

No, there weren’t any tests or assessments at the end.

 

How many hours would you say you spent on the class?

It was 12-hour days from walking in to leaving. We had breaks and lunch so out of the 12 hours, I think we spent eight or nine coding.

 

That’s a fair amount. Did you feel burnt out at all throughout the week or did you find it was pretty manageable?

It was manageable but my mind felt like it was getting overloaded at times. To avoid getting burned out, I’d have to get up and walk around. The breaks were great.

 

Did you find that Eleven Fifty did job preparation at all with your class?

They taught you the fundamentals of a language then they partnered with Vitamin T which is a staffing agency. Vitamin T came in and explained their process and if you’re looking for a job this is how you could go about it through their company.

I’m not opposed to that process, but I did the course to enhance my current job skills.

 

Do you feel like you’ve learned everything that you needed to know to do the projects that you wanted to do at work?

I have done a project and I actually shared it with an instructor so they could see what I did outside the class. The project I did on my own resembles what we did in the first couple of days.

I’m slowly working up to more complicated things, depending on my company’s needs. What they needed initially is kind of basic.

It’s nice that even after the course, I can speak with instructors if I have questions and I’m also educated enough to find my own answers as well

 

Do you think the course would have been worth the money if your job didn’t pay for it?

Yeah, I think it was a good course. If I was looking to take a JavaScript course outside of work on my own, I think this would be a nice option.

 

Have you thought of doing another course through Eleven Fifty?

I have. Since I’m with my current company though, it needs to be something that I need to use in work. If not, I’d just be taking paid time off to do it on my own. I would like to use it for work.

 

Is there anything you didn’t expect about it or that you would have changed, feedback that you had for Eleven Fifty?

Overall, it was a nice course and a good experience. I don’t have many complaints. But I think for the level it was at, it was a pretty fast course going through the applications. So I think it would be nice to start slow and really nail the foundations.


 

Is there anything you wanted to add about your experience or advice to future students?

It’s a great, comfortable facility working at Scott Jones’ home. They provide great meals, the staff is great and the instructors are very nice.

They try to give you different activities to do outside of the class so it breaks up the day nicely and refreshes your mind. They try to bring in an immersive environment which Scott believes in – and it works because all my attention was focused on that week, on JavaScript.

 

Want to learn more about Eleven Fifty? Check out their School Page on Course Report or the Eleven Fifty website!

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