Alumni Spotlight

From Data Analyst to Automation Support Engineer after Coding Temple

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Last updated on February 23, 2023

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Andre Londardo was working as a data analyst in the oil and gas industry, but wanted a tech career with a longer runway. After realizing he loved to code, Andre quit his job to enroll full-time in the online Software Engineering Bootcamp at Coding Temple. Four months after bootcamp graduation (and with the diligent support of Coding Temple’s Career Services team), Andre landed a role as an Automation Support Engineer at a global laboratory automation company. Andre shares his advice for incoming Coding Temple students, including why fully committing yourself to the bootcamp is critical to make a quick career change. 

What inspired you to pivot your career from data analytics to software engineering?

While I enjoyed my previous work as a data analyst, I felt the need to find more fulfilling work outside of the oil and gas industry. I wanted to find a career with a longer runway. I also felt like my career as a data analyst had plateaued. I wasn't at the top, but still the opportunities were sparse. I started to learn to code at work on side projects and realized I loved it! 

When you were researching coding bootcamps, what stood out about Coding Temple?

I used Course Report to help guide my search! What I consistently saw in Coding Temple reviews was that while the program was difficult, whatever you put into it, you get out. I wasn’t surprised that penetrating a new career field required hard work, so that appealed to me. I also chose Coding Temple for their extensive career support, which was unanimously reviewed!

What was the Coding Temple application process like for you? 

After completing a brief logic assessment, my application was accepted.

You don't need any prior experience to apply to Coding Temple, but any previous knowledge helps. I think that's what makes this program so awesome and accessible.

Were you assigned pre-work before the first day of bootcamp?

There’s self-paced pre-work that takes around 40 hours to complete. By following video lectures from one of the instructors, you use HTML and CSS to build a website about yourself, like a portfolio, and this tells other students and the teachers a little bit more about who you are.

Did you try to work while attending the full-time coding bootcamp?

No, I left my previous job to commit to Coding Temple fully. It felt like jumping off the high dive to attend a full-time bootcamp, but I was ready for the change! I was also in the fortunate position to have another income from my spouse while I wasn’t working. 

What was a typical day like in the full-time bootcamp

The first half hour of every morning started with an open time to talk with instructors and cohort members about the assignments from the night before. Every class started with a coding challenge, where one person was picked randomly to complete a coding challenge in front of everyone else. It’s horrible in the moment, but they do it intentionally to prepare us for technical interviews — it's one thing to solve a coding challenge, but it's another to do it in front of other people, and then to articulate what you're trying to do in real time. Every morning they'd spin this wheel with everyone's name on it and I could feel my blood pressure go up, which was a great way to get alert for class!

The rest of the day was a typical eight-hours of lectures, Q&A, a mix of group assignments and individual, and an hour lunch. After that they had office hours if we needed help with the homework, which we worked on for the rest of the day. Overall, it was a lot of really long days. It’s 40 hours of class time, then another 30-40 hours of homework. 

What did you actually learn in the Software Engineering Bootcamp curriculum at Coding Temple?

We started with HTML and CSS, then jumped into Python, JavaScript, and some database work with SQL. Later in the course we dove into Flask and React. We learned back end to front end, so that by the end of the cohort we were able to create our own applications.

What were your instructors like? Were they professional software engineers?

I can't speak highly enough of the instructors at Coding Temple! We had two main instructors, both software engineers with varying degrees of experience. They were friendly, approachable, and really cared about their students. A couple of times in the semester I was stumped on something and I would send a late night message to the main instructor who happened to be online – sometimes as late as midnight. 

What kinds of projects did you work on in the bootcamp?

We built mocks of existing websites, we built a bookstore, a weather app, and one of our Flask projects was to build a Pokemon battle simulation.

The last week of the course is dedicated to working on our final capstone, which we then presented at a demo day for our cohort.

How did Coding Temple prepare you for the job hunt

Coding Temple helped me update my LinkedIn profile. They taught me best practices and how to highlight my profile to catch more eyes than someone else. Another major perk is that as soon as you graduate, you gain lifetime access to a digital community through the Coding Temple Alumni Slack channel where they host ongoing events and meetups.

When I was interviewing for the job I have now, the Coding Temple career staff was with me through the whole interview process. Through five interviews, we’d look at the email and job posting together, and they would help prepare me for what I might be asked. They were critical in me being successful in the job interview process! They also continued to support me through my technical interviews, offering feedback and asking me questions. Being able to practice whiteboarding was imperative to landing a job.

What roles did you feel qualified to apply for after graduating?

I was prioritizing experience over anything, but my main focuses were software engineering, data engineering or automation engineering. 

How long did it take you to find your first job after graduating from Coding Temple?

It took about four months to land this job at HighRes Biosolutions. 

How did you land your first tech job as an Automation Support Engineer at HighRes Biosolutions? Was it a connection through Coding Temple?

HighRes Biosolutions is a laboratory automation company based outside of Boston. I was scouring job boards, but this one happened to be a recruiter who reached out to me on LinkedIn. While it wasn’t a direct connection, Coding Temple helped me get this job by supporting me with my LinkedIn profile, making me more visible to recruiters like the one from HighRes. 

What was the interview process like for you at HighRes Biosolutions? Did you feel Coding Temple prepared for the technical interview?

There were two parts to the technical interview: the first part was a conversation with one of their engineers, and the second part was a take-home assessment where I had to build a device driver that would theoretically control a robotic arm. I had to build and write the code and then defend my solution with a presentation. I worked with Coding Temple a lot on this problem! I even presented it to one of the Coding Temple instructors, and then they gave me feedback and asked me questions, which made me feel prepared for the real interview. 

Did HighRes BioSolutions see your data analytics background as beneficial?

Yes. Having any significant amount of time in a career is beneficial, and the fact that they saw that I had career advancement in a short time at my previous job was helpful, too.

The main transferable skill from data analytics would be Python. I used Python in my data analytics background, and while I don’t use it on the job now, you could use it as a software developer. 

So, what does an Automation Support Engineer do? 

Following the sale and commissioning of a robotic system, it’s my responsibility to troubleshoot, repair, and maintain the full range of HighRes software and automation. I have to rapidly respond to customer support requests and provide technical support to resolve the issues.

As someone new to the tech field, do you feel supported by the tech team you work with?

My team is 8-10 people who mostly live on the East Coast. I'm the only employee in Utah, and one of a few working from the West Coast. My team is taking great care of me. They've flown me out to Beverly, MA twice for a total of four weeks, and I'm heading back there in March for more in-person training.

Are you using what you learned at Coding Temple now on the job? 

I’m using everything I learned at Coding Temple, but honestly, I think what the teachers and what Coding Temple did well is that they taught me how to learn. It's not that they just taught me one thing that's going to last for the rest of my career — they taught me how to navigate this new career and how to find answers to questions that come up. Coding Temple gave me a toolset for dealing with the unknown in this new career. 

I’m currently learning C# at HighRes Biosolutions. Even though we didn't cover it at Coding Temple, everything I did learn in the bootcamp prepared me to be successful in this role and learn new tools and languages. 

At this point in your new career, was Coding Temple worth it for you? 

A resounding yes, of course. I could not have gotten this job without Coding Temple. If I just went from my data analysis background to this, I don't know if I would have had the skill set for it!

What is your advice for making the most out of the Coding Temple experience?

  • Work as hard as you possibly can. 
  • Don't be afraid to look dumb because you're there to learn.
  • Get to know your cohort. I definitely leaned on other students who knew more than me, then at times when I felt like I had a grasp on the material, I was able to reciprocate. Plus, it's fun to get to know people! 

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

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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