Recent college graduate Nathan Nunez found himself underpaid and overworked in sports broadcasting. Nathan enrolled at Coding Temple because he was impressed by their 99% job placement rate and commitment to their alumni. Nathan shares how Coding Temple’s online, full-time bootcamp covered software engineering and data, helping him land his first Data Analyst job at Cirium just two months after graduating! Read his advice for recent college graduates considering a bootcamp and if Nathan says that Coding Temple was worth it for him.
What inspired you to pivot from sports broadcasting to tech?
I graduated with a degree in Sports Communication from Bradley University. The sports industry is highly competitive, so I worked my whole college career trying to get ahead. I landed an internship with a professional baseball team where I accomplished a childhood dream of doing play-by-play broadcasts. I loved that environment, but it’s pretty standard within the sports industry to work long hours for little pay. After working 14-hour days, sometimes 11 days in a row, I was exhausted. When I finished the internship, I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with this kind of work for the rest of my life. That doubt led me to a career change. My girlfriend is a software engineer, and she introduced me to that field. I decided I wanted to explore software engineering, so I saved up for a year and then enrolled at Coding Temple.
There are so many online bootcamps — why did you choose Coding Temple?
Coding Temple offers a 10-week course that covers a lot of material in a short amount of time. Since I already had a college degree, I wanted to spend as little time in school as possible. Coding Temple has rave reviews of success stories, plus a 99% job placement rate! I felt confident that I could complete the course quickly and get on the job ASAP.
Coding Temple’s curriculum gives you foundations in software engineering and data analysis. I intended to go into software engineering but I was intrigued by data analysis. From the start, I wondered if there was a way I could build on my previous experience working with data in the sports industry.
Any tips to prepare for Coding Temple? Did you have to complete prework before starting the bootcamp?
Before the bootcamp began, we had 40 hours of prep material to complete, including building an HTML/CSS webpage. It was a challenge for me because it was a new language and they throw it at you quickly. My girlfriend helped me with the prepwork, but I worked hard to learn everything myself, because at the end of the day it's me who would be put to the test. I think it's good to be forced to try new things and learn quickly.
Did you get any Coding Temple scholarships that made the tuition more affordable?
Coding Temple offers a $1000 referral discount. I had a friend who encouraged me to attend Coding Temple, so we both enrolled in the same cohort and each received a $1000 tuition reimbursement.
What was a typical day like in the online coding bootcamp at Coding Temple?
Whiteboard questions are common in real-world interviews, so each day we were assigned a whiteboard problem. Next, we reviewed homework from the previous day then dove into new lessons in a morning and afternoon lecture, broken up with lunch. We would have homework assigned that night that would be due the next day, then we’d do it all over again! Fridays were dedicated to project days, which were due the following Monday.
How did Coding Temple compare to your college experience?
Attending a bootcamp after college offers you exposure to new content in a shorter period of time than a college degree. Be aware though, that this bootcamp is very fast-paced. It easily snowballs if you get behind in one area. If you don’t keep up, it can be hard to stay on top of things.
What did you learn at Coding Temple? What did the bootcamp curriculum cover?
Did the teaching style match your learning style?
Sometimes I found it hard to be on the computer that long, but if I was tired, it was easy to step away from the keyboard. The transition into this style of learning was pretty easy for me. Coding Temple has two teachers in every class, plus time to meet with Teaching Assistants.
So far, what has been the biggest challenge in your career change journey?
It was a struggle not having the traditional background of a computer science degree, but the fact that I was able to land a tech job without any real experience in the field other than the bootcamp is a pretty big accomplishment. I was offered a job within two months of graduating from Coding Temple— If I can do it, I don't see why other people couldn't as well!
What was the online community like at Coding Temple? Did you collaborate with other students?
Our class was collaborative. Coding Temple cohorts communicate through Slack channels; we had one to communicate with our instructors and one channel just for us. We were very interactive in my cohort. We would use an online web app to have video calls with one another and set up time to work on homework and problems together.
What kinds of projects did you work on at Coding Temple?
The first 2-3 weeks of the bootcamp were dedicated to group projects, relevant to the topics we covered that week. During the first week, we had a group project where we built a webpage using HTML & CSS. The next few weeks were Python-based, where we continued group work. After Python, we started branching off and working on our own projects.
What did you build for your capstone project?
I used my sports background to build my data analytics project where I analyzed the top run-producing teams in major league baseball and how they construct their lineups to maximize run efficiency. To find the maximum run efficients, I focused on player characteristics like power, speed, and contact. I pulled stats from Baseball Savant and MLB, and used Pandas and SQL to manipulate the data and present it using bar graphs and charts.
Did you present your final project in a virtual demo day?
We presented our final projects on the last day of class for our cohort and a few Coding Temple staff members. Each student had 5 minutes to present their project and 5 min of Q&A.
How else did Coding Temple prepare you for the job hunt?
We had access to our incredibly supportive Career Coach, Marlene, who hosts weekly virtual career prep. Marlene is always available to answer questions. Once we completed the cohort, we had access to our Alumni Slack channel, where students post what they’ve seen in their interview processes. This was helpful for my own interview prep.
Once you graduate, Coding Temple promotes continued learning by offering classes on different languages that weren't covered in the cohort that can help you in your job search. For example, one week after I graduated from the bootcamp, I enrolled in their Tableau course!
Which tech roles did you feel qualified to apply for after graduating from Coding Temple?
The bootcamp covers everything you need to know to get a job in front end, back end, or full stack engineering. I felt prepared for data analytics roles, so I focused my job search on those.
Congrats on your new role as a Data Analyst at Cirium! How did you land the job?
Cirium works with the aviation industry by using client-provided data to help solve business problems. I had my resume on LinkedIn and Indeed, and a recruiting company called Swoon Staffing reached out to me on Indeed. They liked my background and thought I could be a good fit for this role at Cirium. After an intro call with the recruiters, they shared my resume with Cirium, where I went through a three-panel interview. In the interviews, they asked me some technical questions and they looked at my GitHub. Then I was offered the position!
Will you be using everything you learned from Coding Temple on the job?
For now, I am filling in for someone on paternity leave, but I will be working with and manipulating data sets.
I will have to work with some tools and programs that I'm not familiar with, but the majority of the time, I'll be working with SQL, which was covered at Coding Temple.
Looking back on this year, was Coding Temple worth it for you?
Absolutely. I thought about self-teaching, but the guidance I received from Coding Temple was invaluable. The ability to connect with their alumni network made it all worth it.
What do you wish you knew before enrolling in Coding Temple?
Don't take days off unless you really need to. Keep practicing. Going into the program, I was not prepared for how fast-paced it would be. If I could go back, I would be more on top of my time, try to understand everything better, and work more frequently on Codewars throughout the cohort.
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