Alumni Spotlight

How Former Teacher Marlisa Doubled Her Salary after Coding Temple

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Last updated on March 29, 2023

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Marlisa was set to become a teacher when she realized that her true passion was for coding. She took a summer off to enroll in a coding bootcamp and never looked back! After graduating from Coding Temple this year, Marlisa doubled her salary, loves working remotely, and enjoys unlimited PTO. Find out how Marlisa made the self-paced bootcamp at Coding Temple work for her.

What inspired you to launch a software engineering career this year?

I’ve actually been thinking about it for about two years. I have a teaching degree and realized early on that teaching wasn't my passion. During the pandemic, I got a wedding planner certification and started creating wedding websites for friends. I loved the design aspect, but once I learned HTML, CSS, and WordPress, I realized I really love coding! I graduated with my master’s in March and was set to start my teaching job in September. During the summer, I took a coding bootcamp and ended up loving it so I changed my career.

What set Coding Temple apart from other coding bootcamps in your research process?

I spent two months researching coding bootcamps, creating Excel sheets with their information, and calling advisors. What stood out about Coding Temple was their lifetime access to their Career Services. Other bootcamps only offer 3-6 months of career support, but lifetime support means I can come back after years if I still need job support. I was also impressed by the reviews of the self-paced coding bootcamp, which fit my budget!

In your experience, did you feel like you had to know basic coding in order to apply to Coding Temple?

Not at all. They start with a multiple choice coding assessment, but the advisor I spoke to said even if you don’t know the answers, they’re really looking to see if you’re willing to learn and take the program seriously. 

The self-paced program begins with the pre-course work whereas the live full-time program requires its completion before the bootcamp starts. The pre-course work included learning HTML, CSS, and some Python, which was so helpful before starting on the actual project.

Did you receive any scholarships from Coding Temple?

I got a Women in Tech scholarship. It involved a short application process including an essay on why I needed the scholarship. 

What was a typical day like in the online, Self-Paced Software Engineering Bootcamp

For the self-paced program, I had to set my own schedule so time management was really important. Before I started the course, I set out a plan to work 8-10 hours a day, which I did! Coding Temple lessons are pre-recorded, so I started every module by watching the recordings and participating in code-along projects with the instructor. Once I finished all the videos, I worked on a lot of projects, just like you would in the full-time program. 

What did you learn in the software engineering bootcamp?

Thanks to Coding Temple, I learned how to build websites from the front end to the back end. Coding Temple starts by teaching basic tools, like HTML and CSS, to create non-functional websites. Then we got deeper into SQL, creating and manipulating databases and displaying data on a website. Then I learned JavaScript, TypeScript, and React. By the end of the program, I was able to create a full stack application! 

Did the teaching style match your learning style?

It did. The pre-recorded lessons are mainly following code-alongs, which helped me when I did it myself. Being able to work independently while also having someone teach it to me was a really easy way to learn how to code. The instructor, Brandon, was great at explaining the content even in the pre-recorded lessons, so it worked for me!

Since this was a self-paced, online bootcamp, did you feel connected to your cohort?

I felt really connected to other students, even though it was a self-paced program. There are weekly technical interview prep sessions for everyone in the self-paced program, and those allow you to connect with other people that are in the program at the same time. 

There's a Slack channel for all the self-paced students and their instructor. Often I found that when I was stuck on a problem, other students had the same issue and posted it in the Slack channel for peer feedback. This was helpful when the instructor couldn’t meet or it was a quick question. 

What were your self-paced bootcamp instructors like? 

My instructor, Shay, was actually a graduate of Coding Temple’s self-paced program! Since they knew the program and potential challenges, they were able to offer really sound and relevant advice. They held Q&As on imposter syndrome and other topics relevant to the self-paced experience. There was also a TA that I could reach out to anytime if I was stuck and needed help. 

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

There are so many projects in the bootcamp! Each of the seven modules included a project, but often there were more like two or three projects for each module. We used the Spotify API to create websites that play songs when you hover over an image. I created a gym website, an e-commerce shopping card, and a rock-paper-scissors game, among so many others.

Did you present a final project for a Demo Day?

We completed a capstone project, and then I did a 10-minute Demo Day presentation of it for my instructor and my TA.

How did Coding Temple prepare you for the job hunt

Coding Temple offers career resources that are available to both self-paced and full-time alumni, including the alumni network and Career Coach Marlene, who helps students build a strong resume, LinkedIn profile, and portfolio. Coding Temple also offers weekly 1:1 mock behavioral interviews, 1:1 technical interviews, plus weekly open meetings on general interview prep and technical interviews. I left Coding Temple feeling a part of a large alumni community with lifelong support from the staff.

Which tech roles did you feel qualified to apply for after graduating?

I was mainly applying for entry-level roles, though Coding Temple did advise us to apply to roles that were up to five years of experience, since we learn so much in so little time. I applied for roles in software engineering, web development, full stack, front end, and back end. Having these five categories to apply within broadened what I felt capable of applying for after graduating from bootcamp. 

How long did it take you to land your first tech job?

I was very lucky with my job search — it took me two weeks to find a job after graduating from Coding Temple! The same day I started applying for jobs a company reached out to me. After a total of three interviews, I got an offer within two weeks.

Congratulations on your new job as a remote Web Developer! How did you get the job?

I work at a private company that contracts with the US government, and I got this remote job through cold-searching online. I typically apply for jobs through company websites, but I was lucky to find this one on Indeed. 

What was the technical interview process like? 

The tech interview was an hour-and-a-half long, which isn't crazy for tech interviews, but was still long. They had me solve five coding problems live in front of them, then explain my steps. It was very challenging. 

Do you anticipate using what you learned at Coding Temple on the job? 

The team is using an older, legacy stack, but they're in the process of moving to a newer stack that uses React and TypeScript, which we learned at Coding Temple. They were really excited about my bootcamp experience since they’re making that transition. I’ll get to use what I learned at Coding Temple and help the team with the process of upgrading their tech stack.

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

Absolutely! I never would have landed this role that I’m so excited about without Coding Temple. I learned so much at Coding Temple, and they did not disappoint in providing outstanding career support, one of the biggest reasons I chose Coding Temple. I felt so supported in my job search and found a job quickly! I’m beyond happy I chose Coding Temple to learn how to become a software engineer. 

Comparing your new software engineering role to your former teaching role, are you seeing any boost in salary and benefits by working in tech?

I more than doubled my salary after graduating from a coding bootcamp. I love working remotely and I have unlimited PTO, which is very different from a teaching position when I had to save my PTO.

What is your advice to future students on making the most out of Coding Temple’s Self-Paced Bootcamp?

Use your resources. Coding Temple offers a ton of them, but in the self-paced program, you have to seek out and show up for those resources. This means attending the weekly technical interview prep meetings and reaching out to your instructor and peers. This is an extra step to take in the self-paced bootcamp, but it’s imperative for learning as well as connecting with others. 

The same goes for when you’ve finished the bootcamp: keep using those resources. If you use the career support resources offered by Coding Temple to help you find a job, you can be very successful.

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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