blog article

My First Job After Coding Bootcamp: Reed Branson of Fullstack Academy

By Imogen Crispe
Last Updated April 5, 2017

Reed Branson graduated from Fullstack Academy in September 2016 and is enjoying his new job as a Software Engineer at Machine Metrics in Massachusetts. We sat down with Reed to ask him all about his new job, which programming languages he is working in (and learning), and why he wanted to work at a startup. Plus Reed tells us about his Fullstack Academy Fellowship. Watch the video Q&A (or check out our summary below)!

Why Reed chose Fullstack Academy:

  • Because he lived and worked in New York, Reed narrowed his options to NYC.
  • Ultimately, he liked the focus on JavaScript and wanted to go deeper into one technology rather than spread himself thinly over many languages.

What happened after Reed graduated from Fullstack Academy?

  • Fullstack Academy actually offered him a Fellowship position, and Reed saw it as a great way to continue learning, earn some money, and work on a side-project that he thought of with his sister.
  • As a Fullstack Fellow, Reed  had to learn Mongo, React and Redux on the job. In the end, he feels like he got two schools for the price of one, because he learned Angular.js in class and React.js as a Fullstack Fellow.
  • At his new job, Reed uses full-stack JavaScript, but he’s starting to pick up C++
  • Reed’s advice on choosing a programming language to learn: “I don’t think the language matters at all, as long as you have the ability to learn to code. It’s a lot easier to learn to more languages after you have learned one language.”

What attracted Reed to Machine Metrics for his first job?

  1. The leadership team had a track record of success - they had sold software companies in the past.
  2. There were opportunities for personal development (and room for growth) as an engineer.
  3. Machine Metrics is a diverse team working on diverse technologies.
  4. Reed got a ton of responsibility and Machine Metrics let him learn & fail. For example, in his first week Reed broke the app, but the second week, he fixed it!

What’s the appeal of working for a startup?

  • Reed has worked in huge organizations like the NSA and American Express.
  • After those experiences, he wanted to have more freedom, skin in the game, equity, and flexibility
  • At a startup there is no getting bogged down with process, you either perform or you don’t– he likes risk and high stakes.

Is the learning over when you get a job?

  • The learning is not over on graduation day, and the learning is not over after you get a job.
  • Reed’s advice: If you’re not learning, get a new job!

Find out more and read Fullstack Academy reviews on Course Report. Check out the Fullstack Academy website.

About The Author

Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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