José David Mártinez-Rubio is currently a student at Wyncode, the 12-week programming bootcamp in Miami. While he has been tech savvy since college, Jose decided he needed an in-person learning experience. We talk to Jose about his application process, diversity in his class, and how he pushed through when he found himself stuck.
What were you doing before you started at Wyncode?
I graduted with a BFA in Arts & Technology and a minor in Art History from University of Florida ( New World School of the Arts). I was/am 3D Modeler with Graphic Design and Video-Editing / Post Production skills.
Did you have a technical background before you applied?
At UF (New World School of the Arts) I learned about Web Design and I did some codecademy on my spare time. Python specifically.
Why did you choose Wyncode? Did you apply to any other bootcamps?
I've been looking for a learning solution that took me beyond the available online resources that although great, cannot replace the learning experience of being in person. What was interesting about Wyncode was the overall environment and values that it practices. Wyncode is wholeheartedly invested in helping the community and creating competent coders in the Miami scene. They believe in coding and that everyone can learn. Especially at a time where learning how to code is quintessential.
What was the application and interview process like?
The application process was pretty efficient. Juha and Johanna (the founders) make sure that you have the right expectations from the start, they review your own personal goals and of course take into account any previous computer science knowledge/training you've had. In the end, however, they want engaged people who are willing to take the commitment to learn how to code.
What is your cohort like? Did you find diversity in age, race, gender etc?
My experience in the cohort was eye-opening. Not only because of the shift in paradigm on regards of the mental process that programmers thrive in, but also due to the diverse backgrounds of my peers. Some have had their own businesses, some had never even gone to school and then there's Craig; who is a chef and basically a bad-ass at programming.
Who are your instructors? What is the teaching style like and how does it work with your learning style?
Ed Toro, MIT grad and the nicest guy you'll ever meet, is our main instructor. Not only is he knowledgeable but he is able to explain rather abstract concepts in very concrete ways. He works hard to ensure that we're getting the material. My particular learning style is rather funny. Going through art school I had to be comfortable with basically all types of learning styles. Fortunately for me, Wyncode makes sure students are engaged in a myriad of ways. Lectures, one on one lessons, homework, projects, speakers from diverse industries, etc.
Did you ever experience burnout? How did you push through it?
It's a very demanding curriculum and there were some sleepless nights, but unlike other institutions you don't feel like just a number. In the end, the support provided by the Wyncode community is possitive and focused. If we ever have problems with lessons or we're not getting the material as expected they'll move heaven and earth to make sure we have what we need.
Can you tell us about a time when you were challenged in the class? How did you succeed?
My biggest challenge used to be certain concepts. Particularly Big-O notation which--to keep the story short--is a way to measure the efficiency of a program (comparing time and resources consumed). It was difficult, and there were lots of "quick questions" given to Ed and our instructors, but they stayed with me through the process. Sometimes re-framing the problem provides a fresh perspective and lifts the veil of confusion.
Tell us about a project you're proud of that you made during Wyncode.