The UT Arlington Cloud Engineering Bootcamp powered by Quickstart gives students real-world projects, on-demand mentoring, and portfolio-building opportunities. From strengthening security to understanding servers, Edgar Ayala’s final project – a Virtual Private Cloud – demonstrates everything Edgar learned in the online bootcamp. Now on the job hunt for his first cloud engineering role, Edgar shares his insights into UT Arlington Bootcamps powered by Quickstart, how to make the most of the online bootcamp experience, and the kind of instructional and career support students can expect.
There are so many online bootcamps out there — why did you choose UT Arlington Bootcamps - Powered by Quickstart?
I previously attended UT Arlington, so knowing that UT Arlington partnered with Quickstart on this Cloud Engineering bootcamp meant a lot to me when I was doing my bootcamp research.
What is the difference between software engineering and cloud engineering?
The fundamental difference between software engineering and cloud engineering is that software engineers develop programs while cloud engineers create a space to share information. Cloud engineers do need to know how to code, but not as much as software engineers.
When you were applying for UT Arlington’s Cloud Engineering Bootcamp which is powered By Quickstart, did you have to know how to code?
The bootcamp teaches you to code, so you do not need to know how to code to apply. The admissions process was pretty simple: I reached out to the bootcamp and spoke with an Admissions advisor who helped me get set up for the bootcamp.
Overall, what did you learn in the Cloud Engineering bootcamp curriculum?
The curriculum starts you off with the basics of computer hardware. Midway through the course, you go into operating systems like Windows, Linux, or Mac. Further along, you learn cloud infrastructure and cloud services. The bootcamp includes five projects along with quizzes, labs, and videos.
How did your instructors support you during the bootcamp?
My instructor from this Quickstart bootcamp, Drew Gansmiller, was so helpful. We had two sessions a week, and we usually covered everything in those sections. When I needed help, I would email him, and he would always email me back as fast as he could. He was always there for me whenever I needed it.
Is there anything that you wish you knew before enrolling in the UT Arlington Cloud Engineering Bootcamp powered by Quickstart?
Bootcamps are challenging — you have to put a lot of time into them. I wish that somebody would have told me that. Some days, the labs, videos, and quizzes would take me no time to complete. Other weeks, a lab would take me two to three days to finish. My advice to future bootcampers would be to push through, even when it's hard.
You built a demo VPC for your final project — what problem does this project solve?
VPC stands for Virtual Private Cloud. If a company needs to add a layer of protection to an application while using their server of choice, they will need to create a VPC.
How much time were you given to build your final project?
While students are given 2-3 weeks, it took me less than two weeks to build my VPC.
What are the main features of your VPC?
My VPC allows the company to assign different roles to its employees — someone would maintain the BTC wallet, while another might use the internet on the BTC for a particular application. Within the AWS Management Console, my VPC allows managers to restrict functions for users to maintain privacy.
Did you use everything you learned at the bootcamp to build this project?
The bootcamp set me up to succeed with this final project because every aspect of the curriculum builds upon each other. There are, however, small things that you have to learn along the way.
What was your biggest challenge while building this project?
While it's easy to create a VPC, it's tough to get it connected to the internet because you can have a private and public subnet. That was the biggest challenge.
Did you showcase this project on Demo Day?
I did a virtual demo day with my instructor, Drew.
How has Quickstart prepared you for the job hunt?
I'm navigating a job search at the moment. When you're heading towards the end of the bootcamp, a career services representative from Quickstart helps you with your resume, LinkedIn page, and how to put your projects into GitHub. They also do one-on-one mock interviews.
Will you be using this final project as a talking point in your job interviews?
Absolutely! Being able to showcase my final project shows that I have a very comfortable understanding of the AWS console and the cloud services.
What types of jobs do you feel qualified for since graduating from the bootcamp?
There are many technical roles out there that I feel qualified for. I could work in IT or security. The primary roles that I'm looking for are Cloud Solution Architect and cloud support specialist.
What has been your biggest challenge in your journey of getting into tech?
The biggest challenge was getting used to technology changing. Being comfortable with technology changing and not freaking out was tough to get used to.
Do you have advice for anyone considering making a career change into cloud engineering?
Push forward through the tech environment. Being comfortable with the cloud is very important to companies because most of them are trying to move their services onto the cloud. The cloud is cheaper when it comes to storage; it means that companies don't have to buy new areas for servers or anything like that for applications.
So far, has the UT Arlington Cloud Engineering Bootcamp powered by Quickstart been worth it for you?
Yes! I came out of the bootcamp knowing a lot more than I did at the beginning. Just seeing myself create this project that I wouldn't have been able to do 4-6 months ago is impressive to me. In a small amount of time, I learned so much.
Find out more and read UT Arlington Bootcamps powered by Quickstart reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with UT Arlington Bootcamps powered by Quickstart.
What to expect in General Assembly's reopened in-person campuses
Liam took out an Ascent loan + living stipend for a bootcamp – find out if the loan was worth it!
How Steven Pivoted from Theatrical Electrician to DevOps with Coding Dojo