David Taccetta dove into several life changes at once: getting married, quitting his job, and enrolling in a full-time coding bootcamp at TrueCoders to make a career change! At TrueCoders, he was impressed with the beginner-friendly curriculum, dedicated career services, and reasonable repayment plans for tuition. Equipped with the practically applied information he learned at TrueCoders, David was ready for technical interviews. Find out what it was like as a bootcamper and what he’s working on now as a Junior Developer for Heritage Insurance!
What inspired you to pivot from working as a Research Analyst to Software Developer?
I made several major life changes in the same month: I got married, put in my two weeks at the company I worked at, and I enrolled at TrueCoders full-time! I wasn’t feeling fulfilled at work and I’ve always been impressed by the computer programmers I knew in my life that were able to accomplish so many cool things through coding. I took the step to learn so I could lead a more fulfilling life with great pay and realistic career advancement.
There are so many online coding bootcamps now — Why did you choose TrueCoders?
One of the things that appealed to me when I was looking into TrueCoders was that they have a segment of the curriculum dedicated to career development. It included resume setup for working in a new career field, interview practice, and tips for landing a job in computer programming.
Another reason why I chose TrueCoders was their post-graduation payment plans for tuition. I didn’t have to start paying for bootcamp until I got a job!
What was the bootcamp application process like for you?
After chatting with Michael Doyle, the President of TrueCoders, I decided I was ready and he reserved a spot for me. He sent me some preliminary information to learn introductory concepts to prepare for my first day at bootcamp, which made starting the bootcamp a lot easier.
In your experience, did you feel like you had to know basic coding in order to apply to TrueCoders?
You can definitely come into TrueCoders as a complete beginner. The instructors taught at a pace that was respectful of where students were, plus we had teacher’s assistants that helped us when we were confused.
It’s helpful to have an idea of what you’ll learn in the bootcamp before you start. Having even a bit of insight going in can really help, but it’s not necessary to have any coding experience to succeed at TrueCoders.
What was a typical day like in the full-time bootcamp?
TrueCoders offers their bootcamp in a self-paced option and a full-time synchronous program. For me, having an instructor was really valuable so I chose the full-time bootcamp, which was held Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm EST.
We would go through the lesson material in our remote classroom which usually took between 30 – 90 minutes, and each lesson had an accompanying exercise that took an hour or two to work through. Most of the exercises built on existing code and increased in difficulty. We also got 10-20 minute breaks and an hour for lunch every day, so we didn’t just code for seven hours straight.
What did you actually learn in the bootcamp?
Did you feel connected to your cohort since this is an online bootcamp?
One of the cooler things about TrueCoders was that we had the option to do our final project with a partner. Then at the end we all shared our projects and hung out after graduation to talk about them. We became actual friends in the cohort.
We also connected through a Discord channel where we could call on each other for help. I connected with several people regularly and it was great to network with other coders and collaborate on solving problems.
Were most people in your cohort career-changers coming from non-technical fields?
Yes! The majority of people starting at TrueCoders came from another career. When I was in the bootcamp, only one out of 50 students had previous coding experience.
What did you build for your capstone project?
The capstone was the main big project, which we did completely on our own. For my capstone, I made an application program for a company I used to work for, called Natural Life, that enabled users to communicate updates like pricing and inventory adjustments with the databases of both their warehouse and retail locations. With my project, I took a two-step process and made it one easy step.
How did TrueCoders prepare you for the job hunt?
One of the main things that sold me on TrueCoders was their Career Services, which is in tune with what employers are currently looking for. I got help with my resume, LinkedIn portfolio, and interviewing! If you follow the directions you get from Denise Shines, the Director of Career Services, you will accomplish anything you want.
Which tech roles did you feel qualified to apply for after graduating?
I felt qualified for junior or entry-level roles. The main thing I was looking for were their required languages. I felt confident in every job application I submitted and job listing I saw as long as I knew at least half of the languages, which TrueCoders prepared me with.
Congratulations on your new developer job at Heritage Insurance! How did you get the job?
A staffing agency told me about the opportunity, and set up a technical phone interview which covered basic coding questions. Then we scheduled an in-person interview to see if I'd be a good fit for the position and team. From there, the agency took care of the negotiation and final steps.
Did you feel prepared for the technical interview by TrueCoders?
TrueCoders applies what you learn as it’s taught, so I understood what I learned and felt confident in any questions I might have gotten asked in the technical interview. Plus, the mock interviews we did with TrueCoders included personal and technical questions, so I felt extremely prepared when it came to interviewing for the real thing.
Was Heritage Insurance interested in your bootcamp portfolio or your capstone project?
Yes! Thanks to the practicality of TrueCoders’ curriculum, I knew how to program to make it work for either myself or a company. Heritage was definitely interested in my bootcamp capstone project and how that could apply to my work with them.
What are you working on at Heritage Insurance?
Right now I’m in training, which includes getting familiar with their back end user information -- how our website works and how users on our end will be using it. From there, we’ll go into more technical training. I'll be working on the back end on the claim center-side, so I'll be fixing bugs or creating any new features that agents, claim adjusters, or users at Heritage might need to be able to submit a claim. My boss has been very helpful in supporting me while I learn the systems and how they do things at Heritage.
Are you using what you learned at the bootcamp?
Definitely! TrueCoders taught me problem-solving and how to think outside-the-box. Even if it’s not necessarily writing an application, I’ve gained so many new skills that can be applied to this experience.
At this point in your tech career, was TrueCoders worth it for you?
As stressful as it was getting married, quitting my job, and enrolling in a full-time coding bootcamp while my wife worked as an unpaid intern, when I look back on the experience and where I am now, I wouldn’t change a thing.
For other career changers starting at TrueCoders, what is your advice for making the most out of the bootcamp experience?
Find what you're passionate about. Programming isn't easy — it's not something that can be done without effort. But if you find the aspect of programming you enjoy — whether that’s front end, back end, or both — you can understand it to its deepest level. If you find your niche, it won’t be as hard to push yourself to continue learning.
Find out more and read TrueCoders reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with TrueCoders.
Jess Feldman is the Content Manager at Course Report. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education — She loves learning and sharing insights about tech bootcamps and career changes with the Course Report community. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire and lives in southern Maine.
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