Ted started exploring the world of web development during his free time while working as a Personal Trainer. Bit by the programming bug, he  decided to work towards changing his career with our Software Engineering course.

Ted is now working in Ohio as a Web Developer after finishing the  program. Here's more about Ted and his experience breaking into the world of web development.

What was your favorite part of the curriculum?

My  favorite part of the curriculum were the mentors. Having them  really changed learning for me. I never had any prior experience with a  mentor who knew how to code. So having someone who not only had  experience but was extremely proficient at coding helped me with my  confidence tremendously.

What’s the most challenging part of the curriculum?

The  most challenging part of the curriculum were the projects. But at the  same time, that is where I learned the most. Building things is where you get to finally test out what you think you know. Having to workout a build process and then implementing it really tests your knowledge. Then  you have to fix all your bugs and make sure that you are completely happy with the product you are putting out. It was by far the most  challenging but rewarding part.

Walk me through your favorite project. What was it and what was your process?

My  favorite project was the Jams project. I have used Spotify quite a  bit, so seeing how it gets put together and then being able to take it  from vanilla JS to jQuery to finally AngularJS was an amazing  experience.

My process was to take the outline that was put into place  and break each task down to as small a task as possible. Breaking down large tasks really makes it easier to see the big picture but at the same  time not overthink what you have to do. Just thinking I have to build a Spotify clone can be intimidating, but just thinking “ok, time to build a  navigation bar” isn’t as overwhelming.

What are you most excited about in your new role?

The  thing that I am most excited about in my new role is that I finally get  to use the skills that I have been working on so hard. I have put in so  many hours into learning how to code and building projects that being  able to work for a company that wants to use my skills is very  rewarding. I get to do the thing I love as a job. Not many things are  better than that.

Did you find that Thinkful offered a good amount of support throughout your program?

Thinkful's  support throughout the program was amazing. Whether it was the mentors answering emails or having a billing question, Thinkful always responded in a quick and timely manner. I had numerous times where I would have to freeze my program for various reasons and it was never an issue. The  mentors would make sure I had things to do in the off week and Thinkful was  always very supportive and understanding when I had to freeze.

How was your experience with Career Services?

Thinkful's  career services was spectacular. They checked on how I was doing after  the program quite frequently. They looked at my resume, portfolio, and  LinkedIn to make sure I had everything as optimized as possible. They  gave me tips I never would have thought about for my LinkedIn and resume  that definitely made it look more professional. Career services was  amazing.

Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently during your time at Thinkful?

Looking  back, there were times that I got frustrated and would think that I  wasn’t talented enough or that I would never understand these concepts. So the only thing I think I would do differently is just remain more confident. The mentors that I had did a great job or working with me to  keep my confidence high and taking me through things that I struggled  with slowly.

What were your mentor sessions like?

Mentor  sessions were great. I had two different mentors and they each had  their own unique style of teaching, but I think that was more beneficial  to see how multiple people approached coding to help give me my own  style. We would first do some basic small talk about life and how things  were going. Then we would dive into that weeks work and see how I had  been progressing and where I was struggling.

If I ever had questions, they did a great job of helping me wrap my head around complex ideas. They never made me feel like I couldn’t do it. They would also give me  other resources to check out to help accelerate my learning.

I was a big  fan of not only doing the Thinkful curriculum, but reading books on the topics I was covering to help supplement my process. My mentors always  had great recommendations and motivational tools to help me through.

When did you know you wanted to learn how to code?

I  knew I wanted to code when I started doing some self teaching. I had  looked into basic web site building when I was younger and enjoyed it  but it ended up taking a back seat to other things in my life. A couple  of years ago I had more free time than usual so I started looking back  into coding. My free time would fly by because I would be so engrossed  with my learning. That’s pretty much when I knew.

It wasn’t something I  had to do but something I wanted to do.

What attracted you to code?

What  attracted me to coding was that you get to solve a puzzle every time. I  am big on puzzles and challenges and every time you build something you  get to challenge yourself. You are always having to learn and keep up  to date on your knowledge so you can conquer the challenges. Just  because you are creating an application or a web site that you have done something similar before doesn’t mean you can do the exact same thing.  

There are so many small details about coding that you always get to  learn something new and constantly grow.

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