When a company says it’s looking for “self-starters” in a job description, it can be hard to know precisely what they mean. Then you meet Zachary “Rex” Rodriguez, and the term immediately crystalizes. He taught himself everything he needed to know to start a decent career.
But that drive soon brought him to a professional ceiling. He wanted to keep growing, but teaching himself wasn’t going to get him there.
Here’s how he broke through that ceiling and advanced his career with TripleTen.
The limits of an autodidact
I had always been self-taught, until I finally reached the limit of how much I could teach myself.
So he started looking at his options. Specifically, he wanted mentorship and career support, and a bootcamp seemed like the way to go. He got curious about TripleTen, so he decided to check it out. “I did the first lesson for free, and I really liked it, so I decided to keep going.”
He could tell the bootcamp was what he had been looking for. “TripleTen has professional software engineers doing code review and teaching professional-level coding.”
But for Rex, it never got stale.
Overall, there’s not really a typical day of bootcamp. Some weeks were full of coursework, completing online lessons, while other weeks were full of projects. TripleTen structures project work in two-week sprints, which prepares you for Agile development in the real world.
It wasn’t all work, though. There was also a sense of community during the bootcamp, something that many students appreciated during the pandemic. Specifically, they would collaborate in code jams. “They had us break off into teams of four people. You all have twenty-four hours to create a website. At the end, you all show what you made, and judges vote on who had the best project.”
This practical experience went further, too. In fact, Rex had the chance to work on a real-world project. “They had us do an externship for a company called Iterative AI. We made a landing page for them. That was really good for my portfolio.”
Reaching new heights
That new, robust portfolio was key in helping Rex get the more challenging career he was looking for once he graduated. Thanks to his time at TripleTen, he landed his first job with Curious Media. “For a small company, they worked with big clients. I worked on projects for PBS, the Pokémon company, Time, and Time For Kids. Basically, they would give me a design in Sketch or Photoshop and I would turn it into a web front end.”
But he was still hungry for more. After deciding he wanted a position with additional responsibility, he only had to search for a week and a half to get a new tech role. Now, he’s at System Tech, where he’s writing code for a ticketing platform and for a project that is described as “GoFundMe, but for charities.”
Best of all, growth is now baked into his career. “That’s being a developer — you’re always learning.”
Our pitch to you
If you, too, are looking for a part-time bootcamp that will help you break through professional limitations, then TripleTen can help. Check out the programs we offer, and if you’re not sure which tech specialty to pursue, try our career quiz.