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Why join a bootcamp with a background in programming?


I expected to learn a lot, but I got more than that - says programmer Jesse Smith who arrived from Silicon Valley to Green Fox’s embedded systems course.

Jesse Smith comes from the United States and has been living in Budapest, Hungary for the past couple of years. During this time, he started to develop his own IoT (Internet of Things) product designed for the European market. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) where he also completed a Master's course in Economics. Then he gained one of his most exciting work experiences in his home town, San Francisco working as an engineering manager at Twitter for 3 years. He was managing a team of 5 software engineers and his biggest challenges were hiring new engineers and building for the future while managing legacy code (editor’s note: a code type that is no longer supported, but needs to be carried into new environment to retain familiar user functionality). So why did he decide to get further education at a Hungarian bootcamp after working at one of the most notable tech companies in Silicon Valley?

Attracted to IoT

In the past few years, Jesse became an active member of the tech and startup community in Budapest. He visited several events where the name of Green Fox Academy kept coming up. He met former students, and once he even met one of the founders who gave a tech talk at a meetup. Jesse realised that this Hungarian bootcamp has a good reputation in the tech scene, but he only became truly interested after learning that they offer courses on embedded systems. "This area hardly ever gets the focus at bootcamps and not just in Hungary. I applied, because that is what I really wanted to learn" - says Jesse about making his decision. Embedded programming is also called hardware programming. It is a type of programming that usually supports the creation of digital appliances, so it is a part of what drives the IoT revolution.

4 months of hard work and fun

Even with a reasonable background in programming, Jesse was sure that the training would help him gain new knowledge to improve his IoT product. He just finished the course a few weeks ago and now feels that he got a lot more than expected. He liked the whole structure of the training and has learnt a lot. His educational background allowed him to skip the Foundation module and complete the Fast Track Course, but the 4 months period was still full of learning and practicing. However, it provided a lot of fun as well. "The community was also great. Half of the fun and also half of the value of going to this course was the people I met" - he added.

What excited him the most, was how hands-on the project phase really was, and how much the final exam at Green Fox resembled a real-world interview. "I honestly think that if you pass this exam, you can pass a real software developer job interview. Although, people should not expect that they will be definitely ready for a programming job right after completing the 4 months long course. It might take longer and they need to find additional ways to develop their programming skills" - as Jesse suggests.

Improving one’s skills is essential 

In his opinion, improving one's skills is essential in today’s modern economy. Jesse's motto is that gaining new knowledge is always useful, and you never know when a skill will come in handy. He does not think that nowadays university is the only way to do that, as almost anything can be learnt on one's own or by other means. A coding bootcamp like Green Fox is special because people with different set of skills and experiences enroll the courses. Some of them already have some experience in programming or engineering, while others come with different backgrounds like communications or arts and with no coding experience at all. 

"Thankfully, Green Fox sets the fundamentals very well so we can continue to learn and develop on our own after the course. That is exactly what I plan in the future. I would like to continue to work on my product, but it is also possible that one day I will pursue a career as a full-time embedded software developer. This is a very interesting field with a lot of changes going on, so I think it is a great area of growth" - says Jesse about his plans for the future.

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