If your friend were complaining how sick he was of using computers and announced he had decided to leave grad school because of it, what would you tell him to do? In Will Jacobson’s case, his friend’s surprising advice was to try computer programming—and it ended up changing Will’s life.
Coding as a Creative Act
Let’s rewind for a second back to the days of Will’s academic burnout. In his life before programming, Will was a doctoral student studying Earth Science at Columbia. He began to realize that he wasn’t feeling excited about his work anymore, and he knew this was the kiss of death for his studies. Taking a complete break from school and starting to bartend offered Will a much-needed change, but he knew he wanted to make a real difference in the world—to create something meaningful that he could see having a real impact on people.
After prepping extensively with Coderbyte, Will applied for admissions to Fullstack and was accepted.
Adjusting to Life at Bootcamp
Will had some exposure to coding from his background as a geochemist, but he was in no way a strong programmer when he entered bootcamp. To him, the initial phase of coding bootcamp felt like “drinking from a firehose”—basically, you can expect to take in a ton of info and do your best to retain as much of it as possible and put to use in your projects.
Our condensed, 17-week program means that you’re spending a single morning covering a topic, as opposed to the weeks you might have spent on the same topic in a typical university environment. This is always an intense adjustment, but as you’ll see shortly, it set Will and his peers up for future success.
The Fullstack Brand Carries Weight
At Fullstack’s Hiring Day, where students present their capstone projects to an audience of prospective employers, Will crossed paths with his own future employer, Prescriptive Data. He reached out to start a conversation afterward, and that ultimately led to his joining their team. At least half of the folks in his cohort also landed jobs through Fullstack’s connections, and he knows the weight of our reputation definitely worked in his favor.
His initial role at Prescriptive Data was as a Fullstack Developer; he was eventually promoted to Team Lead for the Data Acquisition Team and went on to hire two other Fullstack alums.
Using His Fullstack Foundation to Find Success at Work
Two and a half years after graduating, Will is now deep in his work as a Team Lead and knows that his progress is thanks in large part to the foundation he received at Fullstack. When he started working at Prescriptive Data, he was able to jump right in and contribute from day one. Going through our coding bootcamp set him up to learn things quickly, absorb new concepts and put them to use, and separate his ego from his work—all key elements in his continued success.
If you’re interested in coding bootcamp, Will’s advice is to talk to people who have gone through it themselves. This will help you get clear on what you need to be successful both before the program and during. And if you’re scared you’re not the “right” kind of smart for coding bootcamp, Will and many other grads had that fear too—and look where they are now.
Ready to take Will’s advice? Learn about our programs from people who have gone through them firsthand, and attend one of our Q&A Alum Panels.