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Summer of Code - The Inside Scoop

Fullstack Academy Summer of Code

Christian Ayscue:

What is your overall impression of Fullstack? How do you like the curriculum?

My overall impression of Fullstack is that the school is dedicated to -- and incredibly knowledgeable about -- the software development learning process. The students are here to learn, and they go out of their way to learn new technologies and bring them into their projects. Coming into Junior Phase with previous experience in programming, I felt a bit more comfortable than others in my cohort with the material, but Fullstack was still a full-time job. For those without experience, I’m sure it required a lot of work, but that work paid off because the level of programming proficiency in our cohort was astronomical, especially in comparison to what I had accomplished when I was trying to learn to code on my own. Being around other people and doing pair programming expedites the learning process because you will often pick up development tricks from other people you are working with.

So I noticed that you are a "self employed Software developer" on Linkedin. Tell us about that, what projects were you working on before Fullstack? Do you think coming here will help with your future endeavors?

I say I am a self-employed software developer on Linkedin because I spend a lot of my free time out of class teaching myself computer technologies, and working on products of my own. Going into college, I noticed that many of my high school friends (from Phillips Exeter Academy) were choosing to major in Computer Science. I did some research on computer science as a career, and discovered the field’s great opportunity, so I decided to major in Computer Engineering at Santa Clara University. Last Summer and this past school year I taught myself to program for iOS. I made a game called “Orbit - Black Hole Run”, another called “Snip”, and a utility app called “HireMi” which connected people on my college campus who needed a task done with people who wanted to do tasks for cash.

For my college years, I made a goal of learning to develop for every platform: iOS, the web, and Android. When I heard of these “bootcamps”, I knew I needed to do one, and when I got into Fullstack, I was ecstatic. By coming to Fullstack, I have learned as much about programming as I will in multiple years of college. And, I still have three years of college left to put my skills to work.

I developed mostly for iOS in my free time, but I became aware that there were a lot of gaps in my knowledge about device interconnectivity and networking. Fullstack filled those knowledge gaps and indirectly made me a better iOS developer.

What are your hobbies? What would you be doing if you had a normal Summer off?

If I had a normal Summer off, I would probably be trying to learn to code for either Android or the web on my own. The biggest hobby in my life is sports, and I currently play on the my school’s club rugby team (SCUTS). I’ve still had time after Fullstack class this Summer to train. Other than sports, I have made software development my hobby.

Were there any obvious challenges you had to overcome attending Fullstack as a college student?

The most obvious challenge in coming to Fullstack was moving to a new city where I did not have many friends. Also, my parents and I would have liked to spend more time together this Summer, since they live in New Hampshire and I go to school in California. Nonetheless, I was able to experience New York and reconnect with high school friends working here in the city. Fullstack could seem intimidating to some, because it’s designed to take working professionals in a different field and turn them into professional software developers, but I really liked this environment. It was what I wanted for my Summer.

Overall, by attending Fullstack, this Summer has been the most progressive three months of my life.


Anna Goldberg:

What is your major in college? What are your hobbies ( or something that you would have been doing this Summer if you didn't come to Fullstack)?

I’m at Georgetown, majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a concentration in Business, Growth, and Development. Aside from being a mouthful to say and explain, it basically means that I get to mix and match science courses and foreign service courses as I see fit, allowing me to gain an invaluable perspective into technology, security, and business fields. I usually spend my Summers traveling, and I’ve managed to see quite a few places in my lifetime, though I still have many more to hit in South America. I’m hoping to travel to Brazil and practice my Portuguese next.

What was it about the Fullstack program that made you choose coding over a normal Summer break?

I wanted a challenge, but that wasn’t all that drove me towards Fullstack -- I think it is safe to say that I feel challenged in many regards as a college student. I wanted to learn skills that I could implement in the real world to create change. As someone who always walks around with her eyes open, thinking up business ideas and creative ventures, I didn’t have means of implementing my ideas with my former tech background. Having taken some computer science courses at school, I knew that I wanted to take that to the next level.

Before Fullstack I had a lot of passion but it was directed in many different places; this Summer was an opportunity to dive deep into just one of them. My friends ask me how I’m going to manage the four day gap between Fullstack and School starting up in the fall — but in all honesty I would take the experiences from this Summer over a ‘normal’ break any time.

How do you plan to implement your Fullstack education once you have graduated college? Has Fullstack changed your view on what types of jobs you will be looking for?

I’m excited to spend the next year continuing my learning journey. Sometimes it feels like there is never enough time in the day to learn all that I want to learn, but because of that, I know my life will never be boring. Today my team and I started building a project using Electron, and the week before, I created my first chrome extension. I know that my future will present many opportunities to continue amassing technical knowledge, whether it be from the stack of books on my desk or my team members at future jobs. I’m excited to work as a software engineer after I graduate -- hopefully somehow using my foreign service background as well.

What’s your favorite part about the curriculum at Fullstack so far?

Participating in Stackathon (Fullstack Hackathon) was an immensely rewarding experience -- being able to visualize an idea and bring it to fruition is an incredibly powerful feeling. Building a chrome extension that allows users to create easy bibliographies was not only fun, but also selfish of me, as I know it will save me many hours writing papers next year. But that’s the great thing about coding, you can be selfish and still create cool things for everyone in the process.

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