After 10 weeks of intensive learning our full stack web development students are ready to graduate and start their careers with their new MEAN stack skills! We caught up with 11 of the 14 students in this cohort to ask them about their experience. At CodeCraft School we are privileged and excited to be part of helping our students, with such diverse backgrounds, create a better future by giving them the skills they need to build, develop, and enrich their own careers, and, consequently, their lives!


Patrick Ghidossi

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Where are you from?

I grew up in Fort Collins, went to college in Boulder, and now live in Denver.

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

Before attending CodeCraft I was working in accounting for Vail Resorts. I’m an avid snowboarder and I love everything about the Rocky Mountains so Vail was a great fit. I’m also a credentialed sports writer and photographer for BuffStampede.com covering University of Colorado athletics and over the past two years I’ve contributed to CU’s SB Nation site, The Ralphie Report, as well.

What lead you to pursue web development?

I became interested in programming and web development back in college when working for the CU Independent, CU’s student news site, but never acted on the impulse beyond tooling around in WordPress. After realizing that accounting wasn’t doing it for me, and with opportunities in journalism few and far between, CodeCraft presented the perfect avenue to leap onto in order to pursue a more rewarding career. Web design allows for limitless possibilities and enables me to utilize my creativity in meaningful and empowering ways.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

It’s hard to sum up everything I’ve learned at CodeCraft in just a few words. Realizing all of the capability that’s at our fingerprints with today’s tools has really been mind-altering. We’ve immersed ourselves in JavaScript and every aspect of the MEAN stack, going so far as to take a deep dive into Angular 2 RC5 within just a couple days of its release.

What are your post-graduation goals?

After graduating from CodeCraft my primary goal is to work in front-end design and find a cause and a company that match my personal values. I also plan to continue to develop my passion projects and expand my skill set along the way.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

Far and away the best parts of the CodeCraft experience are the instructors and your fellow students. I was continually impressed by Erty and Sarah’s nimbleness and the wealth of knowledge they possess on each and every subject. Most importantly, when the going gets frustrating Erty keeps things light and engaging. CodeCraft creates a true sense of camaraderie and you’re encouraged at every opportunity to work with your peers to solve problems together.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

The aspect I enjoy most about programming is the culture of unending learning that exists. Amidst the countless opportunities there’s always something new and really cool to be discovered. There’s also nothing quite like the sense of accomplishment that comes when something you spent a lot of time writing works exactly the way you wanted it to.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I was born during a Broncos-Raiders Monday Night Football game. The rest is history.

Jacob Muhle

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Where are you from?

Solon, IA

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

Before CodeCraft I was a professional musician and working in a music store in St Paul, MN.

What lead you to pursue web development?

I wanted a new career path and I have friends and family connected to web development and software engineering.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

At CodeCraft we learned the MEAN stack for web development. We also learned a lot about the job market and career paths within coding.

What are your post-graduation goals?

I would like to work for a company that can build on my current skills. In the future I’d like to get to the point where I can work remotely.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

Everything about computer coding is new to me. I thought it was fantastic learning something completely new and it gave me confidence for what is possible in the future.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

The possibilities are near endless.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I have had one haircut in the last 10 years.

Robert M. Hernandez

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Where are you from?

I was born in Indiana but the majority of my life I lived north of San Diego.

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

Approximately 3 years before starting the cohort with CodeCraft, I launched a small business incubator in NE Park Hill, Denver called the Innovation Lab, that I later transformed into a full-fledged economic development center. The center was strategically located in a community largely devoid of resources for aspiring entrepreneurs to launch their own business. I secured 3 years of funding from two large foundations and resultantly was able to focus on building a strong foundation for the new center. I expanded the center to include various programs in career coaching, technology training, and financial coaching. I hired a small staff and recruited contractors to help me execute the center’s programming. In our first year we served over 1,000 clients and continued to grow year after year.

What lead you to pursue web development?

There were many factors that lead me to pursue this field. I definitely enjoy the design element of web development, not to mention the problem-solving aspects–it’s really mind-boggling how a few lines of codes can be so powerful! I am also drawn to web development because I am fascinated how experienced coders have taken their web development skills and built applications that solve real-world problems. I, too, want to use web development as a tool for positive change. Dave Gray, one of the incredible instructors here, planted a seed in my head that web development doesn’t just have to end at designing websites–there is much more to learn, such as neural networks, for example, that has considerable application in the world, but web development is a good start to a real solid career.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

I have learned a lot about myself in this accelerated learning environment. Not everyone entered my cohort at the same level and early on I found myself comparing my skills to those of others, but I realized very fast that it was something I would need to unlearn quickly so that I could get back to the business of learning at my pace. Coding is certainly one of the hardest things I have embarked upon, but I have learned to appreciate that there have been many coders before me in my very shoes (some with more experience, some with less) that have experienced the exact same thing. I am not unique in that regard. Erty, our indispensable instructor, has taught us that a month or year from now our coding ability will be far beyond where it is now, and he’s proven that very concept to be true after seeing where I was at the beginning of the cohort and now, our 8th week of bootcamp. I know it in my heart that if I continue to put in the time, hard work, focus, dedication, and stick to my vision of where I want to go with web development, that this is going to be an exciting ride.

What are your post-graduation goals?

My most immediate post-grad goal is to continue coding and pushing my own limits as a coder! The next goal is to find employment as either a front-end developer or Product Manager (I have a strong project management background that I would like to parlay into the the product manager role). I am particularly interested in working for a start-up, mainly because my skill sets and professional background lend themselves towards thriving in these environments.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

My favorite part was the hackathon. It was great to be a part of a team, create something out of nothing, and compete with other teams. Watching the other teams and their style of working collaboratively was also an interesting exercise. Don’t get me wrong: the hackathon was arduous and while our team didn’t always see eye-to-eye, whether it was regarding ‘next steps’, how to approach problems, or even how to best leverage each team member’s unique talents, this experience taught me a lot about what coding will be like while working on a team in real life.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

I am blown away by the power that coding has with regards to solving problems. I get excited about the things that I don’t know about yet, but will learn down the road. Coding has opened up a door of innumerable possibilities in terms of how I may be able to solve real-world problems and challenges. This is a career path where the idiom, ‘sky’s the limit’, actually has meaning.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

My family stems from Colombia, South America, and as a first-generation, bilingual American, I have learned to adopt and appreciate both cultures and mix them together. Both of the latter have changed my view of the world, how I cook, my tastes, hobbies, friendships, etc. It truly is cool to be bi-cultural in such an incredible multi-cultural society.

Stephen Dickens

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Where are you from?

Originally from Orland Park, Il (south suburb of Chicago). Currently live in Arvada with my wife Marsha, my son Indigo and my dog, Future.

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

I have been a Clinical Art Therapist for 10+ years. In recent years have focused on childhood trauma. Also, a practicing fine art painter/mixed media artist.

What lead you to pursue web development?

As an artist, I am interested in the creative possibilities of web development as a way to make art or as an extension of my art, but I am also interested in creating applications that would provide additional tools to therapists/school counselors or to children/adolescents who don’t have access to, for example a art therapist or to supplement therapy.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

My experience as a student at CodeCraft has been rather humbling, as I’ve learned so much in a relatively short amount of time. There were a lot of long days and nights to keep up with the pace of the 10 week program, but thats what to expect from a bootcamp. The instructors were great to offer one-to-one time as much as possible to help each of us who were at different stages of learning the MEAN stack.

What are your post-graduation goals?

My goal is to continue learning as much as possible of both frontend and backend programming languages and to begin searching for junior developer employment opportunities. It would be great to find a creative company that offered mentorship and recognized my valuable professional experience as art therapist and an artist.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

One of my favorite experiences was the first day of class and making the first big step into a new career for myself. I felt CodeCraft was a great shared experience. There was learning from the daily instruction and hands-on assignments, learning from my fellow classmates, learning from my many mistakes. It was awesome to witness everyone’s growth (including my own) throughout the cohort. I certainly learned a lot and have a ton more to still learn.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

There’s definitely some similarities to the process of coding and the process of art making that i am familiar with and attracted to. Both start with a blank screen or blank canvas staring back at you, which can be intimidating. However, you learn rather quickly how important it is to spend time sketching out your ideas over and over again before starting.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I am a big vinyl record nerd, ahem, collector!

Joshua Forman

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Where are you from?

California originally. Been in Colorado for 20 years now.

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

Running customer success and professional services teams for technology start-ups.

What lead you to pursue web development?

I was a coder straight out of college, and circa 2003 I started managing engineers and took my hands off the keyboard. I want to get back to building things directly, and that will also make me a better leader.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

I’ve learned modern programming languages and frameworks. They’ve also done a really good job teaching how to learn more on your own.

What are your post-graduation goals?

My ideal situation is to get 20 hours a week of contract work and pursue my own projects the rest of the time.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

Learning.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

Creating and the joy of discovery.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

There are many ways I can stand on my head! (I’ve been practicing yoga over 20 years).

Francesca Davis

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Where are you from?

Mostly California.

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

Raising my two daughters (now in high school), getting a MCDB/Psychology degree and substitute teaching. Also have a background in installation and performance art.

What lead you to pursue web development?

I like building things, especially interactive things.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

HTML/CSS, MEAN stack.

What are your post-graduation goals?

I’m most interested in UX.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

The Hackathon.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

The logic. Designing a program and making it work.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I once drove a diesel train engine.

Brian Walter

CodeCraft Headshots Aug 2016-1060664

Where are you from?

I’m originally from a small farming community in Illinois. I started my career as a test engineer for Caterpillar and ended up in the GPS & controls industry.

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

I worked in the GPS industry as an Engineer and Project Manager. Most recently I doing consulting in the Precision Agriculture industry for multiple companies, including one recently purchased by Google.

What lead you to pursue web development?

A couple of friends inspired me to learn web development. My friend needs a map based website for his Precision Irrigation business and another friend is a Senior Web Developer at a banking services company. After talking with my developer friend about the app my other friend needs, I was inspired to try and build his map based app for creating irrigation and fertilizer prescriptions. My irrigation friend has shown his algorithms can produce the same yielding crop but use 50% less water and 50% less fertilizer, so this app is a “green” technology app.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

A lot of things, but most importantly how to use the MEAN Stack web development tools. The class was a lot of fun but tough and I learned a lot!

What are your post-graduation goals?

Find a position to utilize my engineering background and Code Craft, MEAN Stack knowledge to find a position either developing or testing web based apps. I have an extensive testing background.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

The class was a lot of fun as the instructor is extremely passionate and knowledge on the subject matter. The one thing about this class compared to others is the instructor isn’t afraid to “go somewhere he’s never been” which is a great learning experience. We were able to see how a senior developer finds solutions and solves problems, which I found extremely beneficial.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

The solving of problems and seeing something I built actually work. I was born and raised on a farm and there is nothing more rewarding than looking back after finishing building something or finishing working a field. Programming and getting the program to do what I want it to, gives me this same feeling of accomplishment.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I was born and raised in a town of ~700 people where I lived until I moved to the Bay Area to work for a small GPS startup as a test and development engineer. I was 1 of 11 engineers, 9 of who had PhDs from Stanford, an engineer from Israel and myself.

Kelly Kapp

CodeCraft Headshots Aug 2016-1060556

Where are you from?

Westminster, CO

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

Marketing and sales support.

What lead you to pursue web development?

I signed up for a Girl Develop It class to learn HTML and CSS because I wanted more control over the company website that I was managing as a part of my marketing role. I had so much fun learning HTML and CSS that I later signed up for the intermediate level class as well as the JavaScript class. I realized that I enjoyed coding so much that I wanted to make a change and move out of my marketing role to learn to be a full time developer. After a lot of research into all of the schools and Bootcamps in the Denver/Boulder area, I chose CodeCraft to help me make my career change.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

I’ve learned HTML, CSS and JavaScript, of course. But I’ve also learned to think more abstractly and algorithmically, how to research and learn new skills independently, and to approach problem solving in a different way. Programming can feel overwhelming, but if you can break it down into smaller pieces and if you use the right resources, you can find a way to accomplish whatever you are trying to do.

What are your post-graduation goals?

What are your post graduation career goals?: I’d like to find a role as a full time Junior Developer with a company that has a culture of mentorship and growth within their development team.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

Working on final projects has been the most rewarding experience so far because you are really forced to learn and push through your limitations. It is also a lot of fun to see what everyone else is creating. I already have ideas for two more projects I want to start building soon.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

There is an immediate sense of accomplishment when you solve problems. You know when you are doing things wrong because your code doesn’t work, which turns out to be a great blessing in disguise because that immediate feedback helps you to course-correct before you go further down the wrong path and it helps you learn through the process of figuring out what went wrong and fixing it.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I briefly took classes in Voice Over Acting. I haven’t pursued any professional Voiceover work so far, but I volunteer as a voiceover reader for an organization that produces recorded versions of school text books for students with dyslexia and other barriers to reading.

Edward Vetter-Drake

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Where are you from?

Originally From Mandeville, Louisiana. Recently moved to Boulder, Colorado.

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

Before CodeCraft, I was working at an Arbory business, and going to college part-time.

What lead you to pursue web development?

I’ve always enjoyed programming and computers, and wanted to find a way to learn it on a professional level.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

Here at CodeCraft, I’ve learned more about code than ever before on my own, but I’ve learned more than just web development. Things like working on a development team and how to solve everyday problems with programming have stood out for me.

What are your post-graduation goals?

After I graduate I plan to get a job as a web developer, hopefully at a medium sized business, where I can develop my skills and become a better programmer.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

It’s been a fast moving 10 weeks, much of it has been spent working on projects, which I’ve enjoyed thoroughly. My favorite part of the whole time was the school hackathon. From coming up with the idea, to planning it out, to creating the product, the whole thing was a lot of fun. The best part was when we finished everything, and our to-do list was full of ‘Done’ marks.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

I like to figure things out and put puzzles together. Not too long ago I had the chance to mess with an old clock. At first I was just admiring the craftsmanship, but once I figured out how to open it up, I ended up spending a day getting it to work and learning how everything worked together. Programming is the same way, figuring out how all the pieces work together and how to get them to do what I want. While puzzles become trivial after a time, programming has the benefit of practical application. So being able to work out the code fits together and solve real problems at the same time is why I love to code.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

In my free time, I’m usually messing around with Linux systems or other small projects. Aside from that, I consider myself to be a bit of a movie buff, I like to find and watch and learn about any and all types of movies. If I’m asked about a movie that I’ve seen recently, I’ll probably give a full review of the movie.

Dave Scott

davescott

Where are you from?

I have been living in Boulder for 10 years after growing up in Michigan.

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

I have a background working as an actuary and in other analytical roles. The projects that I got to work on often involved manipulating large amounts of data in complex models.

What lead you to pursue web development?

I was drawn to the technical aspects of the work that I was doing but I realized that I also wanted to be part of creating new things. Learning more about web development seemed like a natural progression of my interests and strengths.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

I am particularly glad that I learned JavaScript and TypeScript. Having the ability to instruct a computer to carry out functions and algorithms that would be impossible otherwise is really cool. Being able to deploy all sorts of projects to the web using the MEAN stack just makes it that much better.

What are your post-graduation goals?

I am excited about the diverse career paths that CodeCraft prepares us for and am looking for a role where my passion for coding and desire for continued growth will be appreciated. I would love to find a position in the Boulder area where my colleagues enjoy their work as much as I do.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

I appreciated getting to see how our instructors and fellow classmates approached different programming projects and the techniques they used to solve problems. I also valued learning about different coding careers and the techniques that are most relevant for the workplace from people that have worked in the field.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

The feeling of satisfaction that comes with creating a clever solution to a problem or fixing a bug that finally gets your code working.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I enjoy backpacking in the mountains and canyons of Colorado and Utah.

Henry Brigham

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Where are you from?

Austin, TX.

What was your life like before CodeCraft?

Before attending CodeCraft I worked for a year out of the University of Texas as a field engineer, specifically for a company that was contracted to conduct site surveys for Time Warner Cable. I was also running my own event production company called Activate Entertainment, in which I handled all of the artist and venue relations, booking, and marketing for the company.

What lead you to pursue web development?

I chose to pursue web development because I’ve always had a knack for computers, engineering, and design, and my discovery of coding bootcamps has allowed me to turn my interests into a career.

What have you learned at CodeCraft?

Aside from coding, CodeCraft has helped me hone my problem-solving, team-work, and UI/UX skills. Learning how to make powerful, yet eye-pleasing apps with a team of diversely skilled programmers is extremely important, and I’m ready to showcase my new skills in the job market.

What are your post-graduation goals?

Following CodeCraft, I’m aiming to earn a front-end development position with a company that will allow me to grow and develop my skills as a developer and overall technologist. I also hope to either be managing a team of programmers or have my own business making cutting edge apps within the next five years.

What was your favorite part of your experience at CodeCraft?

My favorite part of my CodeCraft experience was learning and working with a very demographically and socially diverse group of people. This was a nice changeup from my experience at UT, and the fact that people of many ages, backgrounds, and demographics could come together and create such an influential learning environment was very humbling.

What do you love most about programming/coding?

What I love most about programming is the potential it presents to benefit so many people in so many different ways, and the fact that it is an extremely fun/exhilarating experience. As an artist, I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from seeing my creations utilized and enjoyed by people, and learning how to code has definitely increased my overall happiness levels since I dove into the coding realm.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I play tenor saxophone, bass guitar, synth/keys, compose music using Ableton Live, and am an audio engineer.