When David Porter was accepted to Code Fellows, the help of a Diversity Scholarship meant he could pursue his dream of becoming an iOS developer. He shares what he’s liked most about the program and his advice for other students who are breaking into the tech industry.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in coding?
I wasn’t able to get a comparable job in my field but I was able to get a job in a similar field when I moved here, but did not see that turning into a long term career. That lead to looking for a career that will challenge me and also be something I am passionate about. I have always been interested in iOS and app development so I decided I wanted to pursue a career in that.
When were you first introduced to coding? Did you try to learn on your own at all first?
I was first introduced to coding about 10 years ago through a friend of mine who was in the industry — then again about 6 months ago when a friend of mine was in town for training. He’s actually an instructor now for a different bootcamp. I wasn’t able to try to learn coding on my own until I was completing the pre-work for Code 201.
What were you doing before this?
I had a successful career in logistics as a Fleet Manager for a large trucking company. I managed 60 trucks and 120 drivers. This was back east and getting into that field here in Seattle was difficult, so I decided to look at becoming a developer.
What drew you to Code Fellows?
I did a lot of research on bootcamps and even went to a few open houses. After my research and once I learned what Code Fellows offered, it was an easy choice for me. The instructors, the facilities, and the structure of the program make this bootcamp worth considering for anyone interested [in software development].
How did receiving a Diversity Scholarship affect you?
Honestly, without the Diversity Scholarship I would not be able to pursue my career as a developer. I jumped for joy when I learned that I was a recipient of the scholarship because at that moment I knew I could focus all of my energy and time on pursuing my dream of becoming a developer.
“[Don’t] be afraid to try something different because of what they think the culture may be like. You might find that you have more in common with different people than you thought.”
What has been the most challenging and most rewarding parts of the process so far?
The most challenging thing for me so far has also the most rewarding. I find that the pace of information almost overwhelming, however, it has made me hunger for more. It has been very rewarding to see my code actually work and be a functioning interactive site.
What have you enjoyed about learning to code in a bootcamp?
I enjoy learning something new every day, and [I enjoy] the support from the instructors on how to implement what they have just taught you. Also being in an environment with other students who are in your same shoes helps tremendously.
What would you like to do after you graduate from Code Fellows?
I would like to join a company as a iOS developer and help them manage their app. Actually, I would also like to get experience as a web developer, too. And I have a few ideas for a couple of apps that I’d like to develop on my own as well.
What are your thoughts on joining an industry that isn’t known for being very diverse?
I feel like I would be in a unique situation there. This would not be the first time that I went into a situation where there was not much diversity. I think that I have a unique experience that would help me thrive in whatever situation I end up in, and I think that my background would bring a different perspective to whatever company I join.
“The instructors, the facilities, and the structure of the program make this bootcamp worth considering for anyone interested [in software development].”
What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting a career in coding, but doesn’t feel like they fit the mold?
I would let them know that the industry is making a strong push to get rid of that mold and move toward a wide range of people of all backgrounds. Also I would let them know not to be afraid to try something different because of what they think the culture may be like. You might find that you have more in common with different people than you thought.
Any advice for incoming students?
You have to make sure you are ready for this challenge. The information will come very fast and you have to limit distractions. Be ready to have fun and learn tons.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Code Fellows and the Diversity Scholarship have given me a chance of a lifetime. I have long wanted to pursue a career in development but was not able to for several reasons. Now I have that chance thanks to the people at Code Fellows. Thank you!
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