Why I Decided to Go to a Coding Bootcamp

Posted in Coding Bootcamp


So I decided to take the plunge and join a coding bootcamp. I caught the coding bug a while back, but it was a hobby and a dream. My time was swallowed up by my role as a mom. Not complaining, I cherish every moment that I was able to spend with my kids. Being a mom has made me see myself and the world in such a different perspective. It’s amazing, and I carry with me a wisdom that is hard to describe. It’s like everything I do not only affects my own children, but sends a ripple out into the world and affects everyone.

So, my kids are older, I’m older, and I’ve always wanted to learn to code. I’ve dabbled with html/css for years. I completed a year-long certificate program in graphic and web design. And that’s when the coding bug really bit me. I was introduced to JavaScript, jQuery and PHP through WordPress. I needed to learn more.

And so it began, the quest to learn to code without spending four years at a college somewhere. I already have a Bachelor’s degree. I’m in my forties. I don’t want to spend precious time and money on another degree. I just want to learn to code.

My first step was San Diego Community College Extension. I discovered the Front End Web Developer Certificate through a Meetup that I attended. (P.S. Meetups are great. I landed my first contract as a freelancer through a meetup, and I’ve also met some amazing people).

I spent 18 weeksin FEWD 1 learning the ins and outs of HTML and CSS. We just scratched the surface of JavaScript and jQuery. We also spent a lot of time on User Experience, Information Architecture and Prototyping. It was an extremely valuable experience. I really gained an in-depth knowledge of the basics. I was ready for more.

I discovered Girl Develop It San Diego, and started their Front-End classes. I read this blog post about how to learn JavaScript. I jumped in. I did the Star Wars hour of code, I completed JavaScript for Cats, I started Free Code Camp. All of these were awesome. But I was learning alone. I knew that for me to learn, I needed to be able to collaborate and bounce ideas off of others.

My next step was to apply for a bootcamp. I researched the local bootcamps and decided for my current life situation, LEARN Academy was the best option for me. I started the application and was surprised that I was able to complete the code challenge in a short amount of time. I had my 15 year-old son look over it before submitting (he’s my secret coding tutor). He gave me a small suggestion for a change and I hit send. I was really nervous because I didn’t want to be rejected. I was ready to take the leap and I needed them to recognize me as a good candidate for their next cohort.

So, as you can guess, after the application and interview, I was accepted into the program. I had some last minute juggling to do with my contract work and my kid-taxi responsibilities, but I’m ready to learn. JavaScript, Ruby, SQL – here I come!


  1. Shana
    July 30, 2016

    I was so excited when I came across this post! I can’t wait to hear about your bootcamp experience and am really happy for you! You should also submit your story for our newsletter! Let me know if you’d be interested. I know it’d inspire others too!

    • LeeBee
      July 30, 2016

      Ah thanks! When is the next newsletter? I’d be glad to write about my experience.

  2. Lea Ann Bradford » Week 3 at LEARN Academy
    August 14, 2016

    […] Why I Decided to Go to a Coding Bootcamp […]


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