Student Spotlight: From Teacher to Student to Full Stack Web Developer

From Teacher to Student to Full Stack Web Developer, Benjamin Griffith is a man of many talents. Griffith is a graduate of UCF Coding Boot Camp and he is now working as a solutions developer at Deloitte. Check out his story below.

What were you doing before you signed up for UCF Coding Boot Camp?

I was a teacher for about a decade. I taught social studies and language arts. I got into tech and I wanted to move closer to downtown Orlando. I couldn’t find an ideal teaching position so I thought I would start doing something more creatively challenging and lucrative. In the beginning, I just started with tutorials and online practice, but after a while, I wanted to get into boot camps to gain more skills. After attending my first boot camp, which was focused on the front-end, I decided to apply for the program at UCF to get the full stack.

What sparked your interest in coding?

I’ve always been creative and liked creating things. I have a lot of friends who work in tech and they seem to be successful and happy, so I thought I would be happier doing this too.

How did you find out about the UCF program?

After my first boot camp, I was doing some contract work but was having a hard time finding something full-time. I didn’t feel ready to enter the workforce after the first program, so I was looking for another boot camp. I found the UCF program and thought it would be a good way to augment my front-end skills but also add new ones.

Post class, you got a job with Deloitte. Tell me about it.

I’m a Solutions Developer and I work with federal systems integrations. I mostly work with .Net which is actually new for me, but from the skills I learned in the boot camp I was able to teach myself how to use it. I think once you’ve learned one object-oriented language, you can teach yourself different skills as well. The boot camp did a great job teaching me those skills. These skills can take you the next level.

Tell me about your job interview process.

I think the career support from UCF Coding Boot Camp was great. I think it had a lot of cachet with the UCF brand, as it’s very well-known and respected. My Career Director did a great job and gave us a lot of networking opportunities. I had a few interviews, but I decided to join Deloitte. It’s a great firm that makes a lot of custom software.

What was the best part of being in the boot camp?

For me, I loved the way the instructors taught by taking you through topics with lots of examples. I think that is very organized and step-by-step. I thought it was really effective to learning the concepts. It was a very hands-on program which I like.

If you had to give a piece of advice to a student thinking about enrolling in the UCF Coding Boot Camp, what would it be?

Do as many as tutorials as you can in Javascript and JQuery. It’s very helpful to know the functional side of stuff going into the program. I think a lot of people spend too much time learning HTML & CSS but wrapping your head around the functional side will be a very good help. The more you practice beforehand, the better off you will be.

Tell me about your overall experience in the program.

You get out of it what you put into it. Leverage the instructors and TAs because they are such a great support network. They are really plugged into the local tech community.

I also think it’s important to make the most out of the networking and group projects. In the real world, you have to know how to collaborate with others and it’s a skill that every employer is looking for.

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