Monday, September 5, 2016

Dear Reader

It has been over 2 years since I graduated from Coding Dojo.

It almost seems surreal that 2 years I made a decision that altered the course of my life for the better.

The landscape of the coding bootcamp world has changed so much that my advice now is really obsolete.

I get questions like "Would you recommend hybrid, online, or onsite? Do you think iOS is better to learn than Python?"

My answer is always, "I don't know." Because frankly, I really don't know.

I didn't have all these options. The structure was much more rigid when I attended the bootcamp.

What I do know is that you will have to continue to learn and keep your skills up to date if you wish to continue being employed.

With new technologies coming out all the time (e.g. React, React Native, Elixir, etc.) there is never a point when you will not have to continue learning.

But isn't that the awesome part of this industry?

Attending a coding bootcamp will get you the skills to land a junior developer job. However the learning will have continue if you wish to become a Senior-level Developer.

Starting this fall, I will be attending graduate school for Computer Science at Seattle University.

Although getting a degree is not required to gain the necessary knowledge (and many have advised against it), I've come to realize that my learning is faster in a structured environment.

As a final note to you, the one that wants to attend a coding bootcamp and become a software developer, my advice is as follows:

1. Get in touch with recent graduates and see what their experience was like at the bootcamp and in the job market.

2. Make sure you really know what you're getting yourself into. I've seen many attend bootcamps only to fail at getting jobs.

3. Give it your all.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wow it's been over a year!

Hello everyone!

I can't believe it's been over a year since I graduated from Coding Dojo.

Upon getting hired at my company, I took a writing hiatus to focus on my new role.
Little did I know that this hiatus was going to last over a year haha.

Here's a little post I wrote if you're curious as to what I've been up to.

Where I Am One Year After Coding Dojo

I plan on writing a new post every week, so if you enjoyed this blog please follow me on Medium!

Thank you to every one who took the time to read through this blog!

I've had so many great emails from many of you and even had some readers recognize me in public (felt like a celebrity haha).

And for those of you who are thinking about going to a coding bootcamp, please understand what you are signing up for. It's a place for highly motivated people to accelerate their growth and enter the lucrative tech industry.

If you've made the decision to do a bootcamp, give it all you got! I'm rooting for you!

Ted Whang
Full-stack Web Developer
Seattle, WA

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Hey everyone thank you all for following my blog.

It's been officially 2 weeks since the end of the bootcamp and I am proud to say that I am employed full-time as a Full Stack Software Engineer.

I have my first official day tomorrow.

I couldn't be happier with the result of Coding Dojo's bootcamp experience.

3 months ago I took a dive into the world of coding without being fully certain as to whether I'll be employable as a developer in a matter of 3 months.

Now I am very proud of myself and many of my classmates who received job offers.

As of now, I believe about half of my classmates have received job offers and the other half are still working on getting their skills up to par. That's really the beauty of coding dojo. If you work a little slower than the pace of the class or if concepts take a little longer, you are more than welcome to stick around and make sure you are ready to enter the workforce.

On the other hand, there were some students that ended up voluntarily dropping out of the program for various reasons. Some thought that the curriculum didn't fit their learning style and some simply could not keep up with the concepts and new information. Coding Dojo definitely works hard at making sure that their curriculum is updated, however there will always be some students that don't do as well in any academic setting.

My best advice for anyone considering Coding Dojo are the following:
1. This bootcamp is not a joke. Expect to dedicate 70 hours a week to coding.
2. Notify your other priorities that you are not as available. Whether its parents, significant other, etc it's important that you set reasonable expectations for them.
3. The people that learn the quickest are the ones that have had the most exposure to coding. Do as much self-study as possible before coming for your first day. You don't have to know a lot, but it's important to be exposed to the topics and concepts.
4. Don't try to learn everything on the first try. Whenever I learned a new topic, I never tried to understand every little aspect of it on the first time around. Coding Dojo's curriculum is made so that you are to learn through repetition. With each iteration, you get better and better.
5. Take care of your body. The bootcamp is a marathon, you gotta stay healthy. Don't go out drinking or put your body in harm's way. Each day that you miss is a huge loss and you gotta dedicate some time over the weekend to catch up.
6. If you're not behind the curriculum, relax as much as you can on the weekends.

I have gotten everything I wished for in this bootcamp.

I have entered an exciting industry, I am getting a much better salary, and I have acquired many skills that are so valuable.

If you guys have any personal questions feel free to email me at

Monday, August 4, 2014

Day 60: Last day (Presentations)

Today I had some more phone interviews all morning in which I did much better than my previous ones.

But other than that I brushed up my application and got it ready for my Demo Day.

Here is a picture of me presenting my fitness application to my class.

Here's a game that one my classmates made. It's a multiplayer game where multiple users can log onto the node server.

It feels surreal that the Dojo is all done. My learning will continue as I stick around for the residency program. I am pretty optimistic about my career. Now my focus is 100% on finding a job!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Day 59: More layouts of TrainerExpress and more contacts from hiring managers

Boy it's hard to get "plugged in" to my project when I'm constantly getting emails and phone calls from recruiters and hiring managers.

Tomorrow I have a phone interview with a fitness app startup in Seattle for a full-stack Rails dev. I hope they don't ask too many theoretical technical questions and instead ask me to do code challenges. I'm not quite up to par with all these different tech vocab words and need to brush up on it well. My first tech interview screen kicked my butt as I didn't know a lot of these terms. This is actually the type of company I do work for so I hope I do well!

Other than that I've been just doing some last steps making sure that my project will be good for Demo Day. Tomorrow is the last day and we're just going to show each other the projects that we've been working on. I'll still be around for the "residency program" where you can stick around the dojo and keep working on your project, assignments or whatever it is you're working on. I think about 4 more students in my cohort are doing the same.

These last 3 months have gone a lot quicker than expected. I've learned so much and am ready to enter the workforce. I just gotta make sure I can convey that to recruiters and hiring managers!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 58: Phone interviews and working more on the UI of TrainerExpress

This morning I had two phone interviews from prospective employers. One was for a front-end developer position at a major fitness company and the second one was from a tech consulting company.

The interviewer for the tech company asked a bunch of technical questions regarding front-end development. Although I know a lot of these things in actually implementation, I had a difficult time answer specific technical vocabulary questions (e.g. What's the difference between progressive enhancement and graceful degradation). The interviewer was nice enough to give me the answer he was looking for so that I can be better prepared for the next one. All in all, I don't expect to be moved forward with the next step of the process. It was a humbling yet great learning experience from my first interview.

The second one was for a tech consulting team that's trying to expand to Seattle. They are quite present around the world but they're looking to fill their tech needs in this new market. The phone interview just composed of simple questions about me and my background. He then sent me an email containing a few algorithm questions. They were so simple that it kind of threw me off guard. I made sure that I submitted the most efficient algorithm to my knowledge. There will be more of these coding challenges in the future which will be much harder I'm sure. I think this first one was to weed out extreme beginners. I expect to get a second coding challenge in the future.

After those two interview in the early afternoon, I was actually pretty exhausted. Being that they were my first phone interviewers with actual hiring managers instead of recruiters, I was very nervous. After taking a long break, I started continuing my project.

Here is a quick snapshot of the finished page of my application.

My brain is definitely fried and feeling the pressure of finding a job. I just need to remind myself that this can become a long process and that I should really take things one day at a time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 57: Designing the User Interface for TrainerExpress

I'm getting another step closer to having my application "launchable".

Today I focused most of my time on the User Interface for my application. It's probably the section that I'm weak at but me being a perfectionist, I still had to make it look pretty good.

Here is me taking a photo and tinting it just a little bit so that my the white font can be visible. I had such difficulty making the white text look good because it would blend it with the sky, making it really difficult to read. However I asked one of my classmates who is a designer and he suggested that I just tint it just by 10 to 20% and it'll make the white text visible while keeping the picture bright.

Simply brilliant. There's a reason why we have designers in this world in addition to developers. I also asked him to take a look at more of my application and help with the UI. I'll be doing most of the coding of it but it'll really help getting a designer's eyes on it.

I'm really excited to get this out there on my portfolio.

I'm still having plenty of recruiters calling me. This project should be good to go in about 2 more days. I give it another day for the UI and another day to get the other stuff done like a solid "ReadMe" file and resume updates.

Although I may sound really ecstatic on this post, in reality today was really difficult because I had such difficulty figuring out what would actually look good. But all in all, some progress is better than no progress and I'm just excited to be one step closer to finishing my project.