Dallas coding bootcamp jumpstarts careers and the community

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When Longview-native Andrew Plan started his undergraduate career at Stanford University, he intended to be a doctor like his father, graduating with a degree in human biology on the pre-med track.

Immediately upon graduation, Plan pursued a Fulbright fellowship to conduct research on public health with the National Institutes of Health in Manila, Philippines. Spending just under a year here, Plan started to doubt his career goals to be a researcher.

“I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do research or medicine seeing first hand how much time people in the field were doing it,” said Plan. “So I did some soul searching while I was there and came back and realized I wasn’t going to do it.”

Plan then used the next couple of years to assist his father in his clinic and to write music while simultaneously finding the next steps for himself.

During this time, Plan began to think back to his interests in technology.

“I was always a go-to person for tech,” said Plan. “I was always intimidated by people at Stanford who were the best of the best, so I definitely had to overcome that imposter syndrome.”

After hearing about coding bootcamps from a friend, Plan started looking for courses in the Dallas area that could launch him into the technology field. Plan found DevMountain, and a few months after deciding to attend, he enrolled in his first web development immersive course.

“The community there is super gifted and super competitive in a very supportive way,” said Plan. “It brings together so many people from different walks of life.”

Upon completion of his courses, Plan then accepted role as Lead Web Engineer at Dallas-based startup Veryable where he still currently works since the beginning of 2017.

Through the support and resources of bootcamps like DevMountain, professionals, students and those who are ready for a change are able to jumpstart and fine-tune their coding abilities.

“It’s changed the way I think about who I hire,” said Veryable Co-founder and CTO Noah Labhart. “DevMountain has a lot of high caliber people that they are training right now. In my mind in the past, the strong computer science foundation is necessary. Now having 12 years experience in software, I see from my experience with them the type of person and the resolve to be able to solve problems that they have.”

After first bringing Plan onto his team, Labhart was impressed with the impressive skills that he brought to Veryable and then hired another DevMountain alumni, former teacher Brian Hudson.

“I love teaching. I love teaching students, but I found myself getting tired,” said Hudson. “I was just exhausted at the end of the day from talking all day from grading papers all night and ultimately I just felt like something was missing. There was some part of my brain I wasn’t using.”

Like Plan, Hudson had a similar interest in technology, studying a few programming languages while still in school. While he considered other education-related careers, he set his path on coding. He then faced the decision of how to make this career a reality.

Before leaving his last teaching job, Hudson first heard of bootcamps from a friend. Intimidated by the steep price tag, Hudson, however, began to self-teach code.

I didn’t feel like I could enter the industry,” said Hudson. “I just decided it was worth investing the money and the time to be immersed in a program like DevMountain.”

Despite starting this new chapter in his life, Hudson still connected with his teaching roots, serving as a mentor for a year at the Utah DevMountain campus.

“What we’re teaching people is the foundation that allows them to jump in and learn and grow on your team,”  said Hudson. “DevMountain offers drive, curiosity and humility, and the fact that we’re able to pick something up in the a couple of weeks to make full-scale applications indicates that we are learners and we can pick up anything.”

This learning mentality led Hudson from his career in teaching to join the Veryable tam as a web engineer in August of 2017.

About DevMountain

DevMountain is a coding bootcamp that launched in 2013 in Provo, Utah. Since its start, its now expanded to four different campuses, one of which being in the Dallas area.

Each campus offers different courses varying from iOS development, salesforce development, software QA, user experience design and web development.

Courses take three different forms: an immersive course, which is a 13-week full-time program; an after-hours program, which is a 26-week part-time program; and an online program, which is a 26-week program one can do remotely. The course offerings varies per location.

The Dallas campus offers a full-stack web development training, teaching tools like Javascript, ReactJS, NodeJS, SQL and others. There are three rolling cohorts active at any one time, and programs start throughout the year with each being 13-weeks in length.

All bootcamp locations also offer free housing on a first come first serve basis students who need access to accommodations. The Dallas campus houses its students in apartments directly above DevMountain, allowing students to come to and from class without ever leaving the same building.

Where to find it?

DevMountain is located in the heart of downtown Dallas at 500 S Ervay St #101.

Jacquelyn Elias

Editor at Launch DFW | SMU senior studying journalism, creative computing and computer science graduating in May '18 | Twitter: @jacquieeli | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jacquelynrelias