There were few things I’ve been as excited to do as join RefactorU. Most people don’t have many chances to redefine a major part of their lives, and that’s what I was setting out to do. After hours upon hours of research and some leading from a couple friends I had decided I was going to be a coder, and this was the best way to get started.

The course I was taking was a full-time coding bootcamp that teaches full-stack web development. I knew what I was getting into, but I still had no idea how entirely absorbing it would be. I found myself staying long after class was over, coming in on weekends, even missing meals at times. Not because I felt behind or wanted to outdo the other students, but because there were problems to be solved. Hours slid by at unbelievable rates. On days I felt especially tuned in I would be jarred unexpectedly by the arrival of the end of day discussion, which seemed far too early and out of place. I was learning about as fast as I ever had, and completely thrilled by it.

It would be negligent of me not to mention the instructors. The instructors for my course were Raine Lourie and Chris Rolfs, both very knowledgeable, excellent teachers, excellent bug hunters, and incredibly patient. I’m certain I would have learned a lot no matter where I went, but it’s hard to imagine instructors much better than Raine and Chris. The course format, alternating between lecture and large blocks of coding time, seemed well thought-out and very effective, and I know they are very actively working to incorporate feedback from students to keep improving it. Their selection process must be awfully good too because my classmates were great, ranging from high powered business executives to math professors to guys a couple years out of high school and all of them were capable, enjoyable human beings.

By the end of the course I had a good set of both front and back end web development skills, and had branched out on my own to do some basic game development as well. Here are some examples of what I was doing early on, and then for my midterm, and final project.

I suppose I can’t pass final judgement until I find out how well prepared I am to actually land that first job, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time at RefactorU and feel good about what I’ve accomplished. Of course, having found something fun that can lead to a good job certainly helps with the optimism. So wish me luck on that job, and if anyone out there has questions about getting into coding feel free to get in touch, I’d love to help!


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