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Community and Culture

 

I walked in about ten minutes late on Monday of week 4. It was cold, cloudy, and damp outside, one of those days you just want to stay in bed. I had a case of the Mondays. I hoped to sneak in late to class and sit down without making a fuss.

 

Instead, the entire classroom clapped for me when I entered the room—the exact opposite of what I wanted to happen. I swore I would never be late again. I don’t know whose idea it was, but this one gesture, no matter how much I wanted to be ignored that day, turned my morning around. It made me smile and appreciate my cohort even more.

 

Camaraderie describes the dynamic amongst all the students in our class. First, we started as strangers, but now we’re friendly, and maybe even friends. We support each other and help each other out.

 

We’re all motivated. All of these people have come together to learn how to code. Everybody has their different story and the stories are interesting to hear. There’s something to learn from every perspective, especially because everybody is smart. It’s inspiring.

 

Each morning starts with an “Angry Bird question.” We go around the room answering whatever question Chip asks that day. The discussions can become especially animated. Sometimes they’re deep, sometimes they’re polarized and prompt opinionated discussion, and sometimes they’re fun and whimsical. It helps us to know each other but also helps us learn to be around others who might be different or have different points of view. 

 

So how do we learn? We struggle. We need help. We have our teacher, Chip. We have each other. We have Google and StackOverflow. We have memes on our Slack chat group. We have pizza and ping-pong and Halo. Coffee, water, soda, snacks.

 

It’s hard. We’re all out of our comfort zones. Classmates need help and sometimes it’s hard to help because you’re struggling yourself. It challenges you and pushes you to work on your weaknesses. 

 

The imposter syndrome is real. It’s strange labeling your occupation as a software developer on your LinkedIn profile. But that’s what you are.


If you’re reading this, then you’re deciding on whether or not to attend TrueCoders. I was once in the same position as you. You’ve likely considered other boot camp options in the Birmingham area. I did, and I ultimately settled on TrueCoders.

 

I feared changing course and entering a new world -- taking a huge risk by attempting a new career as a software developer. It was a leap. But my experience with TrueCoders made that jump more feasible. 

 

Before I started the class, I told a friend I was attending a class to learn how to code. He kept asking, “So, it’s like a certification?" “No,” I told him. “I’m just trying to learn to code. Bootcamps are common in the software industry. It's technical training to learn software development.”

 

I can’t remember how many positions are open in the area, but there are a ton of software development jobs in a 100-mile radius of Birmingham, just for the C# programming language. However, C# isn’t the only language, and adapting to an ever-changing landscape of programming languages and trends is important for a successful software development career. The teaching and mentorship provided by TrueCoders helps students take advantage of these opportunities in Birmingham. They care about each student and work tirelessly so that everyone succeeds. 

 

And it goes outside the classroom. The community of folks who attended TrueCoders pitch in however they can, helping current students. I had TrueCoders alumni help me do mock interviews and others who answered any questions about their workplace and experience as software developers. 

 

Everybody has different talents to offer, and they all converge to create TrueCoders.