At Lighthouse Labs, we see so many fascinating and relatable stories of students that come through our Bootcamp in pursuit of a new career in web development.
Recently, at our Vancouver campus, Daniel Amiri-Fear and Negar Amiri attended the Nov. 26, 2018 Web Development Bootcamp together. Both graduated in early-February 2019 and now work as developers. We had the opportunity to chat with them in April as newly-trained developers in the workforce about their experience in Bootcamp and supporting each other through the ups and downs of our then 10-week program.
Describe the experience of going through Bootcamp together.
Dan and Negar: It was great but also very difficult. We were able to push each other and ask questions when we didn’t understand anything. We also very much understood each other’s exhaustion by the end of the day. However, it was difficult because as both of us were mentally and emotionally exhausted, we weren’t able to provide much of that kind of support to each other.
What have you learned to be the key traits of being a developer?
Negar: As a developer, you need to be open and willing to learn new technologies. It’s insane how quickly things can change - whether it’s a completely new technology, new features, or a new library which will make your life easier. You also very much need to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I don’t think that’s fully possible to nail down with imposter syndrome but you do become better at recognizing it and appreciating the fact that it’s just part of the role.
Learning web development is a whole new way of thinking; you need to allow yourself to explore that and find a way that works for you.
Dan: A willingness to learn is a must. I dragged my heels on that in my first week at Lighthouse Labs and paid for it. Also, willing to give and receive assistance is a massive benefit. Knowing when you’re stuck and asking for help will get you much further than just trying to slog it out on your own. That being said, assist others when they need it, because the next problem you encounter, they might be able to help.
What was your career background prior to attending Lighthouse Labs?
Negar: I worked in marketing for 5.5 years before starting at Lighthouse Labs. I think it was a very useful background to have to improve user experiences which is what everything comes down to. The reason so many websites are successful is because they provide enjoyable user experiences. And without users, you don’t really have a product.
Throw yourself headfirst into learning this incredible skill and you’ll be amazed to see how far you can go if you just keep pushing.
Dan: I served as a Geospatial Intelligence Analyst in the Royal Air Force for six years back in the UK. (Apparently I have a thing for bootcamps.) I loved the role as I was able to directly influence the RAF’s ability to project its air power across the globe, but the greatest asset I took away was being able to help create an environment full of camaraderie. Lighthouse Labs’ bootcamp is hard enough, might as well get stuck in it together and have a laugh throughout it.
What advice would you give someone who wants to become a developer?
Negar: It’s scary but remind yourself that if I (or whoever else is in your head) can do it, you can too! You just have to be persistent. Don’t forget that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert so don’t be so quick to judge yourself and your abilities. Learning web development is a whole new way of thinking; you need to allow yourself to explore that and find a way that works for you - I can guarantee it won’t be watching lectures and taking notes in a notebook like we’re used to in high school and university.
Dan: Never give up. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to pack up my belongings and walk out of Lighthouse Labs’ doors for the final time, but thankfully, I didn’t.
I look back at the projects and code that I wrote in my first few weeks at Lighthouse Labs and cringe a little at how bad it is. Throw yourself headfirst into learning this incredible skill and you’ll be amazed to see how far you can go if you just keep pushing.
The bootcamp at Lighthouse Labs is only 10 weeks. [Note: It’s now 12 weeks.] It is tough and grueling, but 10 weeks in the grand scheme of everything is nothing and you’ll be shocked at how much you can learn from it.
What technologies are you currently working with? Where are you working? How was the job-seeking process? (Both)
Negar I’m currently working at a startup in Gastown with React, Redux, and AWS which is awesome because they’re fairly new technologies that were created to make a developer’s job easier. The job-seeking process was simpler than I thought thanks to Lighthouse Labs! We both found our jobs through the speed interviewing night towards the end of bootcamp. With job-seeking in Vancouver, you find that there’s a longer wait period and once you receive an offer, you start almost immediately. So we both started our jobs 1.5 weeks after Bootcamp ended.
I work for a company that provides e-commerce solutions to clients (from small start-ups to well-established global companies). The work is stressful, but the projects and potential impact we’re causing is exciting. The job-seeking process was pretty smooth - Lighthouse Labs’s Career Services team provided some much needed knowledge and confidence and were a great benefit to both Negar and I in our job-seeking experience.