Deciding to enroll in bootcamp can be a difficult decision. It’s a decision that can be truly life-altering, opening up a range of opportunities to you. After you’re trained in a digital skill like data science or web development, you’ll be able to benefit from the lucrativeness of the tech industry, or move up in other industries. But it also necessitates a weighty commitment. You’ll want to do your due diligence to understand whether this commitment is right for you. When doing this, you’ll consult blogs and forums, ask acquaintances, and look at course pages.

We want to help you in your journey of understanding whether bootcamp is right for you, so we’re putting you in touch with our outstanding alumni community. These alumni will be here to answer all your burning questions, provide you with helpful advice, and share their bootcamp experiences. You’ll get to hear what it’s like to go through bootcamp from a person who’s already been there.

Today we want to introduce you to one of our alumni community members, Kelechi Obikaonu. People who are interested in learning more about the web development bootcamp can contact Kelechi through our alumni ambassador page, and she’ll be able to answer your inquiries and speak to her personal experiences.

Beginning a Journey into Software Development

Kelechi Obikaonu’s journey into coding started in Nigeria, zig-zagged through Boston, and ended in Canada. She had a bachelor’s degree in computer science, but as she thought about breaking into the tech industry she became nervous that she didn’t have all the skills that she needed. Once she immigrated to Canada, she felt a bit stuck, confused about what to do with herself. While figuring this out, she took on a customer service role, working that for a while before eventually taking a break for maternity leave.

Kelechi was six months into this maternity leave when she first discovered Lighthouse Labs, and became excited about the opportunity to join the school as a student. “2020 was the lowest point in my life in terms of my career, because I was very confused,” admits Kelechi. “I had a newborn and I didn’t know what to do. The only thing I wanted was to get back into the IT industry. And then I saw the opportunity to join Lighthouse Labs.”

Attending Lighthouse Labs’ Bootcamp

Kelechi discusses how joining Lighthouse Labs as a student was a lot like therapy, in that it was a way for her to start gaining more confidence in her skills and in her ability to break into the tech industry. “It was a great experience for me, something that I would recommend to anyone,” Kelechi remarks. “I went from being a customer service representative to being a software developer in three months. Which is a big achievement for me.”

Kelechi notes that before joining bootcamp, she did know the basic foundations of programming, due to her previous studies. She had some degree of comfort using Javascript, because she’d had some experiences with it before. Nonetheless, there were things within the bootcamp curriculum that she struggled with; she notes that she found React a bit challenging. “But the mentors were really helpful, I had a lot of calls with them as late as 11pm or midnight. I didn’t think mentors would stay up that late just to make sure a student is understanding something,” Kelechi remembers.

Kelechi notes that the helpfulness of mentors was one of the key factors in succeeding through the bootcamp without any real roadblocks. “It’s tough, it was 12 hours a day while I was handling a newborn, which was really difficult for me. But everyone at Lighthouse made it easier, they really take care of everybody.”

Working as a Software Developer After Bootcamp

After graduating from Lighthouse Labs, Kelechi started looking for work as a software developer. “Because of the confidence I was able to build up, I even applied for Amazon. Even though I didn’t get hired by them, it was a learning process and a great experience for me. Now if I want to apply again in the future, I know what to expect,” Kelechi says. “If I didn’t go through Lighthouse Labs, I don’t think I would have had the confidence enough to apply.”

Just a month after graduating from Lighthouse’s bootcamp, Kelechi received a job offer at I-Sight. She’ll be joining the customer success team as a developer to maintain applications that have been rolled out to customers. If new facets need to be added to this software, she’s going to be handling these requests.

When she’s communicating with the community as an alumni ambassador, she makes sure to relay her experience of making a career switch. “I came into Lighthouse without anything other than a bit of foundation in programming. At the beginning, I set out a goal of attaining these skills. If you have the right mindset you can excel in the field, regardless of where you’re coming from,” Kelechi says. “It’s just the right mindset that puts you in the position to excel in the tech space.”

Want to chat with Kelechi to hear more about her experiences and ask her questions?