A Loan for Coding Boot Camp Leads to a New Career

As Damian Ramirez knows well, you can never master computer science; the technology is constantly changing at a startlingly rapid pace. Despite having coded since he was a teenager, Damian wasn’t reaching his full potential working in business intelligence. After being asked by his company to take over their e-commerce initiative, he jumped at the chance to strengthen his web development skills.

“I hit the ground running with my web development skills for the new role, and kept learning on my own to keep up,” he said. “But I needed to learn in a greater capacity.”

With that in mind, he found the Southern Methodist University Coding Boot Camp program, and he was able to secure financing to help him through it—a loan that gave him the freedom to pursue a career-relevant to the coding education he was about to receive.

New materials, new challenges

The program itself offered no shortage of challenges for Damian, who was simultaneously experiencing a host of new personal responsibilities. While attending the boot camp, Damian and his wife had a newborn baby, sold a house, and bought a new house. The loan he received for the boot camp helped him manage his other financial obligations.

Although Damian’s previous experience in coding meant that he wasn’t a beginner, he found he was constantly learning new things. 

“It was surprisingly always a challenge,” he said. “Even though I knew some of the concepts, the program required me to sit down and actually code. Having the accountability to follow through with projects really helped.”

A shift in career

After the boot camp, Damian was involved in his company’s round of layoffs once the eCommerce site was running sustainably. It was a blessing in disguise—at the time, he was overwhelmed with a desire for full-stack development opportunities. Damian focused his efforts on new job opportunities in the field. 

“Researching job descriptions and the volume of applications I submitted was challenging,” he said. “Answering calls, interviewing, and doing tests and projects was a full-time job in itself.”

Despite this, with his strengthened skill set, it was more than easy for Damian to find a new position very quickly.

Today, Damian works with AT&T. His new role not only offers a chance to refine his computer science skills but also boasts educational benefits that allow him to pursue a master’s degree. 

With the help of his boot camp instructors, who possessed real-world experience, Damian grew more confident in his skill set.

“Before the boot camp, I was stronger on the business intelligence side,” he said. Now I can say I have strong development skills.” To this day, Damian still receives a lot of interest from recruiters who admire the vast computer science knowledge he carries.  

Push beyond your limits

Damian’s experience goes to show that no matter who you are or what walks of life you have come from, there are options to take your career to the next step. Without the loan helping him through the program, he wouldn’t be where he is today. Damian credits boot camp with driving his long-term career trajectory as a developer.

Damian encourages those signing up for boot camp to push themselves to exceed the requirements. “It’s important to put in the time in so that you can build good habits,” he advises prospective students. 

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