Bootcamp Grad Spotlight: Beth Qiang of Fullstack Academy (Part Three)

Beth Qiang, Fullstack Academy alumnus, first learned how to program while she was working as a data analytics consultant. But, after attending a Python conference in the summer of 2016, Beth instantly recognized her calling to become a Software Engineer.

Part Three: Advice for bootcamp attendees & where she is now!

This Q&A is the final part of a series of three. Follow Beth's decision to attend a Fullstack Academy's prestigious bootcamp program in part one. Learn more about Beth's bootcamp research and what financing options she chose in part two. Want to stay in the loop on future series? Follow us on Facebook today.

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Beth joined Fullstack Academy's inaugural Remote Immersive cohort in September of 2016. The 17-week online software engineering program ran until February 2017.

Following program completion, Beth landed an awesome job as a full-time Full-Stack Developer. Aside from being hilarious, and so fun to work with, Beth is well on her way to changing the world through code.

Fullstack Academy is one of Skills Fund's newest bootcamp partners. They offer a 13-week Software Engineering Immersive program and a 28-week Flex Part-Time Immersive program in both their NYC and Chicago campuses. Students all over the country can take advantage of their Remote Immersive option over 17 weeks. Fullstack Academy provides an education that equips everyone with the skills to become superstar software engineers or software developers.

LET'S PRETEND I WANT TO ATTEND A BOOTCAMP. WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE ME?

Beth: "Burnout is real, especially if you choose to attend an immersive program. Sure, starting out, they’ll probably tell you you’ll be working 70+ hours a week. They tell you it’ll be challenging and draining and you won’t have a ton of time to hang out with people and go on vacation and do things that normal people do. (“They” for me was a combination of the internet and the program itself.)

But, it’s hard to know just how draining and exhausting it can be until you’re in it. When I started, I neglected exercise and personal time and threw myself into learning and absorbing everything I could for fourteen hours a day, and ended up burning myself out by the middle of week three. Getting to that point isn’t just detrimental to your physical and mental health - it also greatly impacted my ability to learn, as well as my confidence levels (which, anyone in this industry can tell you is already relatively fragile especially as a newbie - imposter syndrome is a very common occurrence). Going forward from that moment, I made sure to exercise regularly, get outside at least once a day, and see friends every now and then. These activities took some time out of my day from coding and learning, but they were so vital to me staying sane. I wrote a little bit about this wall that I hit, and the subsequent realizations I had, in this blog post.

Don’t get me wrong - I don’t regret choosing an immersive and intensive program for a second. I specifically sought out programs that were going to have that schedule and the rigor that the Fullstack Academy curriculum does, and I vaguely knew what I was getting myself into. Those late nights pounding my head against a desk, those extra hours when I should have been sleeping or out with friends, is when I did a lot of my learning. It’s hard to know exactly what it feels like until you go through it, though, and moments like that could have definitely at least been mitigated if I had been looking out for myself."

WHAT CAREER SERVICES DID YOU use WHILE ATTENDING FULLSTACK ACADEMY?

Beth: "I took advantage of every possible career service that was offered to me! While in the program, we attended workshops on how to write resumes, what to put on our LinkedIn profiles, how to find and make connections, how (and when!) to follow up after various stages of the application process, and a host of other topics. I had my career service advisors repeatedly look over my resume and LinkedIn profile until all parties were happy with them, and we had several mock interviews to get comfortable just talking about ourselves, our accomplishments, and our knowledge."

"Whatever it was, the career coaches were always willing to jump on a call and conduct a mock interview or talk some sense into me, and they were absolutely invaluable in my process and my success."

"Even when the program was over, I talked to my career service advisors at least once every other day or so. Sometimes it was just to touch base, sometimes to ask them advice on how to respond, sometimes with a frantic, “OMG I have this phone screen scheduled for tomorrow and I feel totally unprepared!!!” Once the time came to make a decision, they also were instrumental in helping me decide what to do and how to negotiate."

HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR NEW JOB? WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?

Beth: "I went to an event before my bootcamp even started that was a panel about diversity and inclusion in tech. My current company’s founder and CEO was on the panel, and I was interested in what he said and approached him afterwards. We kept in touch while I was going through the program, and once I graduated, I told him I was looking for a job, and he told me he was hiring, and eventually landed the job after a few rounds of interviews!

I’m now a full-stack developer at Keystoke. I work on a variety of different projects for a variety of different companies that seek us out to build out applications or systems for them. I mostly work in JavaScript with an emphasis on mobile applications and React Native, but I’ve also touched some PHP and will be working on revamping a Ruby on Rails app soon. It’s been a lot of fun so far - there’s been a lot of challenges and a fair bit of frustration like there always is in this field, but I’ve also learned so much!"

Are you ready to dive into a transformative education? Learn more about Skills Fund's high-quality partner, Fullstack Academy, today: