Contract signed! — my summary of the code school application processes

So I’m going to Code Fellows in Seattle. When I started this applying to developer bootcamp fiasco over a month ago, I never thought I’d be saying this. I also never thought I’d be doing a bootcamp for both iOS and rails. 

I got the $1000 deposit loaned and signed my contract today. I have to drive 16 hours to seattle on saturday. 

Those of you following and keep up on my blog might have noticed I applied to app academy again and got further than I did the first time over a month ago. As a nice little hint, at this point in time if you want to reapply, just put a different email address on the application. I filled all my information on the second application out truthfully. I felt underrepresented the first time around. Did a lot of coding challenges in between getting denied at first and going through it again. If you decide to try and go through the application process again like I did, please, be honest with yourself. Wait a little while, work hard, improve your skills, and then apply. Give yourself time to forget their coding challenges. If you got through the coding challenges by simply remembering them, practicing them, and replicating them in order to get to the interview process, you might be setting yourself up for failure during their program. Either way, I’m sure they do an excellent job of weeding out people in the actual interview process. I only reapplied because dbc decided I was good enough, maybe app academy would this time.

In the end, between yesterday and today, I realized, even if I did get accepted into app academy, code fellows just all around seemed like a better deal to me. I don’t have to start paying till after the program. 1/3 the deposit(which was proving difficult to come up with on such short notice), I’ll be learning ios and rails in that time. they guarantee a job, cheaper than both AA and DBC, and I’ll be done with all that before AA or DBC even start. 

So in summary, I’m going to seattle, I’m gonna be sleeping in my car if/until I find a floor/couch to sleep on. 

I’ll continue progress updates. through the duration of the program. Wish me luck, being away from my daughter who is about to start walking any week now and my wife are going to be my struggling points. No one wants to watch their baby grow up on skype. 

I don’t even know if I’ve mentioned my situation. The company I was working at laid me off 4 months after my daughter, Rylee, was born. My wife, daughter, and I moved down to California into my dad’s bedroom, he now sleeps on the living room couch. We’ve been struggling to live on unemployment while I study and look for work. Now this happened. We will continue to struggle. But I’m confident that by the new year I will have a job making a decent salary and that will be able to get my family out of our rut. 

God has helped us through everything so far, and I know he will get us through any other struggles we have a long the way. At this point in time. The most money I’ve ever made in my life was $12/hr. 

Thanks for listening, If you think someone who is on a similar path as mine might be interested in reading my blog, tell them about it. I hope to be an inspiration to some. Also, please ask me any questions, I’m always happy to help. 



I didn’t get into app academy

So I didn’t get into app academy. I was a little bummed, but obviously that was the school for me. I know I will get into the school that best suits me. I set up a skype interview with dev bootcamp for august 27th and am waiting to hear back from hack reactor. Also I found a school in Portland that looks promising. The more I look into each of those three schools the more I can’t figure out which I like more. Before I was least pleased with hack reactor because it doesn’t really teach ruby, although, the more I think about it, I want to learn node.js and ruby in the long run, and I think they teach a lil ruby, that I’m not sure about. Either way I’m coming to realize the language is far less important the the experience and the way they teach you to learn new tech quickly. 

In the last week I learned a ton about array and string manipulation, a lil about regexp’s, and also I got much better understanding of OOP. 

Between now and aug 27th I need to pick up some extra curricular activities other than just coding all day, I’ve come to realize my coding dedication has turned me into quite the bore. Portland’s Code School wants a video of me being awesome. Recently the awesome things I do are being a dad and learn code. 

So today I decided to start teaching my daughter ASL slowly and teach myself more quickly. Today I learned the alphabet and the words “milk”, “food”, “tired”, “mom”, “dad”, “grandma”, and “grandpa”,

This learning a new actual language is really teaching me a lot about learning tech languages. You need to repeat repeat repeat. Also learn a little and use it a lot, then learn a little and use it a lot. 

So in the next few weeks I’m going to be doing Project Euler a lot and learn ASL. If you want to follow me on their, here is my friend code: 81917382509532_114d498db359e661e8976f908d59984b

Until next time fellows, keep learning, be interesting, and love our craft.

Danny Sperry

Code School Prep Work

Last you heard I had a job interview and the first of two coding challenges at app academy. 

It’s been a little over a week now, and since then I haven’t heard back from Varsity Tutors… a little bummed, not super surprised. That is really far in the back of my head though. The main thing I’ve been shooting for is getting into App Academy. They are the cheapest option and they have a very successful outline(plus you can sleep at the building if you really had to)

I did my second coding challenge. I studied the recommended readings for about a day and a half, like the first time. and decided to just jump into it since I did so exceptional last time. This time you have 4 problems to answer in an hour. So you still have the same average time limit. I couldn’t have done worse. I finished 1.5 questions in the hour and commented what I wanted to do with the rest of the second question before submitting. I have this deep sense I’m going to get into one of these immersive programs, call it intuition, God, or what ever you want. But this has given me peace with my whole situation. So I was bummed that I did Terrible(note the capital “t”), but not discouraged. I figured well, it isn’t over until they say I’m not accepted, and they haven’t said that yet, plus! I have dev bootcamp and hack reactor to apply to if app academy says nay. 

The next day I got an email from Kush letting me know that they are still interested in following up with me, they just wanted me to finish some of the same readings and homework their accepted students are required to complete. 

That curriculum is on GitHub here.

Now that that is submitted I am waiting to here back from them. But in terms of learning. That prep work really showed me a lot. I truly enjoyed learning from multiple sources in such a short period of time. You get more out of things when you get to look at it from multiple angles. 

Until next time friends. Thanks for following, or subscribing. Whatever wordpress uses 😀 

Career path update

I’ve taken a short(4 day) break from studying.

“What have you been doing you slacker?”, you might say.

A month ago my cousin told me about dev bootcamp, at the time I didn’t know it was in SF. So I said, “Well that would be really cool if it was closer and not $12000”. I found a site called upstart that is basically a site where people can invest in people. I thought, hey I should start one of these, and if I don’t have a job in web dev by the end of the year like I’ve set my goal for. Then I’ll just go to one of these super intense training program that have very good employability rates. I thought to myself, Dev Bootcamp is probably the first and expensive version, I wonder if there are cheaper alternatives that still teach with quality. Searching around I found App Academy. If you want a free ride for someone to just boost you into web development, they are the guys. With 95% of their students getting employed within the first 2 months of graduating the 12 week course at a average starting salary of $91,000, I was sold. Not only that, you don’t pay them until after you find a job.(They charge you 18% of your starting salary of the job you get after you graduate). They need you to get a job or they don’t get payed. 

Your probably saying, “That sounds to good to be true”. It is true and it is to good. They receive a lot of applications because they are free of charge and they only accept about 5% of them. This is like the Harvard of immersive web dev schools, but cooler. You can sleep in the office while you are there for 3 months. So basically all you have to do is provide food for yourself and enough money to find somewhere to shower so that you don’t constantly offend all your classmates 90+ hours a week. 

I was sold, all I had to do was convince my wife to let me go IF I get accepted. Slowly telling her how awesome it was all day made it happen. I submitted my application on July 18th. They application process is structured like this:

  1. You submit an application.
  2. Within two days, they mail you a coding challenge (with resources to prepare).
  3. You complete the coding challenge when you’re ready.
  4. You may be asked to complete a second coding challenge.
  5. They interview you.
  6. Within two days, we make a decision.

So I received the email for the coding challenge. I brushed up on my ruby skills for the last 2 days. And I took the test today. I honestly thought it would be harder. This test was easy, they give you about 45 minutes to submit it. There are three problems they ask you to solve. I did it in like 20-25 minutes. So I’m feeling good about it so far, Immediately after I got an automatically generated email telling me they will check out my code and let me know what comes next. Maybe I did to well and they want to see how I do on the more difficult second challenge, maybe I did really well and they don’t need a second challenge to evaluate me. I’ll find out sooner than later. 


Also, I had a skype interview yesterday with Varsity Tutors for a web dev job. I think I did really well. I’ve have a 90%+ hire rate with interviews. So I usually do well. So I’m waiting for great news on both those ends this week. Wish me luck.