My name is Gerardo Soto, and like you, I’m also very interested in becoming an awesome computer programmer! The story of how I began to learn programming began after I graduated from UCSD with a degree in Linguistics (Specializing in cognition of language) and minored in cognitive science. As an undergrad, I studied how natural languages are acquired, develop, and shape cognition. Eventually this same interest in natural language acquisition led me to want to pursue computer programming.
After a half a year of trying to learn how to program independently, I decided to seek immersion programs that would not only keep me accountable but also provide a structured curriculum which would expand my computer programming skill set. Initially, I only came across expensive full-time programming boot camps; however this was not a viable option for me because I not only had started working full-time shortly after graduating but as a recent graduate with a sizeable debt I couldn’t afford to pay to go back to school.
Eventually I came across SoftStack Factory, which not only was part-time but compared to other coding schools, their spin-up program was virtually free. Softstack Factory’s MEAN stack program not only exposed me to a myriad of modern programming technologies but also allowed me to gain the fundamental technical skills to get a firm foothold in this constantly shifting field.
After completing the MEAN stack program, fellow cohort members and I are continuing to polish our final collaborative project. The project consists of a multi-tenant test taking web app in which companies can access an assortment of open source personality tests to assess a prospective employees' compatibility with a company culture and/or team. As a team lead, I've learned how to adeptly manage four other programmers to deliver clean, modular, and scalable code. On a technical basis, I've learned how to use the MEAN stack in conjunction with ionic2 to deliver a progressive web app accessible on a desktop, iPhone and android devices.
As of now I have successfully landed a web development internship for an agency whose mission of promoting healthy living aligns with my core values. As well as a software development internship with a company whose mission is to provide an adaptive self-paced learning platform for students in low-resource contexts.
Thanks to Softstack factory, I now have the tools to continue to learn and become a competent full stack engineer that uses his breadth knowledge to facilitate civic engagement and collective action focused on social and public health issues.