How to Land a Job at the Right Company After Coding Bootcamp

To completely change careers and learn a new skill set in less than a year is not a simple task. A bootcamp grad explained how she did it and how others can too.

Written by Lucas Dean
Published on Jun. 02, 2023
How to Land a Job at the Right Company After Coding Bootcamp
Brand Studio Logo

The post-bootcamp job search is one marked by highs and lows, and it can often seem like the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t drawing any closer, despite the hours spent on research, applications and interviews. 

And that’s all after diving head-first into unfamiliar terrain and absorbing a vast amount of information in a truncated timeframe. When self-doubt or feelings of inadequacy creep in, sometimes a simple self-affirmation can become a motivating, perspective-shifting force. 

“Remember everything you’ve been able to do in such a short time and imagine how much more you can do in the span of a career,” said Software Engineer Caitlin Wilson, who secured a role at JPMorgan Chase following her bootcamp graduation. 

There’s a reason that 71 percent of bootcamp grads secured job placements in the field, according to data compiled by the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, which tracks and gathers outcome reports from various programs. Emerging software engineers like Wilson bring a wealth of personal experiences and perspectives. 

Wilson shared what led her to enroll in a bootcamp, how she got her foot in the door at her company, and what other grads should know about finding the right company to continue their growth journey.

 

Caitlin Wilson
Software Engineer • JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase is a financial services firm with $3.7 trillion in assets and worldwide operations.

 

What appealed to you about enrolling in a coding bootcamp and breaking into a tech career? How has your lived experience compared to your expectations?

At the time that I was considering attending a coding bootcamp, my wife was serving in the United States Marine Corps. I left a job to move to where she was stationed and started wondering what my next career move would be. My father is an engineer, but I never saw that as an option until I started researching careers that could complement the frequent moves that go hand-in-hand with military life. 

After teaching myself the basics, I knew I was going to need help with transitioning to a software engineering career. Coding bootcamps stood out for a couple of reasons, but most importantly, they could help me manage the risks of breaking into a new career. I could spend 15 weeks making sure this was something that I really wanted instead of investing years with the hope that I was pursuing something fulfilling to me.

My bootcamp experience was great. It was fast-paced and challenging at times, but I never felt left behind. Everyone was invested in my experience and dedicated to making sure that every student felt supported.

 

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when entering the job market after finishing bootcamp? How did you overcome those?

I participated in my bootcamp’s apprenticeship program. This allowed me to interview with six teams across four companies, and I was matched for a full-time role with JPMorgan Chase. They seemed the most passionate about their work and gave me the sense that they were serious about mentorship and invested in my personal growth. I was also invited to join JPMorgan Chase’s Emerging Talent Software Engineers program, which now provides hands-on technical training, mentorship and ongoing support for software engineers with non-traditional backgrounds.

The hardest thing to overcome during that process was imposter syndrome. My team’s support and encouragement were instrumental in helping me combat that. From day one, I had a mentor who took me under his wing and made sure I knew my voice was valued. My team of experienced software engineers ensured that I could contribute right away and that those contributions were meaningful to both the work we were doing and my personal growth. At the end of my first few months at JPMorgan Chase, I could look back at the impact I made and see why I deserved to be here.

 

At the end of my first few months at JPMorgan Chase, I could look back at the impact I made and see why I deserved to be here.”

 

What advice would you give to current or prospective bootcamp students about landing their first job after graduating from their program?

If you’re looking into bootcamps, choose wisely. The curriculum is only the half of it. Make sure they have a proven track record of helping students get hired after graduation. Consult a career services representative to understand what kind of support you can expect. Reach out to past students about their experiences. Don’t just rely on reviews. 

If you’re enrolled in a bootcamp, lean on career services. Follow their advice when possible. The hardest thing about launching a new career can be getting your foot in the door, but JPMorgan Chase created a unique opportunity with Emerging Talent Software Engineers. It’s not only about bringing people from non-traditional backgrounds into tech; it’s about setting them up to succeed.

Lastly, remember everything you’ve been able to do in such a short time and imagine how much more you can do in the span of a career. Bootcamp graduates are most successful when they lean on the skills they bring from their non-traditional backgrounds, so embrace it!

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies and Shutterstock.

Hiring Now
UL Solutions
Professional Services • Software • Analytics • Consulting • Energy