Bootcamp Graduate Jon Cunicella Follows His Passions to Becoming a Professional Developer
We Can Code IT graduate Jon Cunicella had been interested in coding since he took an intro course his last semester of college. However Jon needed a little extra support to take off his career in coding. After attending our coding bootcamp Jon was able to use our career service tips to land a job as a developer with Chase. Learn more about Jon’s journey from an apprehensive student of coding to a professional working developer.
If anyone is on the fence about coding or any part of the tech industry, IT, and they want to get into that field; I would say 100% do it. We Can Code IT is the best place to get your career started.
What was your education and career background before attending We Can Code IT?
So my education is I have a bachelor’s degree in management information systems which is kind of like project management stuff, and some people get into data analytics. My career background, I was working in IT support. So I guess I already was in the IT industry but I was doing like desktop support. I was just fixing computers, very basic stuff like that.
What made you decide on WCCI?
So someone that I worked with at my previous job had gone to We Can Code IT and got a job as developer right out of the bootcamp. So I had a first hand anecdotal experience of someone that I trusted and was kind of friends with telling me I should do it. I also had another friend who actually did the cohort before me which kind of just solidified my choice I guess. I didn’t even really look around at too many other places. I just kind of settled on We Can Code IT from personal experience. I went to one in person meeting and got all the preliminary information, but after that I just signed up.
What was your coding experience like before you began our program?
I actually hadn’t done anything code related in my previous job. I been interested in coding since I graduated college. My last year there we took an intro c-sharp course where I just did a little bit of programming. That’s kind of where I fell in love with it, but it was too late in my major for me to switch to like computer science or something so I stuck it out and got my degree. Ever since then I had just been coding as a hobby. I would start tutorials and small classes online. I’d never really finish them. I’d always get to a point where it just got a little too difficult and then I’d just give up. So I kind of needed the bootcamp for that extra push and motivation.
What were your first impressions of WCCI staff and instructors?
Just right out of the gate incredibly nice people, funny people, fun and people I’d like to be around and work with in the future. Later after I got to know them better I discovered that they’re incredibly knowledgeable people. They were actually like experts in the subject matter they’re teaching whether that’s coding or career services. Across the board it was very easy to tell that these were professionals and experts at what they did. I would say they’re great fun people as well as they know they’re stuff and they’re very talented.
What did you like most about WCCI?
I liked the fact that I did an in person class. I liked that because I’m a big fan of collaboration and working with teams. I really liked every day going in and sitting down with my team and being able to have that face to face interaction as well as with the instructors. It kind of made it a more rewarding experience being there everyday.
One of the big things that We Can Code IT is good at is test driven development. Now that I’m in the workforce I’m seeing that that is very very important and I’m very glad I was able to learn that with them.
What was one of the biggest things that you learned from your experience with WCCI?
I learned that I will basically always need to be learning to succeed in this career. We Can Code IT definitely gets your feet wet into the development world and code. But it’s just such a large industry and there’s so many different technologies and things going on that there’s just no way they can teach you everything in 14 weeks. The one thing I learned really quickly and will have to continue learning is that no means when you leave We Can Code IT are you like the best developer in the world. You’re not by any means an expert, but you kind of know how much you don’t know when you leave.
Do you feel WCCI made your coding experience easier?
Definitely. It made it easier just by having a group of people to collaborate with and fall back on for help and assistance. Also it helped with developing good practices for coding such as test driven development. It’s a thing that if you go out and try to teach yourself how to code you won’t learn it the right way. One of the big things that We Can Code IT is good at is test driven development. Now that I’m in the workforce I’m seeing that that is very very important and I’m very glad I was able to learn that with them.
How was the job search and what was that process like for you?
I basically followed the advice of the career services staff. I went to some meet ups and made my LinkedIn look nice and snazzy and updated. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s correlated but after our Demo Day I posted a video to LinkedIn of a demonstration of my application, and it got like over 1,000 views in the first week. The very next week I had two different people call me to set up interviews, and one of them was Chase. I don’t know if that’s how I ended up here but I do kind of feel like it may be correlated. Other than that I didn’t do too much random applying. I kind of found places that I wanted to work, saw if there were any people at those places that were similar in age or interest. Then I would kind of hit them up on LinkedIn and see if they had any advice or guidance. I had a good experience with it. Like I said I don’t know for sure if it was what got me those interviews, but prior to me posting that video I had no prospects. No one had even called me back or rejected me. But I think I posted the video on Friday and by Tuesday I got two calls for an interview. It’s definitely a helpful tool.
What was the interview process like and getting the role you have now?
I had an extensive interview process with Chase. I interviewed preliminarily at We Can Code IT when they interviewed the whole group. I didn’t get any immediate feedback or anything, it took a couple weeks. There were actually some other people in the bootcamp that had been offered jobs from Chase. I kind of thought it just wasn’t going to happen. Then I got called back for a second interview at their location which I took, and then a third interview which I also took. The first two were just like for meeting recruiters and general high level teams that were placing me with teams that they thought I would fit in. The third and final interview was with my manager and with a group of people that were on a team. They asked me questions about what I did in my bootcamp, things about test driven development, why did I think test driven development was good, and why did I use certain technologies and why I thought they were better than others. There was no actual white boarding or logic questions. It was just really a behavioral interview I suppose. They offered me the job before I got home even.
So tell us about you new career. What has the experience been like so far working with Chase?
This is my second week. I’m already committed to our project. I’ve already written code and had it committed. It’s being reviewed right now. It’s been great. I can tell there’s a lot that I need to catch up with. It’s just the difference between a small application that you make with a team of four people versus one that is a hundred million dollar project that’s going to be used by hundreds of thousands of people. Obviously the scale is just way different. With that there’s a lot of growing pains and getting use to things organizations do. But it’s fun, and I’m doing everything that they’re telling me and writing a lot down. I’ve been able to actually contribute code which is great.
Anything to add about WCCI?
If anyone is on the fence about coding or any part of the tech industry, IT, and they want to get into that field; I would say 100% do it. We Can Code IT is the best place to get your career started. They will throw you right into the water and they’ll help you swim all the way there. They’ll show you the ropes and teach you how to be a good developer. 10/10 experience and I would definitely do it again!