Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One of Dev Bootcamp's Finest! Meet Rick Rubio

 Meet Rick Rubio ( @rickarubio )  I first met Rick online through his blog well over a year ago while I was about 3 months into my learning to code journey. Rick spent an entire year of learning to code BEFORE even going to Dev Bootcamp to help put on the finishing touches to make him a really good developer ready to be hired!

Rick has inspired me by his hard work ethic over a long period of time, being willing to move and relocate in order to learn from the top ranked bootcamp in the business.

I hope you enjoy Rick's story and share with others, also send him an email or a tweet to encourage him along on this final leg of the journey :-)


(1) What got you into wanting to be a developer?

- Back in high school, I took a Visual Basic 6 course and made a really cool game using sprites. Unfortunately, I pursued IT instead of software development. Years later, I was working at a local tv station and made a cool little application in Java to control the weather graphics for the weatherman. That got me looking into alternative education to avoid wasting more time/money in college. I found out about Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco. I applied, interviewed, and got in. It's been over a year since I read that Dev Bootcamp article. I now live in San Francisco. I attended Dev Bootcamp. Soon hopefully, I'll have a full-time job developing!

(2) What has been the hardest thing about learning to code?

- There is so much stuff out there. Where do you begin? As a beginner, I think the sheer amount of "stuff" out there to learn is daunting. I needed a focused environment that would help me break into programming. That's why I went to Dev Bootcamp. Now that I have a good foundation in programming concepts, it's way easier for me to learn stuff on my own. It's so cool that there's all these new technologies/frameworks around me. It's like I'm a pioneer. Computing is still in its infancy. This is a really exciting time to be a programmer!

(3) What do you like most about coding? What has been the coolest thing you've built or helped to build so far?

- My favorite thing about coding is that it's magic. Literally. Modern day wizardry. Spells and Sorcery. If you can think it, you can build it. Being able to program allows you to turn thoughts into things. As for the coolest thing I've built so far? I made a silly little app to easily display the USD and BTC exchange rates for Dogecoins (http://www.cryptseer.com). I also led a team project to build an online learning course aggregator (http://www.noodleskoodle.com) over the course of roughly a week for my DBC final project.

(4) You recently graduated from one of the best coding bootcamps in the world: Dev Bootcamp. After attending and successfully completing the program, would you recommend it to others?

- Dev Bootcamp was amazing. It's definitely an experience. They will pound work ethic into your skull. I feel like I learned more than I ever have in a very condensed period of time. I've also made some great friends here. Dev Bootcamp also allows me to continue showing up to use their space as a study space, since I have found that I can get into a good flow there. They also hired me on as a part time phase 0 guide. I don't know of any other coding school that would provide so much support to a student after you've graduated. I think Dev Bootcamp is very unique in the experience and culture that they create. After you graduate here, you're not afraid to learn new things. You have learned how to learn. That's the main skill Dev Bootcamp teaches. Forget Ruby on Rails. The skill you have now is that you have a kitchen mindset, you have a creator's mindset, you're excited and ready to tackle problems that you would've previously given up on. Because really, you create the experience at Dev Bootcamp. You. If you want to learn how to code, go to Dev Bootcamp. Be prepared to work hard, learning will be up to you.

(5) What advice would you give someone who is just starting out wanting to learn how to code?

- Meetups! Meetups are so awesome. Meetups are so cool. Go to a meetup! Meet people at meetups! They will help you learn if you just ask! Besides meetups, you'll learn best by doing small tutorials. Get some hands on. Build little tiny programs. I learn best by doing, maybe that style will work well for you too.

(6) Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently with your path to learning how to code?

- For starters, I would not have wasted years of my life (and lots of money) wandering through college. If you have the means, apply to coding schools. Go to meetups. Do online tutorials. Build sample apps. Try do something that will progress your learning everyday. Keep track of your time. Notice where you lose time. Try to minimize distractions. Keep coding. Keep learning. Keep creating.

(7) As a recent graduate of Dev Bootcamp that is interviewing with companies for development roles, what do you want to see in a company that you would like to work with?

- I'd like to see a company that cares about its developers. A company that allows me to develop. A company that allows me to continue my learning. I'd like a team environment where I might have a mentor that could help me out when I get stuck or need guidance. Most importantly, I want to be creating something meaningful. Something that will add value to the world. I love challenges. I want to be part of a team that is disrupting the way things are. Give me a challenge, a place to work, a team to work with, oh and money is always nice too. Most importantly, I want to be around passionate people. People passionate about coding. Passionately passionate people. Yes.

(8) Where do you see yourself as a developer in 5 years? 10 years? What are some long term goals that you have?

- In 2-3 years I want to be highly proficient in developing mobile web optimized apps. Whether that means writing them in their native languages (Objective-C, Java), or JavaScript(Node.js, Angular, Famous, etc.) or both, who knows. I'd like to someday apply to YCombinator. I'd like to try my hand at a startup someday as the technical cofounder. 10 years? I'd like to be living proof that old people (aka anyone not in their teens or 20's in tech) can code just as well or better than the young minds.

(9) How do you feel about your development skills? What is your favorite language? Do you like do more front end development or backend?

- I feel like I have enough knowledge to learn anything I don't know on my own. If you give me a project to code, I feel like it wouldn't be a matter of if I could code it, but how long will it take. My favorite language? Right now it's JavaScript. There's a lot of exciting things going on for the mobile web right now, and JavaScript is front and center of the revolution. So many awesome JavaScript frameworks! I enjoy both the front and back end. Ideally I'd love to work in an full stack role. It's like being the conductor of a symphony. I love learning and creating, and I think I'd be best in a role where I can help build the entire system. Maybe as the henchman of a full-stack master.

(10) Tell us something that most people don't know about you :-)

- I enjoy trading. Stocks. Options. Crypto. I enjoy learning about trading. It's an expensive hobby :-)

I hope you enjoyed getting to learn from Rick's 'Learning To Code Journey'. Please help him get hired sooner rather then later by spreading the word about this guy :-)