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August 2, 2017

Betamore Academy Alumni Spotlight: Daniel Lee

I am currently with a local design firm as a web developer intern. I am also on track towards a computer science degree at UMBC. My career interests lie at the intersection of web development and autonomous technologies. You can find me hanging out at a jrWebDev meetup or a local hackathon, looking for new and passionate innovators to join our team!

Why did you choose to attend a course at Betamore? What about Betamore set it apart from other learning options you were exploring?

I googled for a local coding bootcamp. Betamore Academy was the first thing that came up. Timing was perfect in that I was searching just a weeks before the start of the Fall Front-end course. The evening hours of the course, along with Betamore being located in Baltimore, were enough for me to go ahead and submit my application for the Front-end course. I also liked the in-class learning experience. Just as important was Betamore’s network with local tech companies, especially since I was not very good at networking myself.

What did you hope to achieve by taking the course(s)? Did the experience surprise you in any way / lead you down a path you weren’t expecting? If so, how?

I was hooked as soon as I got started with the Front-end course. I ended up taking the Full-stack course as well. Much of my coding style and environment setup (i.e. IDE) can be traced back to the Front-end course. I still cannot believe how much I can do now since becoming a web developer. For example, I am now actively participating in hackathons. In fact, I was part of a team that won 2nd place at last year’s HackUMBC hackathon, something I could not have imagined for myself prior to Betamore. 

Tell us a little about the instructor’s style/learning environment? Did it match your learning style? If not, why?

Being introduced to web development and coding in general by Tom was quite an experience. The things I learned in that class I still heavily use today, from Git version control to mobile-first approach to responsive development. Looking back, I find it brilliant that we were introduced to native CSS with very little mention of Bootstrap and jQuery. Although they are popular libraries, I never used them as a crutch. In fact, I have very rarely used Bootstrap and jQuery since Betamore and practically prefer raw CSS and HTML when possible.

What types of opportunities have you pursued as a result of completing the Betamore course? Did taking the course at Betamore help influence your decision-making? If so, how?

Betamore was and is instrumental in where I am today. Since taking courses, with the help of Michele’s network, I completed a full-stack development internship with a local startup. Although a full-time position as a web developer was very much possible,  I decided to return to school as a part-time student studying Computer Science at UMBC in order to explore fields such as AI. However, I find myself actively engaging in web development because you can now build so much in such a short time.

What advice would you give to another student looking to take a Betamore course? Would you recommend this course or instructor to anyone else?

If you are unsure of which course to take, I would suggest giving the Front-end course a shot, especially if you had no prior exposure to code. As mentioned earlier, I still use the skills I have learned in the course. I would not get too caught up with the shifting meanings behind front-end vs full-stack development. Rather, take control of your own learning as soon as you get setup in the course. Don’t get too caught up with the dizzying amount of libraries and packages that are out there. Focus on developing proper coding habits and developing with raw HTML, CSS, and JS.


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