Recently we interviewed FirehoseProject graduate, Erin Kim, to hear more about her experience with the program and how it helped her change her career path.

Before entering our 12-week coding bootcamp, Erin studied Art History at the University of Marlyand. Following graduation she worked at J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, a marketing communications firm in New York City, where she was a receptionist.

After graduating from our program she landed a job at Artsy, a platform that makes art accessible to anyone, working specifically on The Art Genome Project. Artsy has raised about $26 Million to date after raking in $18.5 Million in Series B funding last year.

Below are excerpts from our chat with Erin.

1. How did you first develop an interest in coding?

“At my old job I had free time outside of work that I used to teach myself to code through free online courses such as…”

2. You mention that you taught yourself how to code for about a year. What kinds of courses did you take?

“On Skillshare I took HTML and CSS, on Lynda I learned javascript, and on edX I took Intro to Computer Science.”

3. So what do you do now?

“I’m helping out with Artsy’s Art Genome Project in terms of analyzing different genes and using my Art History background in tandem with my newly found coding skills.”

4. What is the Art Genome Project?

“The Art Genome Project is the classification system and technological framework that powers Artsy. It maps the characteristics that connect art, design, and architecture across history.”

5. How is theFirehoseProject structured and what was your first week in the program like?

“First, I did tutorials to create web applications. Next, I worked with my personal coding mentor to work on coding challenges.”

 6. How difficult were the coding challenges?

“The very first one didn’t take me that long, but I really struggled with the other ones. That’s where my mentor came in to push me in the right direction.”

7. I know at one point you participated in a group project. How did that go?

“I got to see code that very talented people were writing. My team members wrote really solid code that I got to learn a lot from.”

8. Did the group project prepare you for your job interviews?

“Yes, I really think that the group project is a game changer. It’s the foundation of what you know in order to be a skilled developer at a company.”

9. How was your first week at your new job? What happened in the first few days?

“I’ve been helping the Art Genome Project and I have been learning how to catalog the different artists and artwork. I’ve also been doing a lot of research on contemporary works of art to locate meaningful connections between artists of today and artists of the past.”

10. Do you have any advice for people looking at coding bootcamps?

“I would say to always find the best fit for you. This is the same thing as the college search- find which school best suits your needs.”

We hope that our conversation with Erin helped answer coding bootcamp questions with an added personal touch. Finding the right bootcamp can be daunting, but it is worth the search, we promise. :)

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