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Coder Camps
Become a full stack software developer in just 12 weeks
Become a full stack software developer in just 12 weeks


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Triple Threat Table Tennis

Project Description: Triple Threat Table Tennis Tracker is a real-time tracking system that uses Microsoft's Xbox One Kinect sensor. The system tracks table tennis balls through space and can determine when a point should be awarded by using the Kinect sensors HD Camera and IR Camera to see and plot the ball in 3D space. Some of the features of the application are.

Student Engineers: Matthew Ploor, Christian Wunder, Richard J. Charay

Technologies Employed:

* C# (Learned in class)




* Google Material for WPF (Credit: ButcherBoy)

* Xbox One Kinect Sensor

* Kinect SDK v2.0

* Azure

* Code First DB Creation

* Data Visualization Toolkit

* Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

* Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Community

* Source control handled by Source Tree and GitHub

Link to Video:
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Software Development: Putting in The Extra
By Nick Suwyn

Wrestling played a lead role in my high school life and I often find many of the lessons I learned then transcend the mat even now. However, as a young and ambitious athlete, one of my coach’s proverbs seemed to sink a little deeper than the rest. He would often say, after a grueling and relentless practice, that just attending practice is not even close to enough; those who dream of becoming champions must put in The Extra.
Everyone who participates in wrestling goes to practice and the required duels and tournaments. These requirements alone are not easy, they take hard work, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention over-intensive dieting to make weight!) but they alone are not enough. At most they put an individual on the same playing field as everyone else. For those who wish to rise above the rest, those who dream of becoming the best, those who are not satisfied with participating in mediocrity and grasp for excellence, they cannot just do the minimum. They have no other choice but to put in The Extra.
If at this point you are wondering what does any of this have to do with software development, keep reading; it has everything to do with it!
So what Is The Extra? In wrestling, it is sacrificing extra sleep to wake up early to lift weights and run with the purpose of becoming stronger, faster, and better conditioned than everyone else. It is dieting and cutting weight in order to attain the weight class where your body performs at its best. It is choosing to run home after an intense and agonizing practice rather than getting in a car like everyone else. Finally, it is pushing yourself to your furthest physical and mental limits until you can hardly breathe, and then straining to push one more inch. This is The Extra it takes to become a wrestling champion.
As I often remind my programming students, these same principles can, and should, also be applied to software engineering.
Applying The Extra to Become a Champion Software Engineer
1. Like early morning running and lifting for wrestlers, software engineers should also include exercises that stretch our minds and take us out of our comfort zone. Don’t feel content with knowing just what you know. You should constantly feel a burning desire to gain more knowledge, to learn something new, to continuously expand your horizons. Take online training, earn certifications, attend conferences; we have access to a myriad of invaluable opportunities that one cannot afford to overlook

2. We then must diet; this is the prioritization portion of success. Acknowledging and pursuing the best use of our time, while skimming away the fatty, nonproductive endeavors, will undoubtedly lead to a higher place on the podium. Are you spending too much time playing video games, loafing around, or mindlessly watching twelve hours of The Walking Dead? If so, reprioritize.
What things should take precedence if you wish to excel? Knowing your stack, for one. Get to a point where you don’t have to reference the manual when building a new application from the ground up. Experience time better spent by researching a new technology. Read highly rated books, thought provoking articles, your core language’s most common (and even not so common) APIs. There are so many ways we can utilize time to our advantage if we only put in the effort! I am not suggesting you give up all other pastimes and relaxation but if you don’t make coding a priority, then it won’t make you a priority; think about that before you ask for your next pay raise or promotion.
3. Another piece of programmer dieting is consuming philosophies and attitudes conducive to success. A lot of people complain. Too many software engineers are too talented at pointing out everything that resembles a problem. Now, pointing out problems is not the problem - constantly complaining for the sake of complaining is. Do not follow suit here, cut out the poor attitude from you diet and take a more active stance in both finding and solving pain spots, as well as improving the morale of the workplace as opposed to tearing it down. It may be cliché, and highly overstated, but that is because it’s true, that a positive attitude will lead to success. Don’t bring a personal Eeyore cloud to work with you. Be happy!
Once work is over, or school is out, do you rush home and try to forget about programming until you punch the clock the next morning? Do you leave your code in a mess, or in the middle of writing a method because the clock just changed from 4:59:59 to 5 pm? If so, you are the wrestler who rides home in a car. Rather than stalking the clock, you should be writing great code and enjoying it.
If you attend a conference and have a question about the subject – make sure you stay and try to ask the speaker for clarification; you will find priceless nuggets in staying a few minutes later in many situations, whether that is an answer to a question, a remedy for a broken algorithm, or that “click” that comes and you realize the perfect architecture for your project. Sometimes putting in The Extra does mean putting in extra time, but you will find that it is worth it!
4. Finally, practice. While attending practice is the minimum requirement, you can turn the minimum into The Extra if you approach it with the right mindset. If you go to school and just glide along, putting in zero effort, and just barely graduating, then you are failing. If you are comfortable with showing up to work, lackadaisically clicking a few keys and writing some sloppy functions, then it is a good thing you are at least comfortable, because you won’t be moving on anytime soon (unless you get fired).
Conversely, if you show up to school or work ready to learn something new then you will, and you will love it, and you will succeed! If you step up and take on more responsibility to stretch yourself and grow, then you will do just that, and the growth will not stop! Be that developer who grabs at user stories like the zombie apocalypse is occurring and they are the last sustenance on the shelves! With an attitude of wanting to learn more, to take on any challenge, and to push oneself until you cannot even crawl off the mat, you will find something so satisfying you will wonder how you existed without it.
If you are already doing these things, then hats off to you and keep it up! If not, cue “Eye of the Tiger”, throw on a robe, do some jumping jacks, and start putting in The Extra. Because that is what it takes to be a Champion Software Engineer.

Nick Suwyn Co-Owner of Suwyn IT Solutions and a Full Stack instructor for Coder Camps.
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Michael Miller-Hairston found a passion for coding during his degree in digital culture, then taught himself to code while waiting tables. He almost went back to college to study computer science, then came across Coder Camps and enrolled at their Phoenix, Arizona campus. Michael tells us about O Source, the project his team of three built in just three weeks. He shares his screen to demo the project and explains how he hopes it will help new coders build up their experience and portfolios. Watch the video or read the interview!


Tell me about your pre-bootcamp story. What was your educational or career background before you decided to go to Coder Camps.

Before Coder Camps, I went to Arizona State University and graduated with a degree in digital culture. I did some programming, but it was more so for media, so I used Max/MSP, and Processing. Then I took a course for programming using Objective-C and Swift for Apple products. That’s when I really found a passion for it, picked it up, and started to pursue it.

After that, I was teaching myself while waiting tables. I found Coder Camps, and I figured it would expedite the process so that I could actually pursue a career in programming. And that’s how I ended up here.

Did you research any other coding bootcamps? Were there any specific factors that made you choose Coder Camps?

Coder Camps was the main one I looked at just because it’s in Arizona. So it was convenient for me to attend in person and feel like I could get more attention and help if I needed it. The language they teach was definitely a bonus because the market for JavaScript is really good right now.

Did you consider going back to college to study computer science?

I did actually. I was about a day away from going back to Arizona State University. The deciding factor really was the fact that I could do Coder Camps in 12 weeks or I could do another degree in two years.

Once you decided that you’re going to go to Coder Camps, what was the application and interview process like?

My admissions rep Jason called me, and we did most of the interview over the phone. They have a coding from scratch course that you have to pass before the course starts which is like an introduction to programming. During that course, Jason would call me at least once a week and check up on me, make sure I was okay, and to see if I needed any help. Once that was over, they signed me up for the next available class.

Once you started, what was your cohort like? How many people were there and was it quite diverse in terms of gender and race and background?

Yeah. We had nine people, and it was three girls and six guys, and two of them were remote. We had one guy who was calling in from Oregon and then a girl who was calling in from Houston.

The majority of the class had no programming experience. There was one lady who had a master’s degree from ASU in computer hardware, but she had no experience actually programming. Then there was a girl who was actually a front end developer for a while. Other than me, nobody really had any experience.

What was the learning experience like at Coder Camps? Give me an example of a typical day and the teaching style.

A typical day would start with an assignment from the night before. We would each go over our assignments, show what we had done, and talk about where we had problems. If we couldn’t complete it because of the problem, the instructor would help us through that.

From there, we jumped into the instruction, and the instructors live coded while we followed along. That was a great way to solidify our skills. After lunch, we did some more lessons and then worked on an assignment until class was over. Most of us would stay on campus afterward and work on the assignment until we finished it.

I’m interested in the project that you’re going to show me. What kind of assignment were you given for this project and how long did you have to build it?

There were no real guidelines. It was essentially “Make something with the stuff that you’ve learned.” We originally had six weeks to work on our final project, but halfway through that, the guy whose idea we were working on left, so we basically started over.

So we had just three weeks to build the app that we have now. We were always told to contribute to open source projects because that’s a good way for employers to see that you’re actually pursuing the knowledge and using it. So we wanted to do that, but we didn’t know how, so our app helps you with that issue.

Can you show me a demo of what the app looks like?

Our project is called O Source. There is a landing page where it gives you some general information about the website and what it does. Then there’s an “About” page that talks about the three of us who worked on it. You can log in with GitHub or LinkedIn, but to access all the features at this point, you need to log in with GitHub.

From there, you can see your GitHub repositories. It pulls those so that you can add them to the open source project. You can fill out a form describing what your project is and what language and frameworks it uses, then it’s all added to our system so that people can search for your project based on what they’re good at, and their skill level. Then they can contribute to your project, and you can also search and contribute to other people’s projects.

Who is this app aimed at? Is it people who are new to coding?

It’s aimed at all developers. So essentially if you’re a new developer and you want to find a project to contribute to, you can use it for that. Or if you’re an established developer, and you have an open source project that you need help with, you can also use the site to find help.

How big was your team and what technologies did you use to build that?

There were three of us. We used the MEAN Stack; MongoDB for the database, Express, and Node on the back end for the queries, and then Angular for the front end.

How do you divide up tasks amongst you and your team members?

We basically laid everything out that we had to do, and then ranked the tasks by the difficulty level. Then we each picked the easier ones so that we can knock them out real quick and focus more on the difficult task. After that, we just grabbed whichever tasks everyone thought we would be good at, and worked on it until we finished. Then we grabbed a new one.

Were there any particular technologies that you had to learn how to use especially for this project?

For the login service, we used a third party login service so I had to tinker with that quite a bit. It came pre-built so you can use GitHub, LinkedIn, Facebook, and basically any social media that you needed. But it had some issues, so we had to work through those and learn those as we went along.

What would you say was the biggest challenge you had while building this project?

I would say the time span because we had already been working on a project for three weeks, then we had to start over. Not only from concept and the idea, but we had to do it all the way through to what you see now.

So what are your plans for the future of this project? Are you going to continue working on it and launch it live?

We are. Right now it’s almost ready. We have a few tweaks, but we’re focusing our energy on starting careers, and then once we get established in that part, we’ve all agreed to come back to it and work on it.

What have you been doing since you graduated from Coder Camps?

I’ve actually been learning a new technology – React. I’ve also been looking for a job. I had an interview the other day with Red Ventures, which is in North Carolina.

What kind of job, in particular, are you hoping to get?

The job I interviewed for is a full stack position. That’s the dream. I hope I get that one. I’ve been applying for a lot of either front end specific, back end, or just full stack positions, but they’re all JavaScript.

What kind of career advice or job help did Coder Camps give you?

Oh, they’ve given us a lot. Everything from resumes, your LinkedIn, and your social media presence. But they’ve also given us mock interviews, so we’ve done whiteboarding, and technical interview practice. They have people here looking for positions that they think you’d be a fit for and they set you up for interviews and phone calls. They’ve helped me basically every step along the way.

Now that you’ve graduated are you still keeping in touch with staff and alumni from Coder Camps?

Yeah. I talk to the guys from my project group all the time, and then they check on me every now and then to see if I’m doing okay. It’s almost like a big family here at Coder Camps.

What would you say has been the biggest challenge overall going through Coder Camps?

I would say the dedication because it is a lot to learn within 12 weeks. Six of those weeks is the actual learning process, so it’s a lot of information in a short amount of time. You have to really be sure that this is what you want to do because if you get left behind or if you get stuck, there are people who can help you, but it’s only going to hurt yourself in the end if you don’t put the time in.

What advice do you have for people who are thinking about going through a coding bootcamp?

My main piece of advice is to make sure this is something that you want to do because I don’t think it is for everybody. If it is for you, but you’re not sure, there are people who can help you do it, but that dedication definitely makes it easier. There are going to be times where you run into problems that you’re not going to be able to fix immediately, and if this isn’t for you, you’re not going to want to put that time in to fix it.

Read another Coder Camps review and check out the Coder Camps website.


Imogen crispe headshotImogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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If you’re a programming student or someone considering a career change to software development, the road ahead has never looked brighter. But how do you take the path with least resistance, so to speak? How do you get to that hot new developer job most effectively? Understand the technologies that are in high demand and low supply.

You likely know Stack Overflow as a place to ask questions and find jobs. The programmer community is a great resource for both of those things and interestingly, they also ask questions of their developers once a year to gain insight on the year ahead. In 2016, the fourth annual developer survey looked at technologies we love, hate, wish we used and which ones represent the highest paying jobs. More than 50,000 responses from around the globe were tabulated and show some pretty strong opinions on the life of a developer.

(If you’d like to weigh in on the annual survey, data collection for 2017 is now open and can be completed here. Results will be published in late March.)

For as long as the survey has been running, JavaScript has been the most popular technology and that did not change in 2016. Node.JS and Angular are on the rise however and use of PHP appears to be declining. Rust, Swift and F# are the top three most loved and (not surprisingly) more developers ‘dread’ using Visual Basic and WordPress than anything else.

Respondents also said cloud technologies represent the highest paying jobs – with Spark and Scala users making an average of $125k annually. When categorized by occupation (full-stack, front-end, mathematics and mobile) the highest paying jobs are for developers who identify with Cloud hosting, React and Redis for positions that pay $105k annually.

Best Jobs in America

The 2016 Stack Overflow developer survey is a nice benchmark for current programmers, and provides important insight on rising technology tools for aspiring developers. Especially when you line that up with the 50 Best Jobs in America which was just released by another popular job search resource, Glassdoor. For 2017, the top three ‘best jobs’ as determined by job openings, salary and job satisfaction are, in order: data scientist, DevOps engineers and data engineer.

We don’t yet have this year’s results from Stack Overflow but it will be interesting to see how well developers’ self-reporting lines up with 2017 job availability, salary and satisfaction as compiled by GlassDoor. But for individual software engineers, survey information is a goldmine that can help you map your education to high paying, enjoyable careers without wasting time and brain power on technology tools that are on their way out.

To ensure there are no gaps between your current education plan and the high paying job you seek, follow these 3 steps:

1. Align your learning strategy to the technical skills that are in high demand and low supply.

2. Pursue learning options with an emphasis on effective outcomes, not just a collection of materials.

3. Don’t over plan your learning; the best approach is to start building something and adapt as you discover.

Best Cities to Work

This is where it gets inspiring…if you’re thinking big. Along with mapping the top 50 best jobs in America, Glassdoor also publishes the top 25 cities to work based on the geography’s opportunity to get hired, cost of living and work/life balance. The good news for rising software engineers is depending upon the specific job role you’re working toward, you have opportunities in nine of the top ten markets. Hot jobs in these cities include software engineer, solutions architect, web designer, UI-UX designer and others.

2017 is a great time to be a software engineer. Never before have there been so many exciting

By Chris Coleman, COO, Coder Camps

Codercamps New Website Learn More
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Pax South 2017 footage more to follow!
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