Let yourself loose at Lighthouse Labs and you’ll be amazed at what you can do
EIGHT- WEEK CODING BOOTCAMP: THIS COULD BE YOUR TRUE CALLING
Kieran Cormack makes becoming a professional developer sound easy. Despite having graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in Visual Arts, he had been working in construction for more than three years when he finally had enough. He knew construction wasn’t what he was meant to do, but didn’t know where to turn.
Luckily, Kieran had a friend who recently graduated from Lighthouse Labs, a coding bootcamp in Gastown that promises a career as a developer after just eight weeks. “I had never heard of anything like it. Literally about a month before I started, a friend who had recently graduated from Lighthouse Labs said: ‘you should check this out.’ She just had this instinct that this was what I was meant to do.”
It didn’t take long before Kieran realized his friend was right. While he describes his first two weeks at Lighthouse Labs as “really tough,” he pushed through and quickly discovered that becoming a developer truly is his calling.
The model for success at Lighthouse Labs is simple: you need to learn how to learn. By providing the tools students need in order to adapt to a constantly evolving industry, they are equipped for the realities of being a developer. Bootcamp students become agile problem solvers with a talent that is in demand. And it shows: Lighthouse Labs has a 100-percent career placement rate for graduates.
While most students take advantage of the career services team at Lighthouse to find a job, Kieran set out on his own. With the interview skills he learned at Lighthouse, Kieran set up a meeting with Unbounce — and the rest is history. As a Junior Developer at Unbounce, Kieran is happily supported by a team of more than 30 engineers, allowing his programming experience to grow in leaps and bounds with such a massive team of mentors.
While the job security Lighthouse Labs’ career services promises appeals to many, it’s the unique culture and community that drives its success: “I was given the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people, go to meet-ups, be a part of the community,” says Kieran. “It’s something that I love about being a developer, not just the problem-solving aspect and feature creation/development, but the culture and community is something that’s such a great fit for me. It’s something that’s made me realize that this is my career path. This is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I love it so much.”
Kieran doesn’t come from a technical background, but he’s not alone. While the program certainly draws tech-minded people, students of all ages come from very diverse backgrounds and Kieran is no exception: “I had specialized in large-scale sculpture and digital media in school, but especially the digital media,” he says. “Lighthouse appealed to me because of that — using computers and programs, wondering how this is made, but I never took the time to dig deeper. I knew this was going to open that door for me.”
Lighthouse Labs offered a break from the traditional education style that Kieran was used to. With small classes, one-on-one mentoring and a hands-on approach to learning, a coding bootcamp is the perfect learning alternative for someone with the drive, passion and problem-solving aptitude needed to succeed as a developer.
He describes the experience as “completely different” from his university degree, and insists he learned more in two months with Lighthouse Labs than he did in all four years of his undergrad. “You repeat learning concepts in a four-year institution program, they go more in depth I find, but with Lighthouse they just walk you down a hallway, and they open the doors. You’re given the ability to explore different console apps or different frameworks and discover new things. To be given the confidence to try new things and break things — it’s great.”
“It’s something that I love about being a developer, not just the problemsolving aspect and feature creation/ development, but the culture and community is something that’s such a great fit for me.