Full-time Web Development Alumni Q/A | Jackson Wong

By BrainStation October 19, 2015

Jackson our Web Development Immersive alumni showcasing his work.

What’s your professional/educational background?

I took Engineering, specifically mining in University.  I worked during the summers at various engineering firms to gain experience, but leading into my final year at school I knew I didn’t want to work in this field.  I started to check out other industries and I noticed that the Tech Industry had an incredibly high demand for talent, which attracted me.

Why did you choose to attend BrainStation’s Immersive Program?

The main reason why I chose to go with BrainStation is the fact that they are tied to Konrad Group (KG).  You know the saying, “those that can’t do, teach”, and that was something I was concerned about.  I knew if anything, the folks from KG would be teaching the courses, the quality of education would be higher, and finally, the fact that KG was very open about being affiliated with BrainStation gave me a lot of assurances.

Did you have any coding experience prior to the course?

I self-taught myself HTML and CSS, but quickly realized that it’s so hard to learn much else by yourself.  You run into questions and other complications that can’t seem to be solved just by looking it up on the internet.  I had also freelanced a little bit as a developer prior to the course but still was very new to this world.  I found that my prior knowledge of HTML and CSS was helpful during the first week, and also the method of problem-solving which is required for the Dev World also assisted me later in the course.

How did you like the course?

I really really liked it. I really enjoyed the way the learning was done hands off, and that there wasn’t an extremely structured plan.  I liked how the educators gave us basic things, then the end goal. From there they make rounds around the classroom and guide us as we self-solve and get to the final goal.  I find that the explorative part of learning lacks in traditional learning, but I think it’s super important and I believe I learned so much more because of this.

What was your favorite part of WDI?

The people made it a great experience.  All the instructors taught us really relevant information as they are all experts who also work in the tech world.  They knew what was relevant and trending, and provided us with current and challenging frameworks, versus where someone might just teach you generic WordPress.  They also taught us very intricate things such as Angular and Node, all very useful tools especially at this time as they are in high use.

What’s your favorite part about the tech industry?

I feel like I finally found a frontier of our current generation. If you dig into this world a little more, the limits are endless. There are so many things to do in this field, and it just continues to grow every day.  In programming, you actually feel like you have control over the input of the project, whereas in past jobs I’ve felt like I was micromanaged the entire time.

What did BrainStation’s WDI program cover?

HTML, CSS, Javascript, Angular, Rails, Ruby, Node, jQuery

How was the learning environment?

It was relaxed, and very much as much as you can take.  At no time are the educators pressuring you, but at any time if you want to learn more, all you have to do is just ask.

One thing to note is how adaptive BrainStation is.  The fact that they changed from teaching Rails to teaching Node is a great example of how progressive they are to the current trends.  The fact that they are willing to change the course outline just like that, where in University you would never see something like this.  This is especially important in the dev world as things change on a daily basis.

What do you do now?

QA Intern at Konrad Group, and some freelancing on the side.

How did BrainStation set you up for your transition from Student to Alumni?

Setting us up with what the interview process is like was incredibly helpful.  I didn’t know this at the time, but having an interview to become part of a dev team is completely different from other interviews.  For example, you might be introduced to a problem, and you have 3 hours to solve it and show the interviewee how you did it.  Learning from them on what the industry is actually like, what to be aware of, and the real-life applicable experience that would matter aside from coding itself was a huge takeaway.  They also had staff who are freelancers, so those educators were able to provide a different perspective on how to approach freelance projects and tips on what works well for them.

Interested in BrainStation’s Web Development Immersive Program? Get the program package and speak with a learning advisor today.