Coding With Purpose: How a Technology Boot Camp Gave Shamik Haldar a Fresh Perspective

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Shamik Haldar was reaching for a lifeline — and he got one. 

“I was going through some things, and I guess you could say I had pretty much given up on life,” he said.

Shamik started university for computer engineering, but stopped after two years for personal reasons. To overcome his struggles, he started attending group support programs, which led him to craft a five-year life plan. Front and center? Continuing his technical education.

That’s when Shamik found Carleton University Coding Boot Camp. After some initial uncertainty around whether his love for technology could sustain a long-term career, and general anxiety about going back to school, he set fear aside — and started boot camp with determination. 

It was the opening to a whole new world. 

Meeting old goals and setting new ones 

Going into the boot camp, Shamik had two goals. The first was foundational: make sure he still enjoyed coding. The second was to gain skills sufficient to prepare him for any job in development.

“I chose web development because it’s the most interactive,” he said. “You can see the fruits of your labor right away, and it makes me feel good, like I’m doing something worthwhile.”

Almost immediately, the boot camp confirmed for Shamik that coding is his calling. He’s fortunate to have learned under the instruction of Joe Staller. While it was Joe’s first time teaching a course, Shamik thought he was so good that he didn’t believe it.

“We were taught HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It was for beginners, but I was already familiar, so it just kind of jogged my memory and I remembered what it was like to be doing this kind of work all the time,” he said.

Shamik started moving ahead through the lessons to see what he was capable of. In his free time, he read Medium articles about web development and tried soaking up as much information as possible. He developed a passion for self-learning that he always wished he had. 

“I don’t know where this hunger came from, I just latched onto it and ran with it. When the boot camp started teaching how to interact with the front end and back end, I was hooked,” he said.

Learning to speak the language 

Shamik enjoyed all of the languages the boot camp taught, but one of his favorites was React because it provided him with a challenge and showed him how far technology has come. 

“Up until React, it was like we were crawling, but once we got to that we finally started walking,” he said. “It’s amazing to think about the way we wrote web pages before compared to now, and how our thinking has shifted. That was just an amazing thing to learn about and comprehend.” 

Full stack development was more challenging for Shamik to understand, as he describes himself as lacking that “designer” gene. But that determination stepped in once again.

“I like to stew on problems for a bit and try to come up with my own solutions. Even when the instructors were going through problems, I’d marginally glance at it and try to solve it my own way,” he said. 

A great resource for Shamik was his boot camp’s career services. The services, built into his course fees, passed on valuable tips and guidance for how to land a new job.

“The goal of a developer should be to go from being unpaid to being paid, and that’s a specific leap you have to take that doesn’t have as much to do with your developer skills as it does with how you market yourself,” he said.

The career services team helped Shamik polish his professional bio, resume, and portofolio — which ultimately led to his new role as a junior front end developer with See Sight Tours, a tourism company in Canada and the U.S. He was originally hired as a contract worker; now he is proud to hold a permanent role. 

The boot camp taught Shamik valuable lessons as a developer, but it also helped him gain insight and a new perspective when it comes to work and life in general. 

“I realized I need a balance between my education and my work and personal life,” he said. “I can’t do any of them without the other, so spending time off the computer is just as important as spending time on the computer.”

Shamik advises interested boot camp students to take advantage of career services early on, because it proved to be beneficial to him. For those who may be hesitant to attend, Shamik says the boot camp is for anyone regardless of how much education they had beforehand, where they come from, or who they know. 

“If you’re looking for a new set of skills, web development is perfect for that. Learning is fun and you can do it at any age,” he said. “Life is a lot longer than I think we realize, so just have fun with it and believe in yourself.”

Interested in developing new skills to put toward an exciting new career? Explore Carleton University Boot Camps in coding and data analytics.

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