College Dropout Turned Programmer: How Benjamin Weinberger’s Ambition Helped Him Secure a New Role After Boot Camp

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Benjamin Weinberger never struggled with motivation. But he felt too strongly about his passions to commit to the general education courses that come with college—eventually finding himself without a degree at the age of 30. 

Benjamin spent a few years as a technician at an Apple Genius Bar in Cleveland, Ohio. He was incredibly passionate about working with computers every day, but as his wife pointed out to him, the customer service end of the job didn’t speak to his true technical passion. 

Spurred by her insight, Benjamin began researching ways to gain a programming education. He came across the Trilogy-powered boot camp in Ohio and got accepted. There was just one problem. 

“At the time I was enrolling in the Ohio boot camp, my wife and I made the decision to move back to my hometown of Tucson, Arizona,” said Benjamin. “Then, I came across the University of Arizona Coding Boot Camp and realized it was also Trilogy-powered. I reached out to see if they could transfer my acceptance, and was able to enroll.”  

With this roadblock cleared, Benjamin was finally ready to dive into one of his biggest passions and pursue the education he’d always wanted. 

Harnessing motivation 

Benjamin was more excited about going to boot camp than he had been about anything in his life. 

“I thought it was so incredibly amazing to gain so much experience from the pre-course work alone,” he said. 

Going in, Benjamin had some basic experience in Python from self-directed learning. Still, nearly everything the boot camp taught was unfamiliar to him. 

“I always had my hand up to ask questions,” he said. “Even though I was working full-time, I would always try to be early to class and early to office hours—truly taking advantage of all the resources.” 

Beyond the lessons and homework, Benjamin followed his interests and began pursuing additional recommended work. In boot camp, the students were working primarily in React, but he started teaching himself Angular on the side. 

“This outside work opened up my mind to be willing to fail,” Benjamin explained. “I’d write down questions I had in class and take them home to work through the problem, and if I still had questions the next day, then I’d seek additional help.” 

Cultivating relationships

Benjamin became particularly close with his instructor, David Lovett, who taught him everything there is to know about coding. As an instructor, David went above and beyond, sharing tactical knowledge and advice about interviewing. Benjamin even became friends with him outside of class. 

Benjamin also began attending coding meet-ups in his spare time to network and learn new technologies. One night, he attended a presentation given by a man that really stuck out to him, so he took the initiative to introduce himself afterward. 

After explaining his boot camp journey, Benjamin let the presenter know he would reach out on LinkedIn to build the connection. This initiative made the right impression. 

“This guy connected me with another buddy of his who had a start-up. This friend told me I didn’t have the right experience then, but he would stay in touch,” said Benjamin. “I would update him on my progress and learnings every couple of weeks. Eventually, I was offered an intern role with the company and began prior to completing boot camp.” 

It wasn’t long before Benjamin was promoted to junior developer and saw a nice salary bump. 

“I couldn’t have secured that role in a million years without boot camp,” he said.

Overcoming adversity

Unfortunately, just a couple of weeks after Benjamin was promoted, his company underwent some unexpected challenges and laid off the entire front-end development team. Benjamin reached out to a previous connection to let him know what happened and immediately began firing off resumes.

Soon after, Benjamin secured a role at BroadPath Healthcare Solutions, a technology-based medical management company—on the very same team his friend worked on. 

“I’m currently a developer,” Benjamin said. “The benefits are amazing and I didn’t even know the language—C# Windows development—at all going in. It’s a lot of on-the-job learning, and the confidence that I’m smart enough helps me through.” 

Today, Benjamin recognizes that his problem was never about finding the motivation to learn. It was about finding the thing he wanted to commit his all to. 

“The more you harness intrinsic motivation and work through passion projects, the easier it will be to succeed,” he said.

Want to commit to a future in technology? Explore a range of Trilogy-powered boot camps nationwide in web development, data analytics, UX/UI, and cybersecurity.

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