After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from The Ohio State University, Ohio native Maxson Green spent 10 years working in the food service industry. By 2020, he had advanced from serving and bartending to managing a successful local restaurant — and he thought that would be his career path for the foreseeable future. However, the pandemic had other plans.
Eventually, the restaurant Maxson managed closed for good, so he was out of a job in an industry that was greatly suffering because of the pandemic. “I scrambled to find another bartending job,” Maxson said. “Pretty quickly, I realized that I needed to do something else — and at that point, I didn’t really want to go back to the foodservice industry.”
After a few months of unemployment, Maxson enrolled in The Ohio State University Coding Boot Camp, curious to see whether his interest in coding could translate into a new career in technology.
Finding a fresh start
Before the boot camp began, Maxson bartended to save up money — this way, he could devote more of his time and energy to coursework once classes started. When week one came along, Maxson was able to cut back on his bartending hours, and eventually wound up working during the day two to three times a week while attending classes in the afternoons.
“For me, it would have been too much to work a full five-day schedule while enrolled in the boot camp,” Maxson said. “I wanted to really focus on the curriculum and get the best experience possible.”
Maxson enjoyed the virtual learning component of the boot camp, and was able to work on multiple screens while listening to his instructors each day in class.
Reflecting on the experience, Maxson says that coding lends itself nicely to a virtual learning environment. “Listening to a lecture on Plato virtually for my bachelor’s degree in philosophy wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun,” he explained. “But coding is more engaging, and much easier to follow along with virtually.”
Learning the language
He was also able to brush up and strengthen essential soft skills, like working with others in a digital environment. “The ability to send and receive information and collaborate digitally has proven to be useful in many ways,” said Maxson.
From day one, the boot camp’s curriculum allowed Maxson to collaborate with classmates on various projects. Looking back, he can see how this prepared him for future networking opportunities.
“One part of networking is making a good impression on the people you work with so they want to continue working with you in the future,” Maxson said. “And the boot camp helped train me for that — showing me the value I bring to a team and teaching me how to collaborate well with others.”
Building apps from scratch
Maxson especially enjoyed demonstrating his newfound coding abilities by designing websites and apps with his classmates. One project they developed was League Tracker, which gives users the ability to create, edit, and manage recreational sports leagues. Through the app, users can stay up to date with their league teams and individual player statistics while building a strong, connected community.
League Tracker is just one of many fun projects Maxson worked on during the boot camp. For another assignment, he and his classmates also developed their own streamlined employee tracking system for office managers to help companies store employee information more neatly and accessibly.
“These projects were some of the best I’ve ever worked on,” Maxson said. “Getting to collaborate with my classmates in creating these apps and learning from them along the way really made a difference.”
Building exciting partnerships
Maxson’s biggest piece of advice for boot camp students is to communicate with the people around them; whether they be instructors, tutors, or classmates. “Individuals who work in the field or have coding experience are the most valuable resource that you can tap into,” he said.
Maxson learned this lesson firsthand in the boot camp. In fact, if he hadn’t asked his TA questions and proved he was capable of working in web development, he wouldn’t have landed his current job at Accenture.
Impressed by Maxson’s coding skills, a TA reached out one day to share a potential job opportunity at Accenture — and Maxson was immediately intrigued. Today, Maxson works at the company on a team of Workday consultants, helping clients define their human capital management technology and approach to become agile, strategic advisors that drive critical business outcomes and revenue.
“The boot camp not only developed my coding skills, but also helped me prove I’m capable of doing this type of work,” said Maxson. “By building on my leadership, teamwork, and digital communication skills, I was able to land a new role at a great company.”
Looking to pursue a job in tech? Explore The Ohio State University Boot Camps in coding, cybersecurity, data analytics, and UX/UI.