Wyncode Academy Blog Posts
Read about South Florida’s first development bootcamp
Wyncoder Profile: Bianca Padilla of LiveNinja
Written by Administrator on 30th January 2016, 8:55 AM
Meet Bianca Padilla, a former Wyncoder who now works at LiveNinja!
Do you remember when you first heard about Wyncode? What was your initial impression?
I had heard about Wyncode through Google. I already had looked into coding schools in NYC, which is where I was living at the time and knew what they were about. I asked a lot of questions to some admissions directors at other programs but decided to look into some schools back home where I had far cheaper living expenses, much better weather, and rumored to be an up and coming tech scene. I reviewed two schools in Miami and quickly realized that Wyncode had far better reviews and a stronger sense of community than what I was finding anywhere else.
What were you doing for work at the time?
I was a senior at New York University studying Economics and Business, and interning at a Private Equity Investment firm as an Investment Analyst.
Did you have any coding experience at the time you first heard about Wyncode?
None whatsoever. I had played around on Codecademy.com for a computer literacy class I took in college but that was it.
What made you take the giant leap to apply for then enroll in course at Wyncode?
I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in the internship when they offered me to join full-time, I hated the hours, and I didn’t feel like I was really solving any tangible products. So I took a leap of faith, moved back to Miami, and joined Wyncode September after my college graduation and I can say that without a doubt it was the best decision I have ever made.
How did you enjoy the nine weeks you spent as a student at Wyncode?
It was easily the best decision I have ever made in my life. I honestly didn’t know if I would like coding, but after two weeks I fell in love. That said, I gave it 150% of my time and effort and went beyond and above on every project I worked on. Coding is hard, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, because every little step is a problem to be solved. And each of these steps can be solved in a different way.
Wyncode is the powerhouse of South Florida’s coding school communities. We have such an active Slack Channel (internal messaging application) where hundreds of current students, graduates, and TA’s post tons of help, information, and gifs to motivate each other and push each other to grow daily. The alumni at Wyncode was surprisingly the most helpful I’ve ever encountered. Because they are working at so many different firms, they have opened doors for prospective and current students like never before! Take advantage and meet as many as you can! There will be plenty of opportunities like BBQ’s, Go-kart racing, at the LAB, etc.
The instructors, TA’s were invaluable during my time as a student. I asked them so many questions I thought they’d get annoyed of me, but their patience and knowledge they shared allowed me to grow with each problem I solved.
Our final project called “Amazing Grace”, is a web app that teaches girls about technology and how to code. We spent two weeks working our fingers to the bone and it came out beautiful and worked smoothly. We were even able to take the application to CODeLLA, and allow them to play and learn using Amazing Grace. CODeLLA provides a safe, girls–only environment built for learning and exploring the fundamentals of Computer Science, Digital Literacy, and Interpersonal Development. The main goal of CODeLLA is to empower the next generation of Latinas by building an invaluable skillset and giving them the confidence to pursue careers in STEM.
Were there any specific lessons or instructors that made a particular impact on you?
Our instructor, Ed, was incredible (MIT Grad, knows his stuff really well). His lectures feel like your listening to a story, and he provides lots of context and history to make the lectures stick (and fun to listen to, too!) One of the best teachers I’ve ever had, both in high school and undergraduate. He also fills his lectures with things to pay attention to that hiring partners may be looking for, or advice for negotiating your first offer. He’s an all around great guy and I feel lucky and proud to have had him as a teacher everyday for 9 weeks.
Sean was beyond incredible. I would wait lines to talk to Sean because he was just so thorough at explaining concepts and helping track down bugs (and teaching you what to look for when tracking them down). We also have about 12 other TA’s that rotate (~3/day) that come from 3:30-9pm every day (even on weekends) which helps immensely.
Tell us about what happened after you graduated? How many jobs did you apply to? How long did it take for you to land your current gig?
We had over 10 Wynterviews on campus where hiring partners come to Wyncode for interviews. Rita, the Director of Hiring Partnerships, really cares about finding jobs that fits each students individual needs and pushes for what is best for Wyncode grads. She has a huge reach in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale Tech community and is constantly looking and attempting to gain more hiring partners for Wyncode.
I got hired as a Developer for a startup a few days after graduation and starting working one week later.
What is your current gig? What is work life like?
I’m a Software Developer at LiveNinja. My hours are 10am-6pm everyday. I get into the office and see what tasks I have to do for that day, and make a game plan of who I need to talk to or which code base I need to look at in order to figure it out. I got hired with another Wyncode Student, and we have two Senior Developers (CTO and Lead Engineer) that we work under, which is great because they’re so knowledgeable and take us step-by-step when we don’t understand problems. The office is about 15 people and a few more that work remote. We’re an open office space and are all relatively tuned in with every aspect of the company, not just the development of the product, which is great.
Also, LiveNinja brings the tech and creative community together for Waffle Wednesdays, a weekly breakfast networking event, which allows us all to meet and socialize with interesting people from Miami!
(From http://www.eventbrite.com/e/waffle-wednesday-tickets-15293102080 below: Each week we offer up gourmet waffle creations, bulletproof coffee, fruit, and juice provided by Caribe Juice. Come introduce yourself to the community and get the chance to hear from local startups and businesses as they pitch their app, demo new projects, and share upcoming events with the room.)
Are you happy with what you are doing now for LiveNinja?
Absolutely. I go into work knowing that I will learn something new with people who want you to get better. At jobs I’ve had in the past, all I remember was looking at the clock hoping it was time to go home. As a developer at LiveNinja, I never do that, actually I do, but only to check when our next coffee refill is from Raul!
My job now is like solving a really huge puzzle, piece by piece, connecting and fixing parts until they’re ready to be deployed. Some people think that coding is an isolated job in a dark room sitting behind a computer screen. But it’s the complete opposite. It takes an immense amount of coordination and clear communication to correctly fit these pieces together to make sure the programs run smoothly.
The ability to see our work at the end of the day, or week, or month is what drives me to keep learning and building amazing things with our incredible team.
Who would you recommend Wyncode to?
Anyone who loves to work really hard at problem solve, googling, and learning something new every single day. A computer is another world, one which coding unlocks.
Why is now the time to learn to code?
Everything in the world runs through the internet, our laptops, our phones, our watches, etc. We’re entering into a world where basic home items like Refrigerators and AC’s are connected to our home WiFi networks and controlled and operated by our devices. That means all of these computer systems and software need to be built, rebuilt, and debugged, at exponential rates. We are going into a world where computer literacy is as important as reading and writing literacy, and thankfully at Wyncode they teach you the skills to never stay behind.
Solving problems and building programs is awesome because you can use those programs to make your life and other people’s lives better, easier, and more productive. I even think women especially should learn to code given the opportunities to work in a forward-thinking environment, gain a high wage, and the chance to work from home (or completely remote) when caring for their children. Coding is a job that takes patience, and I find that when learning new things women take more time, patience, and thoughtfulness to figure things out.
Programming is a career that gives back in more ways just earning an income. It’s an invaluable skill in today’s world that will reap benefits in so many ways as we progress towards the future.