A Conversation with Jeremy Anderson

Jeremy Anderson TechLaunch Instructor

Web Developer Instructor Jeremy Anderson standing against a brick wall smiling

TechLaunch Instructor Jeremy Anderson

Today we had a conversation with Jeremy Anderson. A Web Developer Instructor for TechLaunch, in charge of the first wheel of the program. Jeremy’s extensive knowledge and experience in the education field makes him a great instructor to be learning from. New TechLaunch students who enrolled in our  Web Developer program,  spend their first portion of it learning hands-on with him at the Miami Campus in a very professional yet casual atmosphere.  During summertime, Jeremy was also the instructor to one of the six Coding Bootcamps for kids from 14-17 years also that TechLaunch run in partnership with Careersource South Florida in high schools throughout Dade county. When Jeremy is not teaching, he is working on multiple JavaScript projects that include his own version of the Tetris video game.

Tell me about your role as TechLaunch Instructor?

I have been teaching at TechLaunch for over a year. I teach the first wheel so I am the first instructor students see when they start the program. My life at TechLaunch is great, the people here are amazing and the students give it there all. It makes for a great experience.

Let’s talk about the students at TechLaunch. What is like to be a student in your class?

Students usually start out raw, not knowing much about the web and definitely not much knowledge of the or programming. They usually go through the ups and downs of trying to learn something brand new and in an environment they’re not used to. We focused mainly on the student’s ability to build actual programs, not just exercises which can be a difficult change at first. As they grow, however, they begin to appreciate the grind of it all and when they enter the workforce they are very appreciative because they are better prepared than their peers.

Recently you guys moved from Doral to Miami, how’s that transition going?

Well, Doral is in Miami lol but yes it’s been a transition. I started in Doral so I grew accustomed to the Pipeline location but our Director Salvi Pascal is putting in a lot of time and effort to building an excellent location here at within FVI campus in the Mall of the Americas in Miami and it’s coming out really great. Classes are at night and students usually are professionals working in the day so they can be a bit tired. But since our campus is in the Mall of the Americas, there is Cuban coffee EVERYWHERE you go. I usually just point them to the nearest seller and they seem to be ready to go. Our students love the fact that they have their own a personal web server that when they are done with a project, they can simply put in on the internet so they can show others what they have accomplished. You can see the progression from when they start with me, then work with Frank, and when they are putting together professional projects with Randy at the end. 

If you were going to give your best career advice to someone, what would that be?

My best career advice would be to master being frustrated. As a programmer being frustrated is a natural occurrence. The idea of programming is to make something that doesn’t already exist so there isn’t a full instruction manual what to do, you really have to figure it out on your own. Being frustrated is bound to happen whether you are a student or a professional you are going to through it. But they only time you fail is when you give up. You need to keep fighting at it, keep attacking the problem and these bouts of frustrations turn into learning opportunities. From there when you reach that problem again, you will remember how to accomplish it again or, like how I usually do, look back at what I did before and be like “Oh yeah, that’s how I did this” and then fix that particular issue. 

Doing GitHub Well

 Having a GitHub that is “well tended to” is also very important. You might not always have a project that ends up in your portfolio but if make persistent commits to your GitHub people can see how often you work and what you are working on so the time and effort you are putting into being a programmer can be documented even if that project never ends up being completed. Make sure you get a lot of “greens” in your contribution chart so that potential employers say that you stay busy consistently. 

 My final advice would be to pick a project that you are passionate about and work at it regardless if it’s not for money. It could be a cause, tribute page, blog, etc. But do something that you are willing to put a lot of time into. It will show future employers or are serious about programming. That’s the number one thing employers want to see in you.

 

Who is Jeremy Anderson

Well, I am exactly like every student here. I am transitioning from being a primary teacher and was looking for an opportunity. I took programming in high school but didn’t pay much attention to it. However, when I was at FIU getting my bachelor’s in economics, I kind of knew I wasn’t going to get a job with just this degree (this was during the recession so getting a job was very hard to come by). I just decided to get back into coding hoping to make a game one day and I just got into hard. It was daily, morning to night, and you need that attitude to make it in this field. I started to work at CARE Elementary in Overtown, and it was a really great opportunity but I knew this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my career. 

 I used one of my summers when school was out and became a student at Wyncode. I learned a lot and met really amazing people. It really reinforced my passion for teaching because both experiences lead to this opportunity here to change peoples lives. I can be a hard teacher at times but my students realize it for a reason, to bring out the best in them.