The Fast Track to Start-Up Life
Have big dreams of tech entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley but no clue how to realize them? A Dev Bootcamp alum explains how he did it.
Suppose you’re sitting around your hometown, whether it’s Poughkeepsie or Pensacola, with big dreams of start-up life in Silicon Valley but only a modest amount of tech know-how and absolutely no idea of how to get where you want to go. Do you head to university or sign up for a graduate course to gain the skills you need? Do you pack your bags for the Bay Area and pray you land on your feet? Both paths are risky. Lachy Groom suggests there may be a better way.
Already a veteran of several start-ups at the tender age of 17, Groom desperately wanted a life of entrepreneurship in America’s tech hub but being from Perth, Australia, he was, well, as far away from the action as you can get geographically. Then he spotted an ad by Shereef Bishay in Hacker News, offering to teach highly motivated but relatively unskilled novices the programming language Ruby on Rails in an intense eight-week course in San Francisco, which Bishay dubbed Dev Bootcamp.
Groom signed up and never looked back. He completed the intensive experience in the spring of this year and is now navigating the choppy waters of U.S. immigration for the necessary visa to start work as a Dev Bootcamp employee in the Valley. And he’s not the only one of his cohort of 20, including recent grads, mid-career professionals from industries spanning insurance to finance, and a handful of start-up veterans, who found the experience life-changing: 88% of Groom’s fellow students currently have job offers on the table, with approximately 60% of those headed to start-ups and the remaining 40% mostly employed at consultancies.
“I went with the idea that I would use [programming] as a skill to complement me being in start-ups,” Groom told Inc.com, explaining that Dev Bootcamp was a great choice for others with similar ambitions but cautioning, “the thing about Dev Bootcamp is you’re trained to become a software engineer, not just given enough knowledge so that you can be competent in a conversation with a CTO, so I think it’s great for start-up people to do it as long as they’re willing to put in the hard effort because it’s a very intense course.”
“It’s officially nine-to-six every day but you’ll struggle to find a day when people aren’t there until midnight,” Groom says, noting participants basically put their lives completely on hold for the duration of the course, which was eight weeks for Groom but is increasing to 10 weeks for future courses.
Continue reading this article at INC.com after the break!
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