Laura-Ashlee Kotelman

Laura-Ashlee Kotelman

Career Path: Software Engineering

Arts Teacher to Frontend Developer

Before Coding Temple: Language Arts Teacher

After Coding Temple: Frontend Developer @ Haybytes

What were you doing before you decided to attend Coding Temple?

I was teaching English Language Arts to middle schoolers.

What motivated you to enroll in a tech bootcamp?

I was overwhelmed with my job and constantly stressed. The pandemic really changed how I feel about work and the kind of role I wanted work to play in my life. I realized that the emotional labor and toil I was expending in teaching was keeping me from fully engaging with other areas in my life that I care about.

Coding wasn’t my idea at first. My husband, however, knew me better than I know myself and figured I would enjoy the perpetual problem solving aspect. With his encouragement and my burnt out state of mind, the motivation really came from a desire to grow my income potential and start a career where I focused on building my own achievements.

Why did you ultimately decide to enroll at Coding Temple?

I knew a bootcamp was the way to go for my learning. I like structure and a clear learning plan. Also, it fit well within my schedule. Post resignation I had the whole summer to learn and submit applications.

The promise of career coaching and support following graduation is what set CT apart from the rest.

What was the most challenging part of the program for you and how did you overcome it?

Sometimes the actual curriculum was tough to follow. I felt that some of the instructors were excellent coders with limited knowledge of pedagogy. What helped my cohort and me overcome was asking questions and being assertive about our needs. I’m eternally grateful that CT heard us out and made a change to help us.

What was the most valuable lesson or skill you learned during the program?

Read the error messages. Read the documentation. Go slow. (I think this is three lessons, but they all kind of go together).

What resources did you find most helpful during the program?

Stack Overflow, MDN Web Docs, Youtube, Neet Code

What was the job search process like and how did Coding Temple prepare you for your current job?

The job search process is a practice in persistence through endless frustration and rejection. To put it short, it sucked. I did have a lot of support through Marlene and Aubrey, but, no matter how prepared I was, the nature of the job search just means it’s going to take time and be a bit miserable.

I think CT prepared me for my job by showing me how to problem solve and explore the systems I’m working with. I don’t work directly with the specific techs we practiced in the bootcamp, but I utilize my research, learning and conceptual knowledge all the time in order to adapt to the new things I’m doing.

How has your career progressed since graduating from Coding Temple, and what are your future career goals?

I finally got the first job and started about two weeks ago. I’m earning an income which is a big jump since graduating CT and having a $0 salary.
I hope to become more confident with frontend development and continue growing my UI/UX skills.

How did Coding Temple compare to your expectations, and what surprised you the most about the experience?

The work was different than I expected. I was warned that it is not like school or university and it isn’t. That isn’t to say that it should be, however.

I think overall I’m grateful for the group I had and the instructors I ended up with because, from my conversations with other alumni, it can really make or break the experience. I had to become comfortable with the fact that not all coders are teachers.

That is what surprised me about the industry and this experience. So many people who are good at tech are their own teachers and I learned that I can be that person too.


What advice do you have for current or prospective bootcamp students in terms of preparing for and succeeding at Coding Temple?

Show up fully by turning your camera on. It really helps instill a strong presence in class and create a community with your cohort. Ask questions even if they just clarification questions to put things in your own words.

Connect with your cohort. Work and commiserate together.