Jon Sessions

Where do you live / where are you from?

I spent my middle/high school years in a small town in Arkansas, USA. After living in NYC for several years, my wife and I have settled in Connecticut.

What is your job title now?

I am a Software Engineer at Flashtalking, based out of Norwalk, CT. We’re a major player in the AdTech industry.

What was your job role / title before the coding bootcamp?

I worked as an Operations Manager for a few years. Basically, I managed the day-to-day operations of a small family-owned tool distribution company. I managed the warehouse team to ensure shipments were sent on time, managed inventory, resolved customer complaints, etc.

Which CodingNomads course did you take?

I attended the Python Web Development Career Track in Bali in 2019.

What was your education level and background before CodingNomads?

My formal education was limited in quality and quantity. I dropped out of high school to get my GED, and I haven’t attended any college courses. However, I’ve always been an avid learner. I came into the Python course well prepared by self-study.

What sparked your interest in learning to code?

I think two things really sparked my interest. First, I’ve always loved logic and pattern-based puzzles. Programming seemed like a great way to get paid for solving puzzles. 

Second, I’m really interested in hidden complexities – things that appear very simple on the surface but are very complex behind the scenes. Some of my favorite hobbies involve some amount of hidden complexity. Two big ones that come to mind are cooking and performing sleight of hand magic. Both a simple looking magic trick or a humble looking dish can require hours of preparation and diligent attention to details, which are hidden from the audiences, eaters and users.

What was your coding experience before CodingNomads?

I’ve spent lots of time on and off over the years reading about programming, watching YouTube tutorials, Udemy courses, etc. Most importantly, prior to CodingNomads I had already built several simple projects myself in a number of languages. Nothing too impressive, but building simple projects really prepared me for the course.

Why did you decide to learn coding specifically with CodingNomads?

My wife and I were planning a trip to Bali where I was going to pursue a career change to programming through self-directed study. By chance, I happened to come across CodingNomads who happened to be hosting a Python course in Bali at the same time. It must have been fate, because it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What was your favorite aspect of the bootcamp?

Learn beginner-to-advanced Python skills:

  • Training 1: Python Scripting
  • Training 2: Python APIs
  • Training 3: Python OOP
What types of skills are you using today that you learned with CodingNomads or since?

I’m using so many of the skills I learned in the bootcamp, both from the online preparation courses and the on-site instruction. I’m also learning new skills all the time.

My main project right now is in Java, but I’m also using JavaScript for testing, and Python for scripting. I’m in the CLI constantly using Git and Bash scripts. Our project management is done with Jira, and our pull requests are done in BitBucket. I’m using Postman to send requests, looking at database contents with DBeaver, using SourceTree for Git, etc.

Did your salary change after the bootcamp?

My very first coding job exceeded my previous salary by about 10%. This was after I worked a number of years as an operations manager in NYC, and had no professional software engineering experience. Now my salary is on track to increase significantly over the next few years, so it will rapidly outpace my previous salary potential.

How did you get your job after the bootcamp?

As soon as I got home from Bali, I started the job hunt. I tried everything. I applied to every single job I could on LinkedIn, I looked at all kinds of different job boards. Tried all the job listing aggregator apps. Reached out to recruiters. Nothing seemed to work. I’d get a phone “interview” here and there that never seemed to be a serious interest. For a few months, looking for a job became my full-time job.

Two distinct things eventually got me the job. First, I continued working on personal projects and contributing to my GitHub repo. I also continued learning new skills, like deploying my own portfolio website, using AWS services, and using other languages.

Second, I tried something a little more daring. I researched tech companies and identified some that might be cool to work for. Then I dug deeper and identified somebody in those companies, anybody at all, that might have some power in getting me hired, and I emailed them directly. 

I’d first try to find a tech lead or project manager. If I couldn’t find anyone, I’d go higher up the chain and start looking for heads of departments, or VPs. As soon as I found someone, I’d email them. I’d explain my background, that I had recently completed a bootcamp, and was looking to change careers. I was honest and forthright about my experience and skill set, and importantly my eagerness to get a developer job with their company.

Most of these emails went nowhere, and I got no response. But my first dev job came from messaging the CTO directly on LinkedIn. So the research, the boldness of reaching out directly, and my honesty about my experience and eagerness to learn truly paid off in the end.

How long did it take you to land your job after the bootcamp?

I completed the CodingNomads bootcamp in December 2019 and got my first job in March 2020.

What was the hardest aspect / biggest thing you learned in the job search?

The biggest thing I learned was that determination and boldness, paired with the eagerness to grow into a new career, is what it takes to get the job.

If you could do it all again, would you?

100%. It’s been more than a year since I completed the CodingNomads bootcamp, and I can safely say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.


Do it. Even if you don’t think you like solving problems, or logic puzzles, or tech at all. A computer is a tool that most people use, ineffectively, every day. A little coding knowledge can go a long way in increasing your mastery over that tool.

Learn beginner-to-advanced Python skills:

  • Training 1: Python Scripting
  • Training 2: Python APIs
  • Training 3: Python OOP