On Upgrading Your Skills with Veena Sivan
Beyond giving her the practical exposure she sought, tackling new concepts and receiving constant guidance from her Bootcamp instructors allowed Veena to boost both her existing skills, and confidence in programming. She tells us more about what she has learnt.
Unlike many graduates at Rocket Academy, Veena Sivan did not begin her Rocket journey as an aspiring career switcher. On the contrary, she studied software-related courses in university and has had nearly 10 years’ experience in both tech and software engineering roles — but this didn’t make her time in Rocket’s Coding Bootcamp any less worthwhile.
What drew you to enrol at Rocket?
Though I had experience as a software engineer, I realised my technical exposure was limited to only one language. I had been taking little steps to improve myself, but I realised it would be difficult to achieve my goal on time with the pace of my self-study. I started searching for short-term courses that could provide ample practical exposure in addition to the theoretical. I discovered Rocket with the help of Google and sent them an email. Kai got back and explained very well what Rocket stood for, as well as assured me that there would be enough projects to give hands-on experience.
Were there things you still found tough, despite having experience in programming?
Having a software engineering background definitely makes it easier to learn a new language, but Rocket’s course was still challenging as the concepts taught were different. Understanding them needed dedication, and following the materials provided throughout helped me.
What were some highlights of your Rocket experience?
One thing that made the course stand out was the in-depth explanation of each topic provided by my instructors during our in-class discussions. The flipped classroom strategy also helped a lot in understanding the topics because once we became familiarized with them, the class discussions become more fruitful and every student had different level of questions. This, as well as more time for in-class coding sessions, paved a great way of learning!
The project weeks were a highlight too. The instructors conducted regular reviews during every project, which helped me to correct myself. Prompt interference by them allowed me to focus on the mainstream instead of developing aesthetic features first, which gave me the direction to stay on target.
What about some of the most important things you learnt?
I was first introduced to pair programming by Rocket, and it helped me understand that one problem can be solved in many ways, as well as how to choose the best solution. It also gave everyone an opportunity to try, and taught us to accept each other’s point of view. I think this is one of the most important and basic things you need to work in a team.
Rocket also brought a lot of exposure to the software engineering world that most people are not familiar with. The Q&A sessions are a perfect example. I think these sessions were great for helping everyone understand more about the real software engineering life out there, including the challenges and how to face them.
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