Bootcamp Corner with Auggie Hudak

Auggie Hudak is an incoming Hack Reactor student and previously studied at Berklee College of Music. He chats about his dream of becoming a front-end developer, applying to Hack Reactor, and his experience with WeFinance.

Bootcamp Corner with WeFinance is a regular series that looks at coding bootcamp students, their experience, and the lessons they’ve learned.

Auggie crowdfunded a loan to cover his living expenses during Hack Reactor. You can see his campaign here.

Are you considering a bootcamp but worried about the tuition or living expenses? WeFinance for Bootcampers is the fastest way to crowdfund a personal loan.

You have a campaign to raise funds for Hack Reactor, can you tell us a bit more about what the program is? Why did you pick Hack Reactor over another bootcamp?

Hack Reactor is a 12-week immersive coding bootcamp that teaches people to become software engineers.

I picked the program over other bootcamps because it had one of the most challenging (and fulfilling) application processes. In order to get through the challenges and interviews, you need to develop a strong base of JavaScript knowledge. Another way to think about it is that Hack Reactor gets you from good to awesome, while other bootcamps get you from beginner to good (or blank slate to beginner). I want to be awesome.

I’m actually part of the Remote Beta program which takes the normal Hack Reactor curriculum and brings it online, meaning you can get the same education without having to move to San Francisco.

Are you worried that it will be harder to learn if the program is online instead of in a classroom?

Not at all! Everything I’ve learnt up to now has been by myself online. The Remote Beta’s success metrics — $94,000 average salary with a 95% graduate hire rate — are comparable to the normal program and might be better if you consider cost of living outside of San Francisco.

Plus, a lot of the best development teams use remote teams.

What were you doing before applying to Hack Reactor?

Before Hack Reactor I was working as a Automatic Screen Print Technician. I have also worked in marketing as a brand ambassador. I actually dropped out of Berklee College of Music after realizing that music as a career wasn’t a fit.

I think one of the most important skills you can have is self-awareness. Understanding where your strengths and weaknesses lie is key.

What makes you a good investment?

I’m a strong problem solver who loves a great challenge. I’m confident I’ll be successful in “solving” this problem!

What gave you the push to do a coding bootcamp?

I chose a bootcamp over a traditional degree because most degrees struggle to keep pace with the rapid change. I was trying to find a way to get a job in software development and going back to a 4-year degree to study Computer Science didn’t make sense time wise and financially.

How are you preparing psychologically and technically for the intense 12-week program?

I’ve been spending time doing coding interview problems, reading intermediate/advanced JavaScript books, and trying to spend some quality time with friends and family — I know I won’t have the free time once the program starts!

What was the application process like?

I would love to say it was easy but it wasn’t. If anything, it was probably the opposite of easy. I had to interview twice and complete about 40 hours of web development projects (by myself, with little to no guidance) to prove myself. At the end of the day, it was worth it though.

Any tips for other Hack Reactor applicants?

Don’t feel discouraged during the application or interview process if you get stuck or have to do extra work. Trust me, I was rejected the first time and it was for my own benefit.

I honestly feel that, if the had let me in the first time I interviewed, I wouldn’t have been able to complete the pre-course work without a significant amount of help.

Any tips or tricks for creating a campaign?

Make a list of people that YOU would be willing to loan money to if you could. These are the first people you talk to about borrowing money. Tell them what you want to do, your financial limitations, and that you found an excellent platform called WeFinance that will turn it into a legitimate loan and take care of all the paperwork.

Ask those people what they think a fair interest rate would be. Let them know that if they are willing to lend you money that you are more than willing to pay them some interest.

How has your experience with creating a WeFinance campaign been? How did you pick your interest rate and deferral period?

My experience with WeFinance was great! I love how responsive the team was to all of my questions.

I picked my repayment period because that’s the latest point at which I expect to find a job — my “worst case” scenario. The interest rate was agreed upon with my biggest lender before starting the campaign.

What do you look for when considering financial products?

When looking for financial products I generally look for low interest rates. WeFinance is great because I set my own interest rate!