Vías Cracks the Code to Web Development

Insights from my experience with the Grand Circus Coding Bootcamp

Marketers who understand computer programming will
better adapt to trends in technology. They may even be the dark horse of the digital marketing world.

For the past 14 weeks I have dedicated my free time to learning the fundamental skills of computer programming. This information was condensed into a challenging yet rewarding coding bootcamp that taught me the technical skills needed to develop a web application from scratch.

The subject matter was intimidating as a student with little background in coding. However, Grand Circus believes that anyone can become a developer, so why not marketers? As a marketing professional, I have experience with designing and creating websites using content management systems. The coding bootcamp helped me take my web development skills to the next level.

Grand Circus Opens The Door To New Opportunities

As a millennial eager to gain new skills and experiences, I came across an article that explained why coding is the key to future success. I was later introduced to Grand Circus’s free Intro to Coding Workshop where I learned the programming foundations of JavaScript.

Curious to learn more, I sought to join the full-time .Net (C#) Coding Bootcamp. The 10 week course expected your full-time dedication. Unfortunately I was not in the position to spend the time required to be a successful student.

As luck would have it, Grand Circus was planning to pilot a part-time bootcamp in Grand Rapids that worked better with my schedule. As opposed the full-time bootcamp, the part-time focused on employees looking to make a career adjustment with their current employer. I was proud to be among Steelcase, PNC, and Spectrum Health employees who trusted Grand Circus to start their transition to a computer programming career.

The hard work and dedication of a Grand Circus student does not go unnoticed by employers. The success rate of graduates speaks for itself. According to their Student Outcomes Report, 93% of Grand Circus job-seeking graduates were employed in a paid technical role after graduation.

As for me, my experience with Grand Circus has opened the door to many opportunities.

✔ I have made new connections to web developers and industry professionals.
✔ I had the unique opportunity to be taught by a computer programming wiz.
✔ I was given the confidence to pursue skills outside of my comfort zone.

“Bootcamp” Is No Exaggeration

Grand Circus supplied the tools needed to learn and continue developing essential coding skills.

I knew I wanted to learn how to code, but I didn’t quite understand what that meant at first. The purpose of this coding bootcamp was to manipulate data in the backend of computer programming. It didn’t take me long to realize what I had gotten myself into.

Orientation began by being handed two large text books and a binder full of lab work. For the first few weeks we focused on C# syntax. We worked until this new computer language became fun. As our confidence grew, a new hurdle approached until we were familiar with all the tools needed to build a web application from scratch.

ASP.NET C#, Visual Studio MVC format, Microsoft SQL Server, GitHub, and Azure were tools used for the final project which forced us to think like programmers. By graduation we were ready to translate all of our hard work into results by developing our first web application. I am proud of what my classmates and I were able to accomplish in such a short time. I can’t wait to see how this experienced has changed the course of our careers.

Coding Bootcamp
Final Project: Ruff Estimate is a web application designed to match any dog lover with their perfect dog. My group and I designed the app as a quiz that took information from the user and stored it into a database that would match with the dog characteristics database we created in Microsoft SQL Server.

New Possibilities For Vías And The Diverse Community We Serve

As a core value,
Grand Circus believes the tech industry
should reflect the diversity of our community…and the Vías Team agrees!

My role as a Grand Circus student goes beyond my own possibilities. I now bring valuable skills to Vías that will allow us to expand our digital services, but what possibilities does Grand Circus bring to diverse communities like Grand Rapids?

By developing and supporting programs that focus on increasing diverse talent in the tech industry, Grand Circus is a key player for economic growth in undeserved communities.

At Vías, we specialize in Latino marketing through a multicultural approach. In other words, we help connect organizations with communities that have historically been overlooked. With Grand Circus, we can connect these communities to the tech industry and new possibilities.


Thank you, Grand Circus for this humbling and rewarding experience!

Special thank you to Mindy Ysasi (The Source), John Rumery (Grand Circus GR), Chris Woodruff (Instructor), Doreen Troyer (Teacher Assistant), Kim Driscoll (Grand Circus Detroit), Damien Rocchi (CEO – Co-Founder)

Is coding right for you? Click here to learn more about Grand Circus Bootcamps.

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