Written by on March 23, 2018
This interview was conducted by Erica Freedman, Content Marketing and Client Services Specialist at SwitchUp.
After evaluating the costs of Veterinary school, Logan Baker decided to learn Web Development as a more cost-effective choice. As he attended NYCDA, he learned that becoming a web developer was not only fulfilling, but also a field that makes room for innovation and creativity. See how choosing to attend a bootcamp led him to a job he is truly passionate about, and how alumni reviews helped him make his ultimate decision.
Your educational background is in Biomedical Engineering and Biomedical Sciences. What made you want to study Web Development? What was your journey?
My background was focused in Biomedical Science because my original path was to go to Veterinary school. I would have been there this year actually.
The switch was primarily driven by the costs that graduate school demanded and the debt that follows. At the time of deciding, I was debt free so logistically $10K versus $200K was enticing.
I always had an interest in the overall field of web development and the sub-categories that one can specialize in. I was interested in NYCDA because the concept of a "boot camp" and getting a crash course introduction to the field seemed to be the way to go. I contacted Colorado State University in February, told them I was attending the Fall 2017 semester and signed up for the May 2017 cohort of NYCDA. Big change but so far, also a great change.
Do you feel web development and the biomedical sciences are related? If so, how?
I feel that there are some similarities in regards to volume of knowledge required to advance in the field. How one obtains this knowledge is vastly different. This main difference is probably my favorite aspect of Web Development. Technically, one can be fully self trained/studied and make a career. There is no ceiling stopping the amount one can learn as long as the ambition is there.
Veterinary Medicine, for example is restricted. You need to get accepted to one of the few but extremely competitive schools. Next you need to do 4-6 years (depending if you want to specialize) of schooling/internships/residency. Only then can you really step into the field as a "professional" but ultimately your hands are still tied in the sense of following practices that have been implemented almost a century ago with very small adaptations.
In Web Development, not only is there more flexibility with how things are done but also, an individual has a greater chance of innovating the profession. Whether it is developing a widget, new application architecture, or developing a new and useful API. The field is always evolving and open to routine interaction.
How did you decide to attend New York Code + Design Academy? What made it the right program for you?
To be honest I just went searching for coding boot camps and stuck with one that had good ratings on sites like SwitchUp. This was all new to me so other than public opinion I couldn't make a more informed decision.
You currently work as a Software Engineer for EHE International. What does this title mean and what does a normal day at work look like for you?
To me it essentially means I manipulate the application that is already in place. Whether that be components on the front end or how data is rendered in the back end. Our team was injected into the company to innovate an already existing system, so day-to-day is very fast paced. It has been anything from creating a safe and reactive 4 page form that handles intricate inputs of data, to developing a mock API for our system to talk to while the real one is being built by a team in CA.
Have you faced any challenges trying to become a web developer?
Many many challenges faced, almost every day. It's never easy but if there's anything I can take away now, it's that most things are eventually solved. The challenges are what made it most rewarding.
Has NYCDA helped you to get a job in the web development field? If so, how?
NYCDA was amazing in preparing me, specifically Nicole as a career coach. I was able to land my job pretty soon after graduation.
Where do you see your career heading in the next 5-10 years?
My initial plan is to build skills over the next 4-5 years to be able to work remotely per contract work. That's the ultimate goal, just need to build the skill set to be a valuable asset to a company on a consultant basis.
What makes you most passionate about the world of web development and software engineering?
I would say the reward to hard work is what makes me so passionate. As mentioned above, there's no limit to amount of learning in this field and if you're hungry enough, it'll pay off. You can't be lackadaisical and perform above average in this field.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice before pursuing a web development track, what would it be?
Honestly my advice would be just to start learning even earlier, and to accept that there will be a TON of road blocks along the way; which shouldn't be discouraging. What's the saying? "Diamonds are formed under pressure"? That kind of applies.