anthony elfering code platoon

Anthony Elfering, Alumni of the Month, January 2020

anthony elfering software developerIn early 2018, Anthony was looking for a change. He wanted to try his hand at coding, and was intrigued by the emerging bootcamp model, but wanted to use his GI Bill to help with his tuition and living expenses. Fortuitously, Code Platoon had recently been approved by the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs, and applications were open for the next class. Anthony took the chance, completed the application, and was enrolled into Golf Platoon in the Fall of 2018.

Prior to Code Platoon, Anthony had earned his B.A in English from the University of Minnesota. After graduating, he enlisted in the Army. Anthony grew up an Army brat, moving every few years all around the world, and he wanted to have more opportunities for adventure and travel. He spent several years at the NSA as a cryptologic linguist, doing a combination of translation and intelligence analysis in Arabic.  

After five years in the Army, he was ready for something new. Anthony spent almost two years traveling, both domestically and abroad, all the while becoming increasingly interested in building cool things, both physically and digitally. Enter Code Platoon. 

As part of Golf platoon, Anthony learned the skills to become a software development professional. He especially enjoyed being in a classroom with fellow veterans, where they could support and learn from each other day in and day out. Anthony graduated in December of 2018, secured an internship at Chicago Trading Company (CTC) through the Code Platoon internship program, and recently celebrated his 1 year anniversary as a full-time employee at CTC.

Anthony says, “In many ways, working at CTC has felt like a natural progression for me following Code Platoon. Both organizations strike that balance between intense, demanding work and top-tier mentorship. It’s been super challenging, but a ton of fun, too. It’s a pretty incredible thing to be surrounded by awesome people invested in your success, and for that I’m deeply grateful.”

Anthony will also be sharing his technical skills as an instructor in the new Code Platoon part-time program. We are looking forward to having him help future Code Platoon students find their passion for software development! 

Join us in congratulating Anthony as our January 2020 alumni of the month!

Anthony in his own words

I was a crypto logic linguist in the army. I was an Arabic linguist. I would translate, you know, Arabic communications and kind of analyze them for any kind of intelligence value.

I was looking for a coding bootcamp that also accepted the GI bill. So it seemed like if I could find that in Chicago, that’d be really great. Code Platoon was really just kind of like a happy coincidence. I was actually in the first cohort that accepted the GI bill so the timing was just like … if it were any earlier, it wouldn’t have worked. If it were later, it wouldn’t have worked. It just … it was pretty much perfect.

One of the things that I liked the most about Code Platoon was being in a classroom full of veterans. There were so many like long days where I’ll just coding from like sun up to sun down and I just don’t know how sustainable that is if you’re doing it in like in a vacuum. But having colleagues who became friends, like in that same environment, you know, embracing the suck together, like that really makes it not just variable but fun, and I think that I really appreciated that.

The apprenticeship program, for sure, was like the best value add that that Code Platoon had, where I just felt like so many of those barriers to entry are smoothed out by the apprenticeship program and it’s been … I think that was a great experience and obviously it’s made a lot of really cool things possible for me now.

Future career goals, it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. It’s crazy how quick time goes, but like I’ve already been at CTC now for the better part of this year. It’s hard to imagine exactly what that could look like five years from now, but I do know that at least for like the foreseeable future, growing as a developer, but also just looking for different ways to add value in the company and just participate in everything that’s going on there. It’s been a lot of fun.

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