Weathering the Program

Weathering the Program: Meteorologist Tackles Coding Bootcamp

There is a misconception that needs to be addressed when it comes to careers in technology. While millennials and zoomers are known for being tech-savvy, embracing technology is not solely reserved for the generations that grew up with the internet.

Steve Woll, 58, can attest to this fact. A Navy Veteran who served as a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer for 21 years. After separating in 2008, Steve maintained a career within the private sector’s weather industry, and while working the business side for a couple of companies he rediscovered another career from his past: coding.

“I was a computer science major undergrad and actually worked as a coder for a couple of years before I joined the Navy,” says Steve. He left the programming world behind but didn’t forget the basics and began to reintroduce the field into his life as a hobby initially. He recognized however that he was not taking full advantage of the craft, being unfamiliar with the recent advances made in the technology and programming languages. “I realized I wanted to get my skills updated so that I could do this stuff more efficiently. So I started looking around at various coding academies.”

Steve knew he wanted to take advantage of his G.I. Bill benefits and began to look for a coding program that would fit his needs and it was through Operation Code, another nonprofit committed to getting military Servicemembers into the tech field, that Steve found Code Platoon. “It being a Veteran-focused camp appealed to me right away,” says Steve. After doing his research he reached out to Rod Levy, Code Platoon’s founder and CEO, and applied to join the 12th Full-time cohort, Lima Platoon.

“It’s been challenging, and there was a significant amount of pre-work we had to do that was very good for me,” Steve says noting that he had a pretty steep learning curve to begin with and the work he did in the second phase of the application process helped prepare him for the program and the challenges he would experience. While he has had experience within the coding realm there have been significant changes in the 30 years since Steve has worked in the field. Technology, the best practices, and even the mindset of programmers have evolved in the 21st century but one thing that shouldn’t change, and Code Platoon proves, is the value of teamwork.

“I think that’s been the best part. It’s what I expected knowing that this was a Veteran oriented program, but nonetheless, it’s good to work with people who you know are used to teamwork and helping each other out and working towards common goals,” says Steve. “As a Veteran, you feel comfortable with other people who serve.” He also commends Code Platoon’s ability to integrate Veterans into civilian and technology culture, as well as Code Platoon’s dedication to making the program inclusive to military spouses.

The average age of a Code Platoon student is 33, and while Steve is on the older side of the spectrum, the advice he has for those considering a Coding Bootcamp is sound advice for people of all ages. Get to know the program you’re interested in and the instructors you would be learning from, and give yourself time to get comfortable with the programs you’ll be working on because in an accelerated program like Code Platoon once the class begins it doesn’t slow down. Upon completion of Code Platoon’s Full-time program, Steve will be back to work bringing science, data, and technology together, applying the lessons and skills from Code Platoon to help field improved technological solutions for real-world problems.

Amanda Michelle Gordon is one of Code Platoon’s summer interns, serving in the Content and Marketing department. She is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and a student of SUNY New Paltz for Journalism and Sociology. In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, the outdoors, and turning coffee into copy. You can find Amanda on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Hank Moon - Alumni of the month - March 2020

Hank Moon, Alumni of the Month, March 2020

Hank Moon is a US Air Force Veteran and a graduate of Code Platoon’s ninth class India.  Hank served in the Air Force as an inflight refuelling specialist for six years.

After completing his active duty, Hank set-out to find a career path that he could get excited about. He soon discovered that software development was the path that he wanted to follow. He attended the University of Southern New Hampshire and received his B.S. in Computer Science.

Even with a degree in computer science, Hank knew he was still missing some of the skills needed to immediately begin his career. Hank conducted an in-depth search through many available coding programs and decided to apply to Code Platoon. Hank was then selected to join India Platoon.

After mastering the 14-week Code Platoon classroom that focussed on building hands-on programming experience, Hank interned with DRW.  DRW is a financial services company that leverages technology to identify and capture trading and investment opportunities globally.

Hank excelled during his time at DRW. At the end of his internship, he was offered a full time position at DRW as a software engineer! Working for DRW was a perfect match for Hank. He speaks on their amazing work culture saying “When I left the military I was currently working with a very tight-knit team, we were almost like family, and I got that sense of family at DRW.”

Congratulations on all the exciting work you are doing Hank and for being Code Platoon’s March Alumni of the Month!

Brenna Koss is Code Platoon’s Development and Operations Coordinator. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Greensboro in Political Science and French. In her free time, Brenna loves to travel and spend time with friends and family. Follow Brenna on LinkedIn.

Alumni Group February 2020

Christian Baker, Alumni of the Month, February 2020

Christian Baker served in the Navy as a Nuclear Reactor Operator for nine years. After his time in the military, he was looking for an effective coding program with great job placement rates. He applied and joined the India cohort in 2019.  Before coming to Code Platoon, Christian received his B.A. in Electronic Systems Engineering Technology at Thomas Edison State University in 2018.

Christian participated in the internship program and was placed at Echo Global Logistics. He went on to work fulltime for Echo as a software engineer. Christian explains how the Code Platoon program has been “challenging and rewarding” and share how “you won’t find a better opportunity anywhere else.”

Christian stays connected to Code Platoon and our effort to reach out and impact the veteran community. He will work for the new Code Platoon Student Veterans Association chapter as the Director of Marketing and Communications.

Congratulations Christian on all your accomplishments and being Code Platoon’s Alumni of the Month!

-Rod Levy, Executive Director 

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 evening and weekend 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.

Holly Burd Michael Dorsey

Holly Burd, Alumni of the Month, December 2019

Originally from Peoria, Illinois, Holly joined the military after one semester of college. She knew she wanted to gain more life skills and not spin her wheels working towards an unknown degree. 

In the military, Holly enlisted as a Marine in the Intelligence Community, specializing as an Arabic Linguist for her Iraq deployment. For deployments in Afghanistan, Holly also learned Pashto and was a lead translator. In this role, she was responsible for not only language translations but for ensuring the systems that collected our data were converting correctly. As a Corporal, Holly also did work as an intelligence analyst and general interpreter. 

After three deployments in five years, Holly left the military to settle down and experience life as a civilian. She was ready for a new challenge! She found various positions in sales, where she honed her general troubleshooting and problem solving skills but something was missing. Her roommate, Nicole Carpenter, who is a longtime Code Platoon ambassador finally talked Holly into applying for the program. 

Holly joined Code Platoon in April 2019 as part of India Platoon. Over the course of the next 14 weeks, she developed a strong foundation of software development skills. “I’ve never learned so much, so quickly, as I did at Code Platoon,“ said Holly. Holly was able to refer back to the skills she developed during her military service, especially the immersive nature of working in close proximity with a team of fellow servicemen and women to accomplish a goal. She successfully graduated in August of 2019 and is currently a software development intern at DRW. You can learn even more about Holly in her own words by watching her video below.

Congratulations Holly on being our December 2019 Alumni of the Month! 

“Holly brought passion, enthusiasm, and an ability to learn the new language of software development every day to the classroom. Her aptitude for identifying a problem and encouraging all members of the team to find a solution together is an invaluable asset to tech teams.” 

-Rod Levy, Executive Director 

Holly Burd in her own words

So I joined the Marine Corps when I was 19. I became an Arabic linguist and deployed to Iraq. Then when I came back, I learned Pashto, and I went and translated in Afghanistan as well. For me, learning a new language was … It was something that I took to really well. So I had an affinity for it in high school and middle school, and then going into the military I was in a really amazing program that was just immersive. So you were around other people learning the same things, working on the same things, all day every day. It was just a perfect situation to learn a language in, so I was able to succeed there.

I tried going back to traditional college after the military, but I found that that immersive program and the immersive approach of Code Platoon was really better for me and helped me learn more quickly.

Being in an environment with other veterans, especially in an intense environment like this, it’s nice to know that everyone has a commonality and we all kind of have been through similar programs, like intense training programs. So we all were able to take from that and kind of lean into each other when we needed help, too. Definitely my favorite part of the program is the instructors. The curriculum is designed to really push you and test you every day, so you never feel like you’re wasting a moment. You just keep learning and learning and learning. It’s super powerful.

Now that I’m an alumni of Code Platoon, I am working at DRW. I’m already able to be working on active projects and contributing. I also get to work with a handful of other Code Platoon graduates. It’s great because knowing where they come from and where they are now, seeing that roadmap is something I could kind of emulate and look forward to myself. I’m so grateful. Everything that Rod and John and you do … super life changing. But you know that.

scott plunkett coder

Scott Plunkett, Alumni of the Month, November 2019

Scott was only 17 when he enlisted as an infantryman in the Marines. He deployed to Iraq with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, Alpha Company. While there, his mom sent him DVDs of The Office, and he watched episode after episode and fell in love with comedy.scott plunkett

In the middle of the war torn Al Anbar province, he quenched his thirst for normalcy by dreaming about doing comedy when he made it back home. When he returned to Chicago, he hedged his bets. He got a traditional bachelor’s degree using the GI bill, and he also graduated from Second City’s improv training program.

However, after finishing, Scott didn’t see a future in comedy. So, he leveraged his traditional degree to work for a value-added technology reseller. He was miserable in a cubicle and after months of feeling unfulfilled, the sleep disorders he developed during his service were exasperated and affecting his mental health. He felt lost.

scott plunkett computer

Mentorship makes the difference

Scott kept coming back to the idea of wanting to be creative and it lead him to the Code Platoon program. Coding was a blank canvas where he could build anything, and Code Platoon gave him everything he needed to learn how, including a mentor.

Every Code Platoon student is assigned a mentor who can guide him or her in adapting to the business world and applying their old and new skills in a different context. Scott was matched with Nicole Carpenter, who was trained by the Marines to speak Arabic and who is also a coder with 8th Light, one of the companies that supports Code Platoon.

Nicole says she didn’t focus on the technical aspects of coding with Scott. Her mission was to help him get clear on the direction he wanted to take with his career and to help him understand his worth as a highly sought-after coder. As she mentored to him over the weeks, she saw him evolve. At first, he thought he wanted to work on front-end design projects, but later discovered he had more passion for the back-end work like mapping. In fact, Nicole was so impressed with Scott’s progress that she helped him land his first job at the same company she works for, 8th Light. Now, they work
alongside each other.

When you ask Scott about Nicole, you can hear his gratitude beam through his voice. He says he owes her everything and that she was instrumental in his success. After floundering for the first few years after leaving the military, Scott finally feels like he is on the right path as a coder.

scott plunkett with bravo platoon

Gary Coffey and Karin Matsuyama, Alumni of the Month, October 2019

Gary Coffey was an incredibly hard working veteran who is also one of the most genuine and easygoing veterans we have had to walk through our doors. Karin was an extremely talented developer whose personal project was so impressive, we thought it was a 3 person group project.

– Rod Levy, Executive Director


From Mattress Firm to Finance Firm

In the Air Force, Gary Coffey did amazing things.  He was responsible for the technology that trained pilots. He downloaded and analyzed B2 bomber data. He debugged software programs.

But when his service was over and he came home, the best job he could get was selling mattresses. It was hardly the high-tech work he was accustomed to.

“Sales didn’t suit me,” said Coffey.

According to Coffey, he craved the challenge of solving complex problems but didn’t know how to translate his worldly military experience to the civilian world of work.

Gary is not alone. While veteran unemployment has improved, underemployment remains an issue. 30% of veterans are underemployed, a rate 15.6 higher than non-veterans, according to analysis conducted by Ziprecruiter in 2017.

Searching Google for IT training programs, Gary’s wife learned about Code Platoon, and he was interested because it was a coding academy specifically for veterans. Once he looked he deeper, he found that he could even use the G.I. Bill to pay for the training. After graduating the Code Platoon program and landing an internship with one of Code Platoon’s sponsoring companies, Gary boosted his salary by $25,000 a year.

“I’m inspired again,” said Coffey, who works as a software engineer for finance firm Enova.

Read more about Gary’s own thoughts on his journey into coding by clicking here.

Couples Who Code Together, Stay Together

Military spouse unemployment is considered a national security issue among military leadership. According to brand new data from the Department of Defense, military spouses are unemployed at 24%, which is six times greater than the national average. To combat military spouse unemployment, Code Platoon recently opened up the program to military spouses.

After first telling her husband about the program, Karin Matsuyama is now also going through it. Gary says that watching his wife learn to code gives him insight into how she goes about solving challenges. Coding is a new language they share, one that is rare. The experience is deepening their bond and securing their financial future.

While Karin can’t apply G.I. Bill® funds to the program like Gary did, she did qualify for Code Platoon’s Women in Technology scholarship worth $10,000.

“The GI Bill and the Women in Technology Scholarship put the program within reach,” said Gary.

The story of Gary and Karin’s journey was also featured on CBS News.

Karin brought strong technical skills to India cohort. Her thoughtful approach to problem solving was a positive influence on her fellow students and helped push the whole class forward week after week. We are grateful to have both Karin and her husband, Gary, as Code Platoon alumni working in the Chicago tech community.

– Jon Young, Director of Education

john cibula coder

John Cibula, Alumni of the Month, September 2019

John Cibula served in the Marine Corps for five years in an intelligence role and as a Recon Marine. It was a fun adventure and character building experience, but not a career, so in 2011, John left the service.

Since John’s mom was a cattle options broker and his dad was a trader, John tried his hand at trading. He joined the family business, but despite his best efforts, he wasn’t making any money.

Traditional education versus coding boot camps

Without a clear path forward, John went back to college.

He wanted to study entrepreneurship and economics, but he never made it out of the general education before feeling like the process was too slow and not useful for him. In fact, John eventually tried his hand at a traditional university setting multiple times as an adult, and the format wasn’t really a good fit. 

It wasn’t fun and the instruction wasn’t getting to the point of what he was there to learn. He had solid grades, and was paying for his education using the GI Bill®, but he knew he didn’t want to go through the motions when there might be something better out there.

In 2015, John was back working at a trading firm making minimum wage as an intern. His boss, who wanted to see John thrive, pointed out an article in the Chicago Tribune about Code Platoon. John researched the coding boot camp and followed through on an application. He was accepted, worked hard, graduated, and was placed in a paying apprenticeship.

“Code Platoon is challenging, but that was part of the fun,” says John. “I could see my progress every single day, and it was way more engaging than traditional education.”

In a twist of fate, John went on to work for a trading company, just not as a trader; this time he’s an Associate Software Engineer at the Chicago Trading Company. According to John, he finally makes the money he wants and likes his job at the same time.

“The company I interned with actually hired me and gave me a chance just because I worked with Code Platoon. Code Platoon changed my life.”

John recommends that vets who find themselves stuck with an education gap to their goals consider taking some risks. “Don’t be afraid to start over, don’t be afraid to try something new. Code Platoon is that kind of leap, and it’s a great opportunity that really just requires your commitment.”

john cibula party

I’ve had the pleasure of teaching over a hundred veterans and military spouses over the years at Code Platoon and John Cibula from Bravo Platoon stands out. A gruff and straightforward recon Marine, it was apparent that he knew where he had come from and where he wanted to go with his career.

John worked tirelessly to master every concept, and when classroom instruction wasn’t enough, he sought out other resources to ensure his success. He was the first software engineering apprenticeship that Chicago Trading Company took on for a Code Platoon graduate, and through his trailblazing, we’ve sent over two additional veterans with two more joining them in December.

-Jonathan Young, Instructor

John Cibula in his own words

I went the route of Recon Marine, which is a specialized infantry unit, and then did two deployments in Djibouti and Afghanistan. When I got out of the Marine Corps, I kind of jumped around from job to job, tried to start a couple businesses. Those failed. So when I was an intern at some trading firm down in Chicago my boss knew I was going to end pretty soon. He threw me a… I think it was Chicago Tribune had an article about Code Platoon. So I read it. I figured I heard about these code boot camps before. I didn’t really have any prospects for a different job. I looked at the price. That’s kind of what got me there. It was awesome.

So then after I finished up my internship, I started after doing the 100 hours of pre work or whatever you had to do, I somehow got through that. And then the next month I started Code Platoon. First few weeks you do algorithms, so puzzles. That was actually my favorite part. It was pretty fun. You just got together, you did a lot of pair programming and you tried to solve a puzzle. Basically you beat your head against the wall and you didn’t think you’d ever get it. And then once you got it, you’d high five and go on to the next one.

I remember having huge headaches. It felt like I could feel my brain growing. It was kind of like the military again where you’re a whole group of people. We’re going through something hard together so you build that camaraderie. It was real fun. And so what I really learned and I like about Code Platoon is they know that you have to be able to adapt because especially software and the military, things are changing constantly and so if you don’t adapt you’re going to die. And they did that. It was great.

I hear now that they’re talking about they’re basically adapting to what the needs of the software community are and they’re not stuck in their old ways which I think is great. What I did learn from Code Platoon is basically you just learn how to learn. Once I learned kind of the base line, I wasn’t really afraid of learning a new language or learning a whole new field I guess basically.

I did participate in the intern program. I bagged a job at CTC. Woo. That’s the one I wanted to do. So now I’m a Java developer. I do front end development. I basically work on applications for our traders to look at price data and some other stuff and make decisions from that. It’s pretty great actually.

john cibula suit


Katherine Restko, Alumni of the Month, August 2019

Katherine Restko served in the U.S. Army for five years as a crypto linguist. She has a graduate degree in studio art, but after leaving the military, she decided to go down a different professional path. Katherine started searching for coding bootcamps to help her become a developer. Katherine was initially skeptical because of the reputation some bootcamps have as being content mills rather than genuine training centers. “I chose Code Platoon because it was a full-time program,” Katherine says. “Plus, they accept the G.I. Bill, and the reviews were great.”

At the start of the program, Katherine didn’t have a strong tech background. “I was artistic growing up,” Katherine explains. “I wasn’t driven to self-sufficiency.” All students complete pre-work before starting the program. Before starting with Code Platoon, Katherine decided to do extra work to boost her sense of preparation.

Within a week, she felt like she was drowning in material, but she was impressed at the attentiveness of the instructors. “They seemed genuinely concerned about the progress of students,” Katherine says. Her sense of stubbornness and camaraderie also helped to overcome difficult moments. “It didn’t take long to vent about the stress of the program and realize that you aren’t the only one. Even though the program was sometimes dizzying, I enjoyed the process of building things.”

Katherine completed the program in December 2018 as a member of Golf Platoon. She started working for Code Platoon as an assistant part-time instructor while continuing to hone her skills and applying for full-time opportunities. In March 2019, Katherine received a job offer conducting business analysis and project management support. She accepted it and took her next step as a developer.

“I’m finally doing something I wanted to do professionally,” Katherine says. “I enjoy it and want to do it career-wise. I’ve studied subjects before that I’ve enjoyed, but when it comes to application, other things can be a little boring. But I don’t have that problem when it comes to code. It’s something I love to learn about and enjoy doing every day.”

“After graduation, Katherine joined Code Platoon as a teaching assistant, eager to give back to the next class of students. Katherine was an incredibly engaging teaching assistant for us. Her energy in the classroom helped create a warm and dynamic learning environment for our students. We are grateful to include her among Code Platoon’s alumni!”

-Rod Levy, Executive Director, Code Platoon


Edward Wright, Alumni of the Month, July 2019

After serving in the US Navy for eight years as an aircraft mechanic, Edward decided that he wanted to switch careers to a more technology-oriented path. He attended college online for computer science, but didn’t get enough practical skills to actually bridge the gap to a full-time job as he intended. With a wife and children depending on him, Edward wanted to make sure that he had a clear path ahead of him that would lead to an education, income, and long-term potential.

Vocational Rehabilitation

While searching for a practical stepping stone, Edward heard about the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program through the Department of Veterans Affairs from someone he knew, and he applied.

To his surprise, Edward didn’t successfully make it into the program the first time, but he was encouraged by a contact at the VA to try again. During this same time, he relocated and was assigned a new point of contact for the program as well. Despite all the turmoil, Edward reapplied to the program.

Edward mentioned in his application for the Voc Rehab program that he wanted to attend a coding boot camp so that he could improve more on his programming ability than he was did while working on his bachelor’s degree. In fact, he had so much faith in the coding boot camp system that he was ready to pay for his training out of pocket. Fortunately, he didn’t have to make that financial commitment; with some patience, persistence, and a little bit of faith, he was able to make it into the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation program to fund his training.


Training that works for veterans

Code Platoon wasn’t the only coding boot camp Edward considered when looking at options, but it was the best one for his needs. Code Platoon’s compatibility with the VA’s Voc Rehab standards helped of course, but Code Platoon also offered flexibility on payment options with generous scholarships if Voc Rehab didn’t work out. And no matter how Edward funded his training, Code Platoon’s focus on veterans made it a great choice for a former sailor who wanted to feel comfortable with his peers while training.

Whether it’s taking a second shot at technology education or trying more than once at a VA application for tuition, Edward believes it’s all about continuing to try.

“There was a time when I was leaving the service and I wasn’t sure how much career potential or learning ability I had left. I look back on that now, working for an international company like Grainger, and I can’t believe the difference of where I’m at. I know it sounds cliche, but if I can keep hitting a wall and trying again until I succeeded, you probably can too.”

Congratulations to Edward Wright, Code Platoon Alumni of the Month for July 2019!

As the largest B2B e-commerce retailer with more than half of our sales coming through a digital channel, Grainger has a high demand for skilled software developers. Code Platoon offers an extensive and unique approach to developing technical experts, and we are thankful to them for introducing us to Ed Wright. As a Veteran of the Navy, Ed brings a strong sense of teamwork and service, along with technical skills that enabled him to contribute quickly at Grainger.

– Sean McCormack, VP of Solutions Engineering, Grainger

Transcript of Edward Wright’s Code Platoon video

I joined in ’99, my first duty station was in Virginia Beach. I worked on the F-14 war plane. Working on airplanes, I found that attention to detail was very critical and that was one of the, I guess, traits I would say that I took from that to where I am now.

I knew I wanted to get into something related to IT or software development while I was in the military, but since I had already started down that road the VA didn’t want to pay for it and so I didn’t have the opportunity to try to transitioning into that area while I was in the military. When I came across Code Platoon, it sounded interesting immediately and so I did a little bit more research and found that it will probably be the best option for me, considering the cost between it and some of the other ones and I will say the location I thought was good for me as well, being here in Chicago.

With Code Platoon the thing I got out of it the most was the way Rod prepared everything before we ever got there. Some of the events that we went to, all the visitors we had, just all those things all put together I just felt like was critical to my success and me just sticking through it. It was a great experience. I would do it all over again. I tell my family members, anybody I’ve come across I would do this all over again. If I could talk my spouse into coming, I would.

The place where I ended up at, I felt was perfect, just perfect for me, and that place is a company called Grainger. At Grainger I’m a front end web developer intern. They’re an industrial company and working in aviation I actually knew who they were before I ever got here. The guys at Grainger were pretty excited to hear that and I just thought it was good for that reason.