Student Story: Code Platoon experience gives Computer Science grad more confidence in tech skills

The following is from Leanne Keene, a student in the Echo cohort

When I finished grad school last year, I still felt like I was missing some critical piece of knowledge. I knew I would be qualified for jobs in the software industry because of my computer science degree, and maybe I would even squeak through the interview process, but what would happen when I showed up for my first day at work and didn’t know how to do anything? Sure, I understood software engineering conceptually, but I had no confidence and none of the practical knowledge needed.

Code Platoon was the perfect solution. It was affordable, taught the hands-on skills I was lacking, and was specifically designed for veterans. As I browsed the website, I saw that Code Platoon graduates had the same military background as I did, down to the same specific job! I knew then that I didn’t have to be intimidated because my fellow classmates would not be people who have been coding for years, but veterans like me who are trying to find their footing in the civilian job market.

I made some sacrifices to attend, both financial and social, and I would do it all over again. The dedication required to complete this intensive program is absolutely worth it. I learned so much over the course of the program. The experience and confidence that comes from coding and building software every day is empowering. Seeing your progress with the very tangible example of daily exercises affirms that tackling new languages and frameworks is a skill that you will be able to carry with you into the workforce. While interviews may always be intimidating, knowing that Code Platoon has prepared you for the challenges in the interview and beyond is a great feeling.

The greatest benefit I gained from my time at Code Platoon, even more than the knowledge, is the supportive network of which I have become apart. I know I can reach out to anyone in the organization, as well as the growing number of alumni, for help or advice and they are all there to support me. I’m excited to join this strong group of veterans as I start my first job. Maybe I’ll volunteer to be a mentor or a tutor for the program. Either way, future Code Platoon cohorts, I’m rooting for you.

Keene accepted a job as a software engineer at Novetta, an advanced-analytics firm, shortly before finishing Code Platoon.

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