November 12, 2019

Meet the Team: Bob Stauss



Bob Stauss, instructor Burlington Code Academy|Bob Stauss on Demo Day presenting

The Student Has Become the Teacher

Bob Stauss, 27, alumni of our Software Development Bootcamp, showed such a passion for programming that upon graduation, we hired him onto the crew as a teaching assistant. Over the better part of a year, Bob continued to grow not only as a developer, but a natural instructor. Bob is now leading instruction in our part-time JavaScript After Hours course under his new title: Junior Instructor - and we couldn't be more proud if his progression.

Bob Stauss on Demo Day presenting

A native of Granville, Vermont and 2014 graduate of St. Lawrence University, Bob found his way back to his home state with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies with a minor in Fine Arts & Design. After struggling to find work in his highly niche career area, Bob started researching other ways to join the workforce. He traveled out west to Utah where he worked in restaurants and taught skiing at Alta, but found that he missed his home state, so back to Vermont he came.After working unfulfilling jobs, Bob felt he had to find something that would keep his attention:

“When I moved back to Vermont I started looking for something that wouldn’t crush my soul, or that would make me dread going to work every day, and happened to stumble upon an ad for Burlington Code Academy.” - Bob StaussTweet

A college coding course that went poorly made Bob wary, but after a conversation with a friend and Coding Bootcamp alum, Stauss decided to take the leap; “I took a coding class in college and I absolutely hated it because the instructor made us do everything by the book. We didn’t get to have any creativity or fun with it. I contacted my old friend who was a student in one of BCA’s Web Development Bootcamps and he said ‘actually, coding is way more creative than I thought it would be’ so I thought, ‘well cool, I’ll give it a try, then!’”.Like many coding bootcamp students, Bob did not have a computer science degree or a background in tech, but that made little difference in his success as a coding bootcamp student.Around the second week of the course, things started to click for Bob, “Coding just sort of started to make sense in my head, the logic was fairly intuitive but it was also challenging enough to stress my brain. The class was real intense, but I had fun with it. I started to think to myself, ‘wow, I can actually do this’”.The biggest surprise for Bob was discovering that you could create fun things with code, like video games. Throughout the Bootcamp, students build a variety of projects that they complete either solo or in teams that they can add to their portfolio. “My favorite project was a tech-based adventure game. It’s fun to make a game! I could get as creative with it as I wanted” he exclaimed. “The thing that surprised me most was how creative it is. I didn’t realize that there were so many ways to accomplish one task. The code you write changes a lot based on who you are, everyone codes differently.”When asked if he recommended the course to others, Bob had only one word: yes! “The upfront price tag can be a little intimidating, but there are few things worse than working one of those soul-crushing jobs. The value proposition of graduating and being able to get a high paying career as a software engineer was a no-brainer. Plus BCA has a lot of grants and funding options that make courses affordable.” Some of BCA’s funding options include Income Share Agreements, Scholarships, grants and tuition loans.Bob does note that this program is not for the “inside the box” thinker, “I would recommend the program to anybody who likes logic problems, who enjoys solving riddles and who enjoys thinking laterally.”The most exciting thing to Bob about the web development industry is its newness and its potential:

“Programming as we know it has only been around for 50 years, web development has only been around for about 30 years. This field is very, very new and truth be told, none of us know what we’re coding” he laughed. “So if you think that you shouldn’t get into it because you don’t know how to program, keep in mind that none of us really know-how, we learn every day.” - Bob StaussTweet

From a recent college grad looking for fulfillment in the workforce to a Burlington Code Academy student, and now Junior Instructor. Bob has become a core member of the BCA team and will be working alongside the Director of Education, Josh Burke in the instruction of our next Software Development Bootcamp starting February 2020.If you want to meet Bob and learn more about his path to programming, swing down to some of our free workshops hosted throughout the year.

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