University of Phoenix Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
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How did you get to where you are today? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path? What inspired you to start your training institute?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
Yeah, thanks for having me on. I think, uh, there's a lot of things that ultimately gets a person to where they are today. Type of idea. Um and I think one of the biggest things is I I was one of those people who went to school to join a career field. That was, you know, not something that I was super passionate about, but something that was very stable, very secure, right? I started in health care, Andi. I through healthcare, you know, kind of always pretty, pretty talented with computers. I naturally started getting promotions and things because I entered the workforce right around the time where there was a big push to move everything to Elektronik, charting on dso with that and having some natural talent towards computers. Um, I started training people on how to training nurses on how to appropriately transition from like, paper charting to electronic charting on, then kind of got involved with programming through some of that eventually became like director of nursing on, then eventually started writing tools. Thio kind of help help the nurses that I was training back at that time. And, you know, so that was just kind of one of those things that, you know, got me early started on, you know, I was in health care, but I was already teaching and training towards, um, technical skills and things of that nature. And so I eventually decided that I was having a lot more fun writing tools and building applications, and I was being a nurse. It all on dso. I ended up switching careers on DSO. I switched careers, uh, into writing healthcare applications, healthcare software developer transition a little bit of my time into cybersecurity, and then ultimately decided that I would start code works, which is a training institution for helping individuals kind of make that same type of career transition where, you know, maybe they've started into one career path that they don't necessarily enjoy and are looking for a change on kind of how to fast track them. Because for me, it was a very long drawn out, you know, 33 to 4 year process just to switch career fields. And, uh, yeah, I decided that we could probably do that a lot faster with other individuals

What training programs and courses do you offer? How much time is spent on in-person and online classes in a week? How many weeks do students typically take to complete?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
Yeah. So the training programs that we offer it code works. Uh, primarily right now, we have a full stack software developer course, which is what I've application. Focus. So focus on JavaScript html CSS. And ultimately see sharp on the back end on kind of how you tie all those things together. Uh, that course in and of itself is a 13 week long program, which is it's a pretty intense course. It's Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 on DSO. Students kind of eat, sleep, breathe code during that time on DSO that is our primary course offering. That's where we have our career services and our bulk of our career assistance. And, um, how we ultimately get students placed with companies that we know, uh, here in Boise and various other locations where we have good connections

What process do you follow for creating and updating courses? How do you ensure the relevance of topics and material covered?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
Yeah. So keeping curriculum up to date is definitely one of those things. It's a never ending task. The technology field is changing just drastically. Uh, it shifts all the time on day. One of the things that we do it code works, is we, uh well, we have a lot of really good relationships with employers around around us, and so we kind of pull them. And we asked them kind of Hey, what do you using? What do you need? Kind of what are your biggest wants on DSO? We make sure that we focus our curriculum around the skills that employers are actually looking to hire for that. Also being said, all of the instructors that code works were also developers. You know, a lot of us are programming, building applications, taking on site contracts and things that nature so actively working within the career field as well helps us, you know, helps us. His instructors also stay on top of the noon of coming changes

What criteria do you use to admit students and what are the various student profiles in your programs? What kind of career growth and jobs could students get afterward?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
uh, so to get into the code works program, we actually have put together a free video training Siri's that is actually upon you to me. Uh, and what we ask students to do is to go through that free course, uh, kind of get prepared, kind of, you know, get their feet wet with what is programming? Kind of. What can they expect on then? Once they've gone through that course, we actually will bring them in. And we do a a technical interview, and students have to pass a technical interview before they even get accepted into the program. Once they do get accepted into the program after they've passed that technical, we have a couple of additional challenges built into that course where they can actually get a $500 discount off of our tuition if they just completely assignments within the video course on. So that's one of the nice ways that we have to incentivize students to really be prepared prior to starting from day one that you started code works. We start working on your professional portfolio, we start focusing on what it's gonna take to get you a job, because ultimately everyone who comes to us eyes looking for, ah, shift in their career. And so our big focus is 100% of the time. We stay focused on getting our students employed on DSO. Every assignment that we give every piece of career services that we do is all targeted towards making sure that our students are the best candidate for the job.

How do you enable collaboration, social interaction, and comradery among students? Do you use any software, host online or offline events, or follow any processes for this?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
Yeah. So 20 twenties, of course. Been Ah, weird Here. Right? Um, we primarily we are in on ground, face to face campus where students are interacting with each other on a daily basis, type of idea. Uh, you know, with co vid we've had to do some remote learning and things of that nature at times on dso That's been one of those things where very, very real to the career force in the industry. Uh, students are working across zoom calls or, uh, some sort of platform where they can share screens and participate in what's called partner programming or what a lot of people call extreme programming on DSO. That's where you know usually have to developers and one computer on DSO. One person's typing in the other person is kind of dictating and, you know, watching out for kind of mistakes and things of that nature. So that's a pretty common thing that we use. There's also a lot of really nice tools built into the I. D. E. S or the code editors where you can dio live share so you can type on your screen and my screen is updating with the exact same characters. And a lot of that is built directly into Theo editors that we use

How do you support your students for internships or jobs? How do you prepare them for job interviews? How do you provide networking and mentoring opportunities?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
so getting a job at the end of the code works program again is what our primary focus is for our students. So, uh, spread throughout the duration of our course. We have career services and you'll have career service assignments. Uh, and so that's gonna be things like building up your professional portfolio, building up your Lincoln Network. You know, we do several different resume workshops, 62nd like elevator pitches on kind of how to perfect those types of things on DSO. We spend a lot of time focusing with the students on how to put their best self forward eso that way, when it comes time to actually start interviewing. It's not that at the very end of the program, you know, we're trying to cram in all of the career tips in the very last week. Um, you know, that's something that we spread throughout the duration of the entire course, which we found to be very effective. And then, as faras networking and mentoring opportunities go, uh, we are very connected. We have a lot of different community events that we dio I myself in the host of two different meet up groups here in Boise on dso We were really big on community were really big on making those connections and even with again co bid on social distancing and things of that nature. Uh, those connections can still be made online. Um, you know, and digital events are still very much a thing, and, you know, participating in those types of events, uh, can can help Justus Muchas you know, going to a live event. What is wealth?once a student actually graduates from code works the typical time from graduation to employment. For us, the statistic usually is somewhere right around 60 to 90 days. Uh, you know, there are some students that you know, they don't find gainful employment for up to, like, 180 days, right? And that's unfortunate. Um, you know, we're usually trying to push closer to that that 60 day mark. But it's not unrealistic for, uh, students toe have to put in quite a bit of time, energy and effort after the program. Thio land that job right? And we do several different career workshops and things of that nature, even after graduation, to kind of help keep spirits up and kind of help encouraging our students. One of our employees Her name is Brittney Own Zeman. She's just absolutely excellent. She was actually rated as one of the top 100 recruiters in the nation. Uh, and so she definitely is on our side and a really big advocate for our students and helping putting put them in front of different players

How do you assist students in paying for your program? What kind of scholarships and financial aid are available for students and how can they avail those?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
paying for school? Uh, you know, there's several different opportunities. We worked with a couple of different lending partners. Um, that can, you know, kind of help on that front. We also offer a $500 scholarship for completing some of our pre coursework challenges on. Then we also offer a $500 scholarship if students painful. Uh, we're also one of the few butte cramps in the nation that we are G i bill approved eso we can definitely take, you know, G I bill assistance and things of that nature. So we have several different scholarship programs and financial aid opportunities through those different partners.

What marketing software and channels do you use to find and engage prospective students? Which are less effective? Which one do you recommend to students to learn?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
eso marketing is always a big thing, right? One of our key marketing platforms is, of course, social media. You know, we way try to make sure that we keep a presence on, uh, you know, linked in from a professional standpoint, Facebook from a you know, kind of fun standpoint, Twitter from an opinionated standpoint. So there's different personas that you take on the different platforms. Of course, on kind of learning what those are you really kind of helps play into it. You know, even today, Instagram is becoming a really big driving platform for social media marketing. So that's a big one with some of the more like professional tools are designed asset creation for marketing ads. There's really great programs out there, like Can va fig MMA Uh, those air kind of online tools. Of course, anything in the adobe suite is really nice. Um, if you're looking for a job, you know, in marketing, especially from the designer standpoint, you're probably gonna wanna jump down the adobe tool set. But, you know, I think there's a very wide range of skill there, you know? And that's, uh, you know, just a very diverse skill set that depends on what your focus is

How has the demand for certain skills and technologies changed? What kind of jobs would see big growth in the upcoming years?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
Yeah, skills that are in high demand. Of course. Especially right now, uh, the web. The web is king, As I always say on DSO, the technologies that drive the web are really one of the best things to constantly stay focused on. From a development standpoint, from a ops standpoint, from a security standpoint, you know, and those air all you know, specialties or subspecialties within a much larger specialty, right? If we say computer science is our specialty, then you know there's there's a lot of highly specialized categories within, um and so, you know, I think some of the things that you wanna focus on from the application developer side of things are gonna be your Web based technologies. It's gonna be javascript. JavaScript frameworks view, angular react. Uh, you know, if you're kind of looking mawr down the ops side of things and you know you need to be paying attention to kind of the doctor kubernetes set up for imaging and things of that nature. Uh, security security is just skyrocketing and demand right now, especially with everyone being forced to kind of remote work. Uh, you know, we're starting to have more and more just your entire persona. Everything about your workforce is happening through online medium. So cybersecurity is another one of those really big venues that a lot of people need to be paying attention to, Uh, if that's kind of your interest. You know, even putting a little bit of python coding knowledge under your belt would be really helpful from the cybersecurity standpoints. So, um yeah, I think those air probably the biggest areas of growth within our sector right now.Yeah, from a cybersecurity standpoint, you know that there's generally what we call if we're going to stay in the in the realm of, you know, good ethical hacking. Uh, you know, you have generally what are called red teams and blue teams. Red teams are the usually penetration testers, people who are trying to find exploits. You know, vulnerabilities on the blue team is all about standing up defenses and making sure that we have everything in place that we need to prevent those types of bad stuff from happening, you know, prevent those bad actors from getting in on DSO. Generally speaking, kind of your blue team is gonna be a little bit more managerial. There's a little bit more maybe report writing and things of that nature. Uh, truthfully, uh, it's it's it's interesting because even though that's kind of the more managerial side, um, for the the Junior Seau cybersecurity professional, trying to get into the the career field threat hunting is probably one of the biggest things that they could focus on right now. You have, like, the minor attack. You've got the CIA triad things of that nature, like you should definitely know what those are, you know, do a little bit of research there. You've got atomic red team from, like, a tooling standpoint, uh, to kind of help with those types of ideas on then, um, you know, shooting for that pie in the sky. Like I want to be a professional pen tester. You know, professional red team. Er, um you know, that's that's years down the road. So I would say, you know, you start with your analyst roles first, before you move into kind of the more, you know, advanced hacking role if you know, advanced Pinterest penetration, testing roles.

What were the major exciting and memorable moments? Were there also any moments that almost got you to quit? How did you get past them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
s Oh, yeah. This is actually a really good question. Um, you know, the things that you know keep you up at night, so to speak, Right? Um, when I started the company just over five years ago, uh, it was, you know, the worry about how are we going to pay rent? Do we have enough students coming in? Like, Can we keep the doors open? Right? Eso There were some of those early, like, financial things that I think every startup goes through. That was, you know, kind of those those rougher times. Um, you know, But at that same moment, eyes having so much fun, there was just so much energy and passion around, You know, this brand new thing on dso it was absolutely just awesome. I remember, you know, nights where, you know, class would go from, like, 6 to 9. Because we were teaching the night class at the time. And, you know, we would stay with students a tell midnight. Um, you know, just kind of working on various projects and things of that nature. So, uh, those have been kind of the fun events. I'd also say, you know, some of those things that keep you going when times get tough. You know, I've had various students from all different walks of life and being able to just kind of see the the career growth and transformation of students from one career field into another career field has just been amazing. Uh, we had one person individually who stands out in my mind. He, uh he was actually nearly killed on the job site. Uh, he was working a pretty risky job. He was a welder of, uh, like, high rise buildings and things of that nature on his wife Told him, like, Look like you've got to find something different, like it's too risky on DSO. He was actually able to come through our program, you know, went from being a welder to a software developer and actually left, uh, making $5000 mawr, uh, coming out of our program than what he did, leaving the industry that he'd been in for close to 10 years. So that was super coolYeah, that's definitely like the passion there, right? Like that is the biggest reason why I think all of us that code works. You know myself for sure Why we do what we do, right? Like it's so much fun to see those types of transformations in people and just being able to provide for themselves. And, you know, not only, you know, it's that giving them a skill that they can then turn around and actually create something uh that you know they're passionate about is just absolutely amazing.

Who were your competitors when you started and how did the competition evolve? How did you create a competitive advantage and a unique selling proposition?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
Yeah. So competitors, right? When we first launched here in the Boise Valley, Uh, we didn't. We were actually the very first boot camp in Idaho on dso. We were doing really pretty good there. I remember when we first we got our first big competitors, right? And it was one of the bigger schools from, like, the Seattle area that had several different campuses and locations and things that nature. And that was another one of those, like, Oh, no, like, this big company is gonna come in and kind of kind of take us over type of idea, right? Um, but that ultimately didn't happen. We were able to, you know, still be. And as of right now, we're still voted the best, uh, specialty school in our valley right now on Duh. So that's why I think that we're very proud of on. I think a lot of that comes down to, you know, a lot of the passion and dedication that you know, h and every one of the staff members, Uh, you know, we have here code works, and so I think that's you know that having the right people in the right rolls, eyes definitely key toe having the, you know, the advantage, I guess. Um you know, and so it is interesting because the boot camp model, you know, it's not It's not 100% unique. I'm not the one who very first thought of it. By any sense, the imagination. I was kind of looking at, you know, the Bay Area and the big companies that had kind of started. We had hack reactor. You have dead boot camp. Um uh, Iron Yard and some of those bigger names on some of them actually have now closed their doors and they're no longer running on dso you know, it's been it's been kind of nice to see, like, you know, we've weathered a bit of that storm and, you know, are continuing to thrive, so that's been really cool as well.

What responsibilities and decisions did you handle? What were the top three priorities and pain points? What strategies were effective in dealing with challenges?

Based on experience at: Software Engineer, Spot Tech (Techstars '15)
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
Yeah, eso spot check. That was definitely an interesting time in my career. A ZAY said I had a background in health care and nursing in particular. And one of the APS that we actually got picked up for with Techstars back then was at the time it was called Cancer Spot on. It was a social media platform for patients that had common illnesses, you know, common cancers to be able thio, uh, kind of get together and support each other. And can I really have the idea was not be social media. It's not about posting, you know, posts that, you know. Hey, look, look at everything that we're doing. And, you know, look at this vacation. I just went on. It was very much more focused on, you know, support through very difficult healthcare times and things of that nature. And so having the unique background of health care that I did coupled with the software development, you know, I was able to kind of really lean into, uh, you know, some of the more algorithmic processes of, you know, getting user profiles, comparing like diseases, making meaningful matches and things of that nature. All kind of through through that application. Um, you know, And so that was one of the big things in one of my primary focus is at that time was, you know, really the matching people together that, you know, needed it on. Then, you know, there was another little piece there that was all about reaching out for additional assistance, you know, during times of crisis. And he'd that I was able to work on as well. So really very, very pretty cool application and definitely, you know, played right into, you know, both of my strength. So that was really fun.

What college programs did you attend and what were their best parts? How did each of your college programs prepare you for your career?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
Uh, yeah. So I actually attended eso here, Uh, in in Boise, there was a college called Apollo College, which later was purchased by Carrington College on it was very much a skills based trade school on. That's where I actually first started on Got my, uh, my what's called an l p n, Right. Ah, licensed practical nurse on DSO. That's kind of where I started. I did the online school thing through University of Phoenix. I did some on grounds stuff at Boise State here, kind of locally. So I've had several different college experiences. I did complete my bachelor's of science. Um, and, you know, I think I going through various different types of universities was really nice, actually, because I got to see, you know, from a practical standpoint, you know, how does the trade school do it? You know, from an online school? How does the online school manage? You know, the concepts around learning and, uh, you know, testing and analysis and things of that nature on then The in person school is Well, you know, kind of. What's that? You know that that big experience, that big drive, that big community and camaraderie that comes with, um, going to an actual university on campus, you know? So I was fortunate that I was able to actually see kind of, you know, all three of those really unique things which, you know, I feel like, is another one of those things that we've tried to make sure that we integrate into the code works experiences. You know, really, you know that you get it all right, there's some online. There's some in person. There's, you know, ah, lot of that community and camaraderie that comes with, you know, learning something together.

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? If any, please also discuss your experiences facing adversity, or trying something unusual.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
So I think you know, some life lessons that I've learned over the years. Of course. Uh, I would say one of the biggest things is when I first started code works on, you know, you're working at a startup. You're you're pretty much living off of blood, sweat and tears. When when you're at the startup, there's a time when you have to learn to just say no. Um, And I think that was one of the hardest things for me to learn, especially at the time, you know, because you hear, like, about missed opportunities on DSO When I first kind of started the startup, it was I was afraid to say no to anyone. I was afraid to turn down any type of opportunity because of the like, what if Right on DSO, you know, on top of working, you know, 80 90 hour work weeks. It's, you know, goto 100 different after hours events and, uh, you know, try and try and do everything and ultimately, uh, learning to say no, not this time, Right? Like, could we reschedule that, or could we, you know, potentially do it somewhere else? Uh, really, Truthfully helped Just immensely right and then just being able Thio really clearly defined, Like, what is my scope on? Let's make sure that I stay focused and doing what I do best. Right on. So that was one of the big things that kind of came with learning to say no and also kind of staying in your lane or staying focused, hyper focused on, you know, delivering the rial true best experience that we can deliver on the thing that we actually dio right on dso for me in particular, that was teaching and education and, you know, getting getting students jobs. So that's where it was kind of like Okay, it's time to put aside any other distraction that doesn't specifically help our students get jobs because that's really what's going to make us successful. And that's, you know, really everything that we can focus on. So if there wasn't a direct correlation to that primary goal, it was put to a side burner right on dso. I had a lot of help and, you know, some some tutors and mentors. A zai was starting up the business who, you know, talked about, uh, target tables and things of that nature on kind of help kind of draw my my focus on to, you know, is this absolutely necessary And what are the crucial things, and how do you make sure that you're always driving forward and not letting distractions pull you in the wrong way?

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Thu Nov 12 2020
eso coming out of the code works program right on. One of the things I talk about with all of our students Day one of the course is you're you're stepping into a career field that, you know, if you take the code works experience, you're gonna eat sleep, breathe code for 13 weeks. You know, you've got three months of really hard core education. Uh, but it's nowhere near enough, right? Like you have to continue to push and continue to grow continually. You know, that's just one of those biggest things. Is your Our goal is to get you to a proficient mark that is employable on. Then from there, you need to actually grow into the career field and do what you know the skills of the career field. And, you know, So that is one thing that I definitely try to stay focused on is, you know, you're looking for entry level positions for software developers, you know, kind of coming coming into, uh, coming out of the code works program. Uh, you know, there's other people who have, ah, large interest in, um, you know, doing kind of the start up idea on, you know, getting a business lunch and getting a business off the ground onto those people. Like my best piece of advice is don't give up, right? Don't give up. There's gonna be some really hard times and maybe there's a little bit of, you know, survivor bias that comes out of that. But, um, you know, push, push forward, push through those those tough times, they're gonna be there, you know, working at the startup. Originally, that was You know, I'm not gonna take any type of paycheck for what I'm doing. I'm investing 100% straight back into the company, you know? And so there were some things that, at times like that that you just have to kind of make some of those big sacrifices on its Not easy, but it's absolutely worth it, you know. And I can, of course, say that kind of looking now toe where we've grown and where we've progressed. But those those initial years are really, really hard, you know? So don't don't give up. It would be my best piece of parting advice.