How I Doubled My Income in 3 Months

Illustration by loornicolas

The Beginning — My Old Job

Barcelona, 2018.

I was working as a live audiovisual technician in events like shows and conferences. It was my first serious job that I landed after graduating of my Audiovisual Communications degree.

I didn’t quite like it because the working hours were terrible so I couldn’t really have a social life out of work. Moreover, the senior employees in the company didn’t seem very happy with their situation either.

So there wasn’t a nice future for me by doing that.

After a very intense project, I decided to quit the job. I didn’t have a plan B, I just knew I had to stop it cold turkey before finding something else— Impulses are my thing.

The Search — A Better Future

I was in my mid-twenties and the most logical step after my degree in Audiovisual Communications was to do some master’s degree.

After some research, it seemed like every master's degree cost around 10k. I thought it was a fair price if that was going to land me with a better-paying job, but the ratios of graduated to employed were pretty low. Besides, the skills they taught didn’t seem that useful and I wasn’t really interested in them.

First Idea — Masters Degree in Digital Marketing

In the end, as it seemed I had to pick something and I always was an Internet-friendly person, I picked a Masters's Degree in Digital Marketing.

However, before actually enrolling, I asked a friend who was working as a digital marketer at the time. In hindsight, that is the best thing I did in a long time.

She told me that was a really bad idea since she knew me and my profile was none as it was expected for the job. I’d have hated every moment of it.

Second Idea — Software Engineering Bootcamp

However, she gave me the idea to enroll in a Software Engineering boot camp. I didn’t really understand that, since I hadn’t any engineering or coding experience.

She said that a person from her company did it and now was working as a developer and that I would probably be able to do it too. That was 3 intense months of study but, after that, it was easy to land a good-paying job.

Choosing a Bootcamp

I decided on the boot camp and started comparing. I was looking for something in the Barcelona area. There were many options but in the end, I boiled it down to two: Ironhack or Codeworks.

Both of them would take me around 3 months to complete, but Ironhack was substantially more economic. On the other hand, Codeworks seem to be much more in-depth. Also, despite being a 10k investment, their graduate-to-employee ratio was unbeatable. So I decided to pick Codeworks and booked an appointment for an intro interview.

The Selection Process — Part 1. The test

The process consisted of a one-hour coding test in the boot camp premises and a coding assignment to take home and complete in a week. After setting a date for the test, they pointed me to some free online resources about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to prepare for the test.

I learned an immensely high amount of concepts in a short time only by going through those online resources to prepare for the test. I hadn’t learned that much since university.

On the day of the test, while I was getting to the office, I was very nervous. The test consisted of resolving a set of simple JavaScript algorithms in a computer next to an instructor. Despite being shaky, I did it correctly and passed the test.

The Selection Process — Part 2. The assignment

Now it was time for the take-home assignment. The instructor let me chose between 3 projects and I — completely dedicated to this new path — took the most difficult one: building a BlackJack game.

I was working on the assignment for the whole week. I became an expert in searching Google and Stack Overflow for problems that appeared in my code and, in the end, I achieved a very decent BlackJack game that impressed the reviewers.

The Pre-Course

After this, I paid a part of the tuition and received my pre-course resources, which consisted of 3 very complex exercises which I had to finish in order to get admitted to the boot camp.

These were really difficult. It touched very complex JavaScript concepts which many professional developers don’t really know. However, after 2 intense weeks, I finished them and was ready to start the course!

The Course

I started in the April batch. In my batch, there were 13 more people from around the world who also were aspiring Software Developers.

Those were 3 intense months. We were on campus from Monday to Saturday, from 8.30 am to 9 pm. And sometimes we’d also go on Sunday to recover topics.

It was hands-down the most intense learning experience I had. We went in-depth over every topic related to working as a Software Developer. When we were about to master a concept, we were already starting with the next one. There was virtually no time to get bored, it was frenetic. The instructors were very good and helped us when we got stuck.

After the first half of the course learning and solidifying all the topics. There was the second half, where we build 3 web applications from the ground up. These proved invaluable for the job search. Finally, in the last part of the course, we spend some time focusing in how to get a good developer job and how to ace interviews.

My Post-Bootcamp Job

As soon as I finished the boot camp, my job became finding a job. I spent several hours a day going through LinkedIn and other job boards, contacting recruiters, and doing tests. I made a spreadsheet with all the companies I had applied to, the contact person, and the state of the selection process.

Three weeks after graduating, after several interviews, I found a company that seemed really interesting, Curelator N1-Headache. Their mission is to help people suffering from migraine to control them by using an individualized analytical approach. I had a couple of meetings with the company and decided it was a good place to start my career as Software Developer, I got hired.

The best part was that I recovered my boot camp investment in 3 months.

Two Years Later

I’m still in the same company, currently as a Front-End Engineer. I have an important role over most products in the company. Besides, I’ve learned a number of skills and keep doing so every day.

Also, one day a week, I’m forming new Software developers in the boot camp where I learned everything on this subject. Recently, the boot camp raised to the top five best Software Engineering boot camps in the whole world.

I usually work remotely. And both of my jobs haven’t been affected a bit by the COVID19 situation.

Bottom Line

When I see social media posts of my ex-coworkers complaining about how since the COVID19 crisis there are no jobs, I confirm that following my gut and leaving that company was the best decision ever.

So don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. If you fancy a change… go for it!



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Jon Portella

Jon Portella

Full-Stack Developer, Teacher, Maker, and general Things-Doer.