While working as an accountant for the LDS church, Tucker Bohman felt himself being tugged back to technology. He had always had a talent for solving technical issues, and his bosses began to rely on Tucker over their team of developers to fix their software bugs. Eager to learn more after these brushes with programming, Tucker decided to pursue his coding education on Flatiron School’s online campus, Learn.co. Shortly after graduating from Flatiron School, Tucker landed a job as a web developer at Utah-based Ecommerce site Pick Your Plum, where Tucker continues to hone his web and mobile development skills alongside a small team of developers (that he actually scouted himself).
We spoke to Tucker recently about his path to programming.
What’s your background? How did you decide you wanted to learn to code?
I got my bachelors degree in accounting. I was working as an accountant for the LDS church. I enjoyed doing accounting but it just seemed like I was getting drawn back into technology. My bosses saw that I had a knack for solving problems with computers. And there were a lot of software issues going on as I was working there. For a lot of projects, I had to troubleshoot what was causing the problems and report the bugs to developers. I was getting frustrated that the developers were ignoring the problems; they weren’t working with me in a productive way. I had to start manually fixing problems myself. So I came to Flatiron to learn how to do these things better—so I could be on the other side of it, fixing problems instead of just reporting them. I had also previously worked for a software company doing really low-level technical support, server side administration-type stuff. Tech was already in my background. So I was excited to take the leap fully into it. That’s when I found Learn. It seemed like a good platform that would allow me to keep on working, but still have some structure to motivate me to keep going.
What brought you to Flatiron School’s online campus, Learn.co?
I was looking at different ways to learn how to code. I wanted something structured. There are so many resources out there; I’d kind of hop from one to another trying to find one I really liked. I was looking at a few bootcamps, possibly considering going to one full-time and quitting my job, but I wasn’t 100% sold on that. I can’t remember how exactly I stumbled across Learn, but I went to the website and saw I could do a free trial to see if I liked it. I started the trial and really enjoyed how it was set up. I liked the fact that there were Learn experts there available to chat if I got stuck on something. They could help talk me through a problem so I could figure out which direction I needed to go and catch silly mistakes I was making.
What was your favorite part of using the Learn platform?
I liked having the projects, and how Learn doesn’t tell you exactly what to do to solve them; you have to put some work into figuring it out. I also really enjoyed the community of people on Learn. It was great getting to chat with other people who were also learning how to code about how to approach various problems.
Tell me about your role at Pick Your Plum? What kind of work do you do there?
Pick Your Plum is an Ecommerce site, kind of like Groupon—we host sales that run for three days. So every morning at six o’clock, new sales come on the site and they’re live for three days, or until they sell out. Pick Your Plum has their own brand of products and we also provide a selling platform for other companies. Crazily enough, a number of our developers just left; last week I was the only developer. Pick Your Plum had me do some scouting, and we were able to hire a few new developers. So right now, we’re a small team, just kind of resetting everything, cleaning up some of the messes the old developers left for us. We’re on a strict development schedule, implementing the agile development process.
What’s a specific project you have coming up that excites you?
What’s your favorite part of what you’re doing?
What was your biggest challenge when learning to code?
Two really bad things happened as I worked through Learn: I wound up in the hospital and ended up losing my job. I was trying to learn to code to make a career change, but at that moment, with bills piling up, I also felt like I just needed to get a job. It was a stressful experience, but it also helped me motivate myself to get better faster and go all-in to finishing up the Learn program. It wasn’t easy, but in the end, it worked out.
Would you encourage others to learn to code?
Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. You definitely have to enjoy it. But that’s the great thing about all the free resources out there, whether it’s first 30 hours of Learn or Codeacademy or any number of other resources. You just need to try it and see if it’s something you love to do. For me, the thing that I love: I can get lost in it; I could do it for hours on end. For some people, maybe it won’t be their cup of tea, but they should definitely find out.
Anything else to add?
Just a big thanks everyone on the Learn team—they’re awesome!
Interested in learning to code or moving into a tech career like Tucker? Head to Learn.co to get started.