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One Month

One Year Student Spotlight: Jimmy Chen

Hey One Month Rails students!

How are things going? Wonder where you’ll be in one year? If you’re having trouble focusing, I have a great story for you from one of your fellow students…

After spending over a decade as a successful investment manager, Jimmy Chen, decided to pursue an alternate career path as a developer.  For him, One Month Rails was decidedly different from other online courses due to its project-based lessons.  One year later? He’s now a full stack software engineer at a healthcare startup, RubiconMD.


I sat down with Jimmy this week to learn more about his journey from the finance world to the tech world:

Were you skeptical when you first signed up for One Month Rails?

Jimmy: “Not really.  Mattan is a great teacher. Many programmers are horrible teachers.  As for me, once I started watching One Month Rails, I couldn’t stop as I wanted to finish the app.  To do that I had to finish the course!”

Now that you’ve finished the course, how has your life been affected?

Jimmy: “OMR was one of the first steps I took to (what I imagined) would be a long journey.  It helped in that it gave me a glimpse into what it’s like to develop for a living.

I’m now working as a full time developer at a startup, and OMR definitely helped me, though I feel I still have a long way to go.”

After you took the class, did you continue to learn Rails?

Jimmy: “I started by reading Michael Hartl’s book, but that quickly got difficult for a beginner. I never got past Chapter 4 until a year later. In between I took many different online courses.

I even applied to, and was accepted by GA’s developer immersive program.  However, I never got to finish it. I think I just wasn’t sufficiently prepared.

So I decided to learn the hard way… through sites like Lynda, Code School, Tutsplus and books. I also attended every code Meetup in the area.

Listen when I say… The best learning is through working on real world projects so I made sure to undertake freelance projects for little or no money.”

What advice would you give to someone who is trying to learn how to code?

Jimmy: “The best advice I have is: if this is something you really want to pursue, don’t give up!

There will be many instances on this journey where you would like to give up, but keep at it.  You will not become a professional overnight and it takes a lot of effort to get better at it.

There’s a reason that there’s a shortage of developers.  Not only is the demand high, but the career path is self selecting, meaning that it weeds out those who are not serious or persistent enough.”