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Three Years After Finishing, Jorge Silva Jetter Continues His Success

Jorge Silva Jetter began making websites when he was an undergrad at Universidad de Puerto Rico studying psychology. Starting at an early age Jorge was interested in building things:

I’ve just always liked making things. When I was in high school I liked to design, make drawings and I loved architecture. To me, programming connects very well to all of that. It’s just like this thing you use to make stuff.
One summer I learned HTML and CSS and then I was able to get a job doing basic design in a four-person company. I expected my boss to teach me stuff and that I’d get better, but he was always too busy. So the next summer I taught myself PHP. No one really expected me to do this, but I did.
 Alumni Jorge Silva Jetter

Alumni Jorge Silva Jetter

In 2013 Jorge joined Virginia web and design consultancy firm Colab as a Full Stack Developer and continued to learn. He worked with WordPress, taught himself jQuery and began to learn Django and JavaScript:

 The book that helped Jorge discover his passion for programming.

The book that helped Jorge discover his passion for programming.

I remember reading JavaScript: the Good Parts, and it completely changed the way I wrote JavaScript. I was able to build my niche at the company. I realized how much I liked programming, yet I still didn’t feel like I knew that much.

Jorge learned about Hack Reactor on sites like Hacker News but didn’t know anyone who had gone to Coding Bootcamp:

I was trying to figure out a way I could level up a little bit without going to grad school again. I like that Hack Reactor emphasized CS fundamentals. I read blogs by people who had gone to Hack Reactor and the thing that drew me to Hack Reactor was the people were at a different level: they blogged more, they had more projects, their projects were interesting, they talked about programming at a deeper level.

The choice to go to Coding Bootcamp felt like a big risk to Jorge, but he narrowed his choice to Hack Reactor and App Academy:

Going to bootcamp was maybe the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I actually initially applied to Hack Reactor and App Academy. App Academy didn’t seem as interesting to me, but the fact that I wouldn’t have to pay all this money up front was attractive. I was accepted to App Academy, and for whatever reason, I didn’t pay. Then I went to bed that night and I thought, this is NOT what I should be doing. I’d said no to Hack Reactor and everything, right? So in the morning I emailed App Academy and canceled and called Hack Reactor and said I really want to go. And I’m happy I did it. I knew that I should go to a place where the most important thing was the quality. I wanted to be surrounded by people who were smart and who I could learn from.

Jorge had never been to San Francisco before, but he wanted to move to a big city. He initially lived in Oakland where rent was more affordable and caught BART at the MacArthur station to get to Hack Reactor. Once he started working, he moved to SF.

Jorge connected with lots of other Hack Reactor students. It was an intense time and he chose to focus on this experience exclusively--building his community around Hack Reactor strengthened the value of his time there. Jorge also remembers staff who made the experience exceptional:

 Fred Zirdung, Jorge's Lead Lecturer at Hack Reactor

Fred Zirdung, Jorge's Lead Lecturer at Hack Reactor

Fred was always really solid, his classes were also really good and for me, just seeing him code and seeing him working was always really valuable. That was maybe one of my favorite parts of Hack Reactor. I always asked him lots of questions and it was a given that after the lecture I was going to ask him about something and I always appreciated that he tried to answer my questions and took me seriously.

Jorge was also blown away by the talks given by Marcus, Hack Reactor’s co-founder and Chief Academic Officer, who designed the Hack Reactor curriculum:

The level of detail just talking about JavaScript terms, just talking about...closures...just being so clear in what he talked about. I remember thinking just this talk is worth the $20,000 I paid for Hack Reactor. The quality was very apparent.

At Hack Reactor Jorge’s thesis project was called CodeFriends, a collaborative code editor that allowed multiple people to come into it at the same time and do things like save files, import from GitHub, have a video chat, messaging and more.

His team of four leveraged what they’d learned during Hack Reactor about Angular, Node, MySQL, and MongoDB to build the editor and all of it was deployed with Docker.

 Jorge's thesis project, Code Friends

Jorge's thesis project, Code Friends

 Code Friends wireframe 

Code Friends wireframe 

In early 2015 Jorge graduated from Hack Reactor and had two job offers in about two weeks. He began work as a Developer Evangelist:

I met the CEO for dinner and he was like ‘we really want you’ and I liked the idea of traveling, public speaking and working on demos and a technical product. It was a good experience but I realized I wasn’t coding as much and it wasn’t as technical as I wanted it to be.

So he quit. But, amazingly,  he reached out to the second of the two job offers, from when he’d finished Hack Reactor six months before and became a Software Engineer at Runnable:

I was lucky enough they gave me a job. I started doing front end stuff with them. It was a really small startup and so I went from doing frontend work to backend work in Node mostly. Then I ended up working on lots of DevOps, dealing with AWS and Docker and dealing with an entire system that used to be in the Cloud.

The company was acquired by MuleSoft in 2017 and Jorge was promoted to Senior Software Engineer. At MuleSoft Jorge joined the “On Premises” team to handle projects for clients who want to manage their data in their own space. Jorge continues to expand his DevOps skills: working with Kubernetes, understanding security, networking and more.

Sign up to take a tour of Hack Reactor’s SF campus, watch a video of Fred teaching or apply to Hack Reactor right now.