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Why This Student Chose a Coding Bootcamp Over Finishing His CS Degree

Owen Poindexter

Why This Student Chose a Coding Bootcamp Over Finishing His CS Degree's Image

Last year, Muhsin “Moose” Abdul-Musawwir had a choice. His default plan was to finish his degree, which he had interrupted to focus on his demanding job--a program coordinator at the Berkeley Unified School District. Abdul-Musawwir had been working toward a degree in computer science (CS). His goal was to become a software engineer and be able to build his own projects. A CS degree seemed like a logical step. However, a few of his friends had tried a different path--Hack Reactor--and they had rave reviews.

After examining both courses, something stood out to him: Hack Reactor and its partner schools constantly iterate and refine their program. His CS program had barely changed in five years.

“There was no real change to the CS program from when I first took it that I felt was going to give me skills to be work ready. I wanted skills to get jobs and build out my own ideas. What really convinced me was having had a couple friends going through Hack Reactor. They talked with such excitement about how the world had opened up for them.”

Abdul-Musawwir was further encouraged by the selectivity of the program, noting that he “wanted the best of the best and that’s what attracted me.”

After taking classes at Telegraph Prep, Abdul-Musawwir enrolled in the immersive course. He was recently featured in a CNBC segment about Hack Reactor:

As for the education itself, Abdul-Musawwir found it incredibly impactful

“The school brought me through to where I am today,” he says. “I can’t even begin to discuss the amount of growth that’s happened between now and when I started the program. It’s not just understanding certain technologies, it’s really understanding how to jump into any technology or code base and figure out what’s happening.”

His growth was borne out by his results on the job market. After considering multiple offers, Abdul-Musawwir recently joined Esurance as a software engineer.

In addition to a job and skills he can use for his own projects, Abdul-Musawwir gained one more thing: community. He is active at meetups around the Bay Area, namely Real World React, Waffle JS and Node School. Recently he gave a talk on Web Pack at Real World React, hosted by NerdWallet, in front of over a hundred people.

“React is a whole ecosystem now, and Web Pack has emerged as being pretty core to that ecosystem,” Abdul-Musawwir explains. “Web pack gave me a lot of pain but it is also really wonderful. I wanted to take a dive into it to talk about some of what I struggled with.”

As he starts on this next stage of his life, Abdul-Musawwir can’t help but reflect on how things have transformed for him.

“I was born in a really bad neighborhood in San Francisco, the Fillmore. My story is ‘From the Fillmore to the Financial [District].’ I really want to extend thanks to the founders, and all the people who really supported me along the way. I just want to really encourage everyone to take the leap.”

Ready to go for it? Apply to Hack Reactor. Still skilling up? Check out Telegraph Prep.

Read more:

Get an Inside Peek at Hack Reactor

5 Signs You’re About to go to a Coding Bootcamp

Hack Reactor, Coding Bootcamps and CS Programs