Student Spotlight: Rod Hammond
Several times a month, we spotlight one of our students, sharing details of his or her story. This gives us a chance to talk about our diverse student population, how they discovered Skill Distillery and where they’re taking their newfound skill sets. We want to give prospective students a sense of our community and introduce our ambitious graduates to hopeful employers.
Skill Distillery: Where are you from?
Rod Hammond: I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona.
SD: What was your highest level of education before Skill Distillery?
RH: I received an MBA from Arizona State University and served in the U.S. Army for more than a decade.
SD: And what were you doing before Skill Distillery?
RH: I was working as an IT Project Manager in several private companies. Prior, I was the department chair and a professor of Military Science at Arizona State University.
SD: That’s a big jump from then to now. Why did you decide to learn how to code?
RH: I had learned basic programming in college and wanted to learn more. I became excited about pursuing a professional career in programming and saw this as the fastest and best path to get me there.
SD: Why did you decide to join a boot camp focused on Java?
RH: I knew that Java has been adapted to more platforms than any other programming language. It is used by more Fortune 500 than any other programming language, and its similarities to C++, python, and other high-level languages means that you have the basic learning blocks, and it is easier to jump into other languages with a shorter learning curve.
SD: Did you have any programming experience prior to SD?
RH: Yes, C and Pascal from college.
SD: Why did you chose Skill Distillery?
RH: Because I wanted to learn Java, and I appreciated the work that the school has done to support veterans in transitioning, who wanting to learn programming using the GI Bill?.
SD: What about the program surprised you the most?
RH: I’ve been impressed by the professional level of classroom instruction and personable nature of the staff.
SD: What was the biggest challenge?
RH: Preparing for the Java OCA exam.
SD: What are you doing next?
RH: I have a few weeks left in the program, and I am hoping to find a company where I can match up my new skills, and years of prior experience skills into a new career.