DIVERSITY: OC Coding Bootcamp Offers $4,000 Scholarship for Women In Tech. Learning Fuze Partners with BeSmartee…

An OC coding bootcamp’s commitment to diversity enables women in tech to either enhance their coding skills or shift gears altogether.

LearningFuze is OC’s longest-running coding bootcamp. As it’s committed to the growth of the OC tech scene, it’s partnered with BeSmartee to offer a Women in Tech Scholarship worth $4,000.

BeSmartee is a Huntington Beach company that created a digital mortgage platform.

One past participant in the boot camp is Evelyn Pei. She received a Women in Tech scholarship, before LearningFuze partnered with a company. Now that BeeSmartee is involved, LearningFuze can offer larger scholarship amounts, Program Manager TJ Kinion said.

Pei was an English teacher in Taiwan, a visual merchandiser, and customer service specialist before transitioning to web development after graduating from LearningFuze’s Full Immersion Coding Bootcamp.

And, fortunately, she was able to complete the entire boot camp virtually from Taiwan, as the pandemic and ensuing lockdown forced the classes to be 100% virtual.

While it required a lot more self-motivation to make the most of the 14-week program, and Pei said she suffered bouts of overwhelm and anxiety, she overcame all that and graduated.

One of the projects she worked on, during a hackathon, is a web app that provided brewery locations to help friends plan a night out. It also provided drink recipes, to plan a night in.

The capstone project she worked on with a team evolved into BorkFrens, a mobile web app for dog owners to find friends for their dogs.

After she completed the bootcamp, she took her portfolio, worked with LearningFuze’s career services team, and was introduced to Bizurk Software, a Yorba Linda startup, which specializes in rapid software deployment.

The company primarily works with Angular, a JavaScript framework created by Google and used by companies to create web applications.

Bizurk supports overseas clients in projects that typically involve cryptocurrency.

She’s also working on a variety of consumer-facing applications.

Getting Into Tech

Even before getting into tech, Pei was aware that inclusivity was a hot topic.

However, she said she hasn’t experienced any discrimination herself. She feels that her gender has helped her stand out from other applicants in the traditionally male-dominated coding industry.

For those trying to break into tech, Pei suggests to continue polishing your portfolio, add features to your applications and pay close attention to user design and interface.

The added features she recommends would be determined on a case-by-case basis, since every project is different. Typically students continue polishing their projects during the bootcamp by adding additional navigation features, working to achieve mobile responsiveness across all device sizes, and if needed, cleaning up assets like images and videos. 

“Design is something that not everyone can pick up easily,” she said, adding that she feels like her top-notch design skills helped her stand out in the interview process. 

More Info About A Scholarship

Women interested in applying for a scholarship can find more information by reaching out to Cassandra Cheung. The deadline is January 1, but LearningFuze is in talks with BeSmartee to potentially offer another scholarship for Q2 2021.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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