Meet Landall, Career Advisor turned JavaScript Developer

Meet Grand Circus Alum Landall!

Update: Landall is now an OnSite Software Developer at Detroit Labs.

Here at Grand Circus, our family is constantly growing. We are so fortunate to have students that get so invested in our programs that they continue working with us to support new tech enthusiasts long after their programs have graduated. Meet Landall Proctor, a graduate of our August 2015 Front-End coding bootcamp.

More than a year after his bootcamp ended, Landall continues supporting the Grand Circus community by sharing his insights, wisdom and coding knowledge. He’s contributed in tech Meet Grand Circus Alum Landall!panel discussions, taught our Traveling Circus workshops and is constantly available when we need some alumni expertise. And lucky for us, he works just two doors down the road as a JavaScript developer! It has been great watching him grow his coding skills and seeing him share that with the community. I’m very excited to introduce you to one of our rockstar alumnus!

Meet Landall Proctor:

Where are you originally from?

Virginia. Sort of. It’s complicated.

What did you do before the bootcamp, and why did you decide to take the bootcamp?

I worked in Higher Education, most recently as a Career Advisor. As I looked at the career path I was on, it seemed less and less appealing. I didn’t really want my boss’ job and I certainly didn’t want my boss’ boss’ job. I sat down one day and put into practice all of the career advice I’d been giving to students.

I spent six to eight months before joining the bootcamp using online resources to try and learn as much code as possible. I decided to take the bootcamp because it felt like a natural bridge to get future employers to take me seriously as a candidate.

What are you doing now?

I am a JavaScript Developer at LevelEleven.

What are your career goals?Meet Grand Circus Alum Landall!

I don’t really have a future title I want to have next to my name on a business card. I just want to keep learning, progressing and providing value to LevelEleven. If I keep that up, the rest will take care of itself.

What was your hardest moment during the bootcamp?

No single instance stands out, there were, however, a lot of them. I think these were actually the times in which I learned the most and was forced to think about a problem from different angles. That’s probably the skill that I use most frequently in my current role.

What was your a-ha moment during the bootcamp?

We used AngularJS for a code challenge to check if a user input was a palindrome or not. I had solved this exact problem dozens of times using node and displaying the result in the console. This was the first time I really combined both sets of skills and thought, “Yeah, I can do this.”

During the bootcamp, what was your support system outside of class?

My wife was/is amazing. I would never have pulled the trigger without her unconditional support. She believed in me from the start.

I also had a great mentor, Brian Mulloy, before starting the boot camp. He gave me some invaluable advice for our final project demo which I think really made it stand out.

How would you describe your overall experience with Grand Circus?

Fantastic. If I were sent back in time I’d do it over again.

Describe your job hunt process.

I used the advice I’d been giving to students for the last couple years on myself. Every time an employer came to Grand Circus I made sure to shake their hands and introduce myself. I followed up with emails, inviting them to Demo Day and asking if we could meet once the bootcamp was over. I met my current boss and a few colleagues when they came to GC for a company visit, and I did all of the follow up with them that I described above. I applied to a lot of jobs, but that networking is what really made the difference.

What was your best Detroit discovery (business, lunch spot, hidden gem) during your bootcamp?

I introduced a bunch of my fellow boot campers to the Bucharest Shawarma. Watching their reactions to the bliss was like rediscovering it all over again myself. RIP Park Bar Bucharest.  

What piece of advice would you give to someone about to embark on a bootcamp?

  • Maximize the time spent inside the GC space.
  • When an employer is on site, shake their hands and introduce yourself.
  • You’ll likely learn a new technology, but what you really want to learn is how to solve really hard problems. Technology aside, that’s what a lot of your future job will entail, and there’s very rarely a how to guide onsite. Learn to get resourceful and refuse to stop until you figured it out.