Eddie is a Marine who transitioned into web development a decade ago, the hard way, which means he made all the mistakes on his journey into the industry. He is currently a Sr. Software Engineer at Railroad19, contracted to NBC and started volunteering on our mentorship team about two years ago. While always being helpful to troops, he felt that he could do more, so this year, we had him lead the pre-work component of Vets Who Code.
Pre-work, as the person who initially created the process, is the single most DIFFICULT part of VWC. You have to have the intestinal fortitude to say the hardest word to your fellow veteran, no, to ensure that the people we bring into the channel will respect the time put into training
them, resources that our partners donate to us, the time that mentors donate, and to ensure that the slack channel is filled with hard working, eager troops. He is the gatekeeper, the first line of defense to ensuring that your donations and resources are being properly, the Heimdall of #VetsWhoCode. He is the person who you have to get past to to get an interview, and the price is finishing our pre-work that is posted publicly on Github. We do this to see if you have what it takes to be a dev. Are you disciplined enough to do the work? Brave enough to ask questions? Comfortable with failure? But more importantly, WILLING to do the work? Software engineering is a tough skill to acquire, and in a world filled with code-schools who will take you just because your federally insured GI Bill, it shocks some veterans that a remote, online nonprofit that teaches veterans for free has a higher bar of entry to enter than most for-profit programs, but we do this to ensure our troops can be prepared for this career field and it's a standard he proudly upholds.
The other part of his duties is dealing with veterans who don’t handle rejection well. The harsh reality is we live in a world where lies travel at twice the speed than truth does and sensationalism sells. I explained this to him and he still took the duties and continued after recently experiencing his first “Angry Veteran” situation, who happened to be another Marine ( Wanna upset a Marine super fast? Be a Marine while not acting like a Marine). He handled the situation masterfully and its one of the many reasons why he is one of VWC's MVPs. Follow him on twitter @semperfried76 and thank you for your continued service with #VetsWhoCode.