March 29, 2022

#30: How this vacuum salesman became a web developer ft. Cam Perry


Cam started off as a salesman going door to door selling vacuums, but when he discovered coding he realized that he could open up new doors for himself and make more money. He was a student at the Lamdba school coding bootcamp and since then has been a full-time web developer with a podcast that similarly to this one - shares black stories in tech.

In this episode Cam and I talk about how he went from being a salesman to a web developer and his thoughts on doing a coding bootcamp compared to other alternatives. Cam shares a lot of gems so you won’t want to miss out. I hope you enjoy it.

 

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Transcript

Cam Perry:

I believed in myself and, and I, I kept hearing, you know, people tell me you're not a salesman. You'll never succeed. And I'm the type of dude where someone told me I can't do something I'm gonna, I'm going to be that guy. That's gonna, even though I'm losing money, I'm gonna try to make that stuff work so that eventually I'm going to prove them wrong.

Cam started off as a salesman, going door to door, selling vacuums. But when he discovered coding, he realized that he could open up new doors for himself and make more money. It was a student at the Lambda school coding bootcamp. And since then has been a full-time web developer with the podcasts that similarly to this one, shares black stories in tech. Hello, and welcome back to the black enterprise network. The podcast that shares the stories of black professionals in tech and entrepreneurship. And this episode, cam and I talk about how he went from being a salesman to a web developer and his thoughts on doing a coding bootcamp compared to the other alternatives. Cam shares a lot of gyms so you won't want to miss out i hope you enjoy it

Kimmiko J:

I'll just kick it off with the story of how you got into code. Cause I saw you kind of had this career change from being a sales rep to going to a bootcamp and yeah, how did that all that start?

Cam Perry:

So, you know, my journey is probably different than most people's journeys and most people who, you know, are not familiar with me. I went to a coding bootcamp called Lambda school. But before that I actually did direct sales actually saw vacuums door to door and anyone who's listening at home, it's a lot harder than it looks going and selling vacuums. Like the thing with sound vacuums is normally when you're, if you're having any other regular sales job. People already are interested in the product that they're trying to sell. But with that, you know, you got to try to create the interest. And I think that is like, I always tell people, like, if you're trying to love yourself up and trying to be a better communicator, always like try to get good with sales. Because I think if you give a sales, you'd never gonna, you know, not have a job. Cause there's always someone that needs someone that can sell a product or service or whatever you're trying to offer. So we'll definitely do that. But to go back to my point on why I went from going from there to looking into web development, because with direct sales, I mean, some months you did great at some much you don't. And I don't know about y'all, but I'll have to have some type of stable income so that I'm not worried about. Okay. You know, maybe I'm only making 2000 this month and next month I'm making 8,000. That's not a huge difference panel where you live at, you may be barely surviving off of $2,000. So that's why I kind of looked into something like that. And the reason why I even got into where to go in the first place is there's this guy called coding phase. And I don't know if any of y'all have heard of coding phase. He's a YouTuber. He's someone that like, I really, oh one these days I'm going to send them, you know, bottles, you know, whatever he wants, like whatever, whatever his favorite drink is because like this guy like has changed. Lot of people's lives. You changed my life. And we became really good friends over the years because of, you know, seeing somebody that looked like me because, you know, before I saw this guy, Shannon, I didn't really see all that people look like me that were in coding and do that type of stuff. Like a lot of times, you know, like five years ago, there was a bunch of white dudes that you saw having tutorials and that's cool, but they had no flavor. They had no sauce. They had no personality. You know, there's probably a couple of them that maybe I didn't see, but most of them, you know, they knew their stuff, but they, they didn't interest me. So I was like, oh man, like, I don't want to get in an industry where I don't really see. Nobody looks like me because I'm already going to meetups. And usually I'm the only person there. I don't know if anyone's listening at home. If you go to a meetup, most tech meetups you go to, unless you in a city where that's really diverse, you probably going to be one of the only two, one or two black people or person of color at that meetup, which already kind of is a little awkward. Cause I know sometimes when I go to meetups like that, I know right now, you know, it's not hold on me. It's going on because of COVID. But when COVID was not a thing we saw, I was going through a bunch of meetups and it just felt weird. And people weren't really trying to come up, come up to me and try to talk to me. I had to really go out of my way when other people, you know, they, they would talk to other people, but they wouldn't talk to me because they either a, they probably didn't think that I. Knew what I was doing or B they weren't comfortable because I was black. Like, I think that's a conversation that really doesn't get said a lot, but that's something that I perceived because there really isn't a whole lot of diversity where I live at Winston, Oklahoma city.

Kimmiko J:

Yeah. I was just going to ask, yeah, I was just going to ask like where you were from, because I mean, I've never, I don't know, like, I've been to a lot of tech meetups, like just for networking, for internships and just trying to get my foot in the door with jobs and stuff. Not too much for Bev, little cutesy, free code camp meetups, or whatever. Never been to one of those before, but I can relate to the feeling of just walking into a room and you're the only black person there. It feels, it feels off. I mean, it feels very awkward to me. I don't know how it feels to other people. I mean, most of the networking events I've been to. They're very nice, but it still feels very weird, but. But I would just ask like about, I mean, not stuff around, but the song, the vacuum thing was kind of interesting. I mean, it's, I don't know. Whenever I imagine people selling things door to door, I can imagine all the rejections, like I've had people used to sell my parents knives and makeup and stuff, and each time they were just pretending like they were home. So how did you make a lot? How did you make a living being a sales rep for so many years?

Cam Perry:

like, we could probably talk a whole talk on that alone, but like, to kind of give a short version of that is like perseverance hard work and not giving up because I know with a job like that, unless you were just a natural born salesman, which I was not. And I talked to someone about this earlier, too. I had an interview earlier and I was talking about the same thing and I told him, I was like, well, a lot of times people quit. Couple of days. Cause you know, they have a training program where they get you. I know with me, how I first found about the job was I saw a Craigslist ad and you know, anytime someone tells me all I got to do was pull, go ahead, do 15 didn't know, actually it was 15 demos in a house. If I do 15 demos in a house I'm making $300 a week just off minimum that like, that's like without doing anything else, I'm like, man, that's $300 a week. Just all you gotta do is just pull, go into 15 houses and I'll make $300 in a week. Okay. And that's not including everything else on top of that. So I'm like, man, this is, this is a no brainer for me. Cause at the time I was real young. So, you know, I thought $300, you know, just guaranteed on top of whatever I can make on top of it was I thought that was gonna be good money for me. Cause if I can make, you know, cause I already knew how much the cost of the vacuum was. I think at the time was $2,700 was $2,700 a left. So yeah. So I knew what the cost was and how much I could sell the vacuum to make money. So I was thinking in my head, so, okay. If I can, don't want to 15 houses in a week and I can sell three of them, I get a bonus on top of that $300 that I get guaranteed on top of the commission. So if, if I'm just having even a bad week, I used to be at a mega Lee's 700 to a thousand dollars. You know, that's what I was thinking in my head. But reality came in because, you know, obviously they ain't paying everybody $300, you know, because if they did, they'd go out of business. So I realized early on that I wasn't selling vacuums like that. Like I think the first couple of months I was mad, I was barely getting by. Like, I like, if I like most people in my situation, they would've gave up after the first month because I was making, I think, I think one month I made like a thousand dollars in a month and you know, that's, that's like slave wages, like, um, here I make more money for, I was working at fast food at McDonald's or something like that. Yeah. I believed in myself and, and I, I kept hearing, you know, people tell me you're not a salesman. You'll never succeed. And I'm the type of dude where someone told me I can't do something I'm gonna, I'm going to be that guy. That's gonna, even though I'm losing money, I'm gonna try to make that stuff work so that eventually I'm going to prove them wrong. And eventually I did, eventually I sold like 15 vacuums in a month. I made a whole bunch of money. I went on a company trip because someone believed in me, even when other people didn't believe in me. Cause I think I went to like three different offices during this whole time period too. I think the first two they really worked out. And the third one, when I went to the third office, they pretty much has gotten me at a bunch of houses and I just pretty much put the numbers game. And I think that's what you can apply that with life in general. Like if you play the numbers game, you will never lose. Like no matter what you do, if you get in front of enough people, if you apply to enough jobs, if you apply to enough opportunity. Someone's going to take a chance on you, no matter what, like that, that advice can apply for everything. And hopefully people are listening at home. Hopefully y'all, you know, if y'all get anything that you hear from me, just, you know, remember that if you do that, you all would be all right.

Kimmiko J:

Basically it is a very huge numbers game in this industry. It's like, I don't know, after hundreds of applications might, that might amount to maybe 20 interviews, maybe three final interviews and then maybe one offer. Like it, it is a very big numbers, but you know, after all of that, you were making big money. Got your confidence doing really well. And you said in the beginning you switched to code because of the financial stability, but how did you even discover that. This could be a job or career opportunity for you because not too many people know that this is out there. Yeah.

Cam Perry:

So at first I think to kind of go a little bit further back, you know, talking about what development I had a roommate at the time and he was computer science major. And I thought at the time, computer science, I know most people, most people that, you know, maybe I don't know who who's listening, but most people, when they think computer science, if you're not really familiar with it, they think that you got to be like us have a science background. It's computer science. It's not really related to science at all. Really like it's, you know, it's, it's kind of its own separate thing. So I thought that was the case. Cause I wasn't really great with science. So I was like, man, there's no way you gotta be a real genius. You've got to be someone that's real smart. And that's what I used to associate people that were coders, people that were just like nerdy, geeks, you know, people that, you know, I rent that really, that cool in high school and then nothing wrong with that, by the way, nothing wrong with it. I'm sure there's people that listen to it, you know, right now at home, they probably, you know, do all that stuff. Right. But I didn't think it would be for me. Cause I like to work somewhere where I feel like I'm like, I'm a part of something and not really feel like I'm in an awkward situation because I think money is cool. But if you're in awkward situations is just normally don't work out in the long run. So that's why I kind of stopped. It. Didn't even worry about it for awhile. Even though I had a roommate that was like trying to get into that. But then I saw, like I mentioned before, I saw a YouTube or Cody phase. I mentioned, he told me that he made a hundred thousand dollars after three years and I was like, man, three years you can make a hundred thousand dollars. And I don't know about you. But I don't know anyone except maybe one person in my family that's ever made that much money at one job. Like, so that's like, that's a game changing amount of money for most people that are listening on this podcast. Like most people, they don't know that the people that make that type of money make six figures. So to even have someone to tell you that you can dedicate three years or you know, or less, and get to that point. Cause there's a lot of people that, that make that in the first year and I've seen people do it. Like, you know, obviously that's not the norm. So people listening, don't expect you to tell the DOD dollars, your first job, but I've seen a lot of people that are getting that type of money after they're the second or third job. So it was definitely possible. So that's when I decided I was like, man, I want, I'm going to work my butt off and try to get this opportunity. Because before that, I thought you had to be a lawyer, a doctor athlete, someone like that to be able to make money like that. But you couldn't do something where it takes you six months working hard to be able to. Enough money where you can survive and not really have to worry about like apply for food stamps or something like that. Like I think it's worth it.

Kimmiko J:

I guess it's kind of, I'm trying to phrase it, but it feels weird knowing you made more than your parents and your grandparents can bind all in the span of less than five years. If that makes sense. It's just like, yeah, it feels nice, but also there's like millions of us that just don't know these opportunities exist and it's just

Cam Perry:

unfortunate. Yeah, for sure. Like, that's like kind of one of my reasons why I even wanted to have my podcast and I'm sure it's the same reason why you have your pocket. Is to educate a lot of our younger generation that doesn't know because schools aren't teaching these things like, like there's some schools, like they have budgets for this, but most schools, like, I, I guarantee you my school, my Alma mater that I went to, they ain't teaching about this type of stuff in school. Like they they're teaching you, you know, none wrong with this. I'm going to just say it was disclaimer right now because I know there's gonna be someone that's probably going to be like, man, you hate on college. No, I'm not going to hit on college. But I'm saying most people, they go to college and they get all that bit and they never use their degree. But this field that you can get into, you don't need a degree to get into it there's people that are younger than you and I, people that are less than not even 18 years old that are learning this stuff and they're making money doing this so you can do it. Like I don't like, I think one thing that people gotta learn to figure out is everything is not linear. As long as you know what tray. And you're good at it. You can make money doing it. I think the college system in general is outdated. Like, I feel like that's, there's something you need to go to college for boy. A lot of things, you, you can honestly learn it on your own. Like you don't have to spend the money, you just spend the time, learn it. And then also be able to use the money to maybe with a spin on college, to be able to perfect your craft or hire people that can teach you the skills you need to, to get the job or career that you want. Like, I think that's something it's not really taught a whole lot. And I wish I would be taught that thing when I, when I was learning. I want to try to at least go to some schools and volunteer and tell people that there's an, there's another option for. Outside of doing, you know, whatever you were planning on doing. So you've, you don't have to always just go, okay, I'm going to go to college four years, get a degree and then try to figure stuff out. Like there's another option for you. So, so definitely try to get in one development or a tech in general, like there's a million different tech jobs out there. Like if you don't want to be a web developer, there is probably a job in tech for you that you can make them out of money as well.

Kimmiko J:

I just wish people and, well, we'll just say society as a whole, I wish society as a whole was a bit more flexible in what they preach to kids. Like, you know, podcast. I went on earlier, we were just talking about how I got into it. And I was kind of just saying with high school, there's just so much pressure for you to have your life, figure it out your senior year. And I'm like, I don't know what I want to do. And all that anybody is saying is just say, go to college. That's all anybody's ever saying. They're not saying anything about your career choices or your interests whatsoever, but, but I I'm I'm with you. It's a system that needs to be changed. It's very outdated.

Cam Perry:

Yeah. Yeah. That's why I, like, I kind of have to disclaim her. Cause I mean, there are good educators, but I'll also say this, to anyone listening It's okay. Not to have your life figured out. There's a lot of people that are in their teens, twenties, even thirties that don't got their life figured out. Most people will live to be 70 and 80 years old nowadays. So you have a lot of time to be able to figure stuff out. So if you don't like those people will fans, people that they just start really making their name for themselves. And so that became, you know, in a late thirties, forties, fifties, you know, I forgot what's his name? What's the, what's the KFC guy. What's a Colonel Sanders, whatever his name is. I think he was like in the sixties. Yeah, before he became the big time name that he was before, you know, he passed and everything, but I'm saying that like, don't put a date on when you need to be successful in something just because your friends are successful at this day, don't put the press on yourself, just go with your own pace. As long as every day that you're getting better and you're working towards a goal, I think that's the most important thing is to have a goal. If you don't have a goal, that's when it's a problem, because you need to have some tangible goal that you need to reach. So then you know what you need to do to get to that point. Like I said, you know, you can always adjust it, but as long as you have some type of goal that you're shooting for, I think that's, what's going to keep you pushing and moving forward or whatever you're trying to do. So, so you don't have to have everything figured out, but just to have some goals in place, put it, you know, put it on a note pad, put in a notebook, you know, put it on sticky notes, whatever you want to do, look at it every day to remind yourself. And if you do that, you'll be fine. Like, trust me. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm getting better where I want to be. I'm better now than I was two years ago, three years ago, four years ago. And you know, and I could talk a whole episode about my journey of me, my up and down journey, you know, between now and when I was in sales, but that's a whole nother episode, but I'm just saying that, you know, everybody goes to different things in life. We all go do different storms. Stuff's going to work out. You just got to just trust the process and have good people in your circle. Because I think if you have at least two or three good friends, everything else, you know, we'll make sure that you can be fine.

Kimmiko J:

What was the process like getting into to land them school and what was the experience like?

Cam Perry:

Yeah. So it's funny because I got my land school hoodie and my Lambrusco hat right here. I w I didn't even have this plan, by the way. I just, you know, happened to have it on, I will say this though. Like, this is like, anytime I talk about Lambda, it's always a controversial topic, because like, I feel like, and we'll talk about this later, because I know Lam had gotten a whole bunch of hot water. I don't know if you been following the Lambda, like the last, yeah. Okay. So the reason why I'm doing Lambda school at the beginning was because I felt like I wasn't where I needed to be like, as a web developer. Like, I know I probably had the skills and one of my friends coding phase, you know, he, he told me, he said it was all the time. He said, man, you should have never went to Lambda. And I think it's, it's kind of the argument with college. I think bootcamps is like the same thing. It's just don't diminish between college and a bootcamp. You're probably, you're not paying as much money, but you still you're trying to figure out if the return of investment is worth you going to whatever the institution or school or whatever it is. And I think with land to school, the reason why I joined it was because they had an ISA, which anyone doesn't know what ISA is, an income share agreement. So pretty much they take a pay cut at whatever you you make for the next, you know, whatever it is. 1, 2, 3, whatever, how many years, if the agreement is for our land, it, it was, you know, 17%. I don't even know if I supposed to say this or not, but it's probably common. It's common knowledge. I'm sure at this point, but 17% for two years, for me, if I make $50,000 or more, and I was like, man, if I, if I make $50,000 or more, I think, you know, if they can give me a job and help me get a job, you know, going to the school, I think it's personally worth it because I'm willing to take that chance on myself, better myself. If the school is worth it, you know, I think it's going to pay for itself. So I went to Lambda school, went through the bootcamp process. Well, I think about halfway through it, I applied as a team lead, which is like a, kind of like a TA it's also like a mentorship program where you're able to, you know, have a group of students and pretty much teach them what you learned along the journey. And so that's kind of what I did. And I think that part of the process of what I learned as being someone that was like a TA at Lambda, I think it leveled me up way more than anything else I ever learned, because anyone who doesn't know if you teach other people, but it submits the knowledge that you already know. So that means that whatever you, you know, if maybe especially if you learned something new, like, I always tell people if you're learning something. Learn it, then try to teach someone else what you learned. Whether you can go on Twitter, you can go on Reddit, you know, whatever place you want to go to search someone. That's looking for some particular things related to what you learning. Or you can go on YouTube and just do like a tutorial, like just literally do a walkthrough on a simple app that you built using something that you learned. Like those are the best ways to kind of get yourself as a better developer, because it also, you can show that in an interview, you can be like, I learned something new. I show people how to, how to do this new thing that I learned. And, you know, people were able to be inspired and people were actually able to give me feedback on what I could do differently or how I could be a better educator for someone else that maybe is new to whatever they're trying to learn. So I think that's something that I really appreciate and I'll never put a dollar amount on that because I got paid for it too. So it was kind of like I got paid and also at the same time I learned. At the end. You know, I learned a lot of stuff that I probably would never would have learned. Self-taught because being a self-taught developer, you do learn a lot because you're, you're pretty much grind. They're now trying to figure stuff out, but the bootcamp is structured and I think I needed a structured system. And also there was a lot of team projects that we did. And you don't really do that self unless you just have a group of people that you are connected with. With most people aren't connected like that. Most people don't have three or four people that are developers that are working on, on a product that they want to build together. A lot of times, I don't know about y'all, but I don't know that many friends before, like that, that live in the same area that I do once the same high schools I did, but it's the same college as I did that. A one developers, I don't know that many people, most people I know, live in different stuff. They don't live in the same state as me. It was a lot harder for me to find a community of people that I could really talk to and, you know, and helped me along the whole process. So I think that was the biggest thing that I think Lambda school had was that community process. And also at the same time with that team aspect, being able to collaborate and able to help each other out. So I think those are the two things that I learned the most Atlanta. I know when I started, I wish I would have referred people because of a lot of people that literally went to Lambda school because of me, they said, Hey cam, I saw you a deal video on Lambda. Oh, I saw you talking about Lambda, like, you know, on Joe's channel coding phase, whatever it is. And I never had a referral link and they're paying like $300 a referral and that adds up, you know, you get, you know, 10 people money, that's $3,000 on a bunch of them. But I fumbled the bag right there. I messed up. Like, I really should have it because I know I could've got 10 people. Cause that was way more than 10 people that hit me up on slack or whatever it was that said, man, I don't land at school because of you. So that's something I wish I would've did, but I'm not a guy that really thinks about money like that. Like I want to make money, but I'm never like thinking like dollar signs for everything, but I wish I would've because it would've been nice to have that little money set aside for investments or whatever it is now, you know, land at school. That's something that I wouldn't recommend, you know, personally, just because, you know, it's, it's way different than it was when I started. But when I did it, it was definitely probably one of the best experiences that I've ever been a part of as far as you know, personally.

Kimmiko J:

how many years ago was this? Like five years ago? You said

Cam Perry:

Lam school was probably close. I finished Lambda this year, but I went to it for like kind of two years before that.

Kimmiko J:

Okay. Okay. That's a lot of change for two years. Not, not you, but like, you know, there is what they're going through, but I was, I was going to ask, like, why did you choose Lambda school over all the other tons of coding, boot camps that were out there? Cause there's, you know, there's so many of them, whether you're on the east coast where, or where I'm at the west coast. So what, what really went into your decision?

Cam Perry:

So, honestly, my decision was pretty simple. Like, like I think most people would probably have like elaborate reasons. They, they like literally researched like a bunch of bootcamps and stuff. Like I knew, you know, a bunch of bootcamps, but my reason was low cost to entry because my thing is like, I'm not going to spend $20,000 for a book. And I spent at $20,000 for a bootcamp, I might as well get a degree, like personally like that. That's, that's just my personal thing. Like upfront. Like if I spend $20,000 upfront, I might as well just go get a college degree because a bootcamp education. It doesn't really like, it will help you, you know, somewhat, depending on who you're applying for, but I degree is still better than bootcamp education. Like if you have a bootcamp student and you have a person who has a degree and they have the same skills, the degree person is probably going to win out, not spins out of tangent because most companies, they still value that degree a lot, even though companies are slowly starting to go away from requiring a degree. Cause there's some companies that it don't matter how skilled we are. We'll never get that job because we don't have a degree in that particular industry or, you know, whatever it is. And also like you don't have to have a degree in the industry that you're trying to look for a job too. Like that's I know some people that got bachelor degrees, but I think just how the company hire, I don't know how it is. I don't know how it is in corporate America, but they probably pay you to have people that have degrees. So someone that doesn't have it. But I think with Lambda school, like, like I said, I just went there because it was free pretty much. And you, and you just paid if you got a $50,000 or more job. Cause if you didn't get more job in the industry, I think in tech, in general, cause I know early on in the process, I thought it had to be web development, but I think that's the thing that they got. A lot of people is because a lot of people were upset because they were having to pay that money back. But they weren't really in a field that really was related to what Viome does. It was like a tech industry, but it wasn't quite what development what's. I think that was kind of like a silver lining and I was reading my contracts by the way. And that, wasn't why we read my contracts is because when I was in direct sales, I think I told him, I said this earlier, you know, talking about $300 a week and then they didn't pay me $300. Like you have to read that stuff. And ever since then I read everything. I don't sign nothing. And I started read the silver line on it. And this is a life lesson, by the way, anyone listening, read your contracts. Like I don't care. Where are you trying to work? What you're trying to do, read your contracts because you can get screwed out of a lot of money and screwed up a lot of different things if you don't read the contract. So definitely do that. So that's what I always told people say, Hey, like I knew what the deal was, you know, because I read the contract. If you don't get a job in tech, you're good. So it wasn't really a risk for me because if it didn't work out, I don't have to pay anything I could drop out. You know, if I to start a Lambda school the first week and dropped down the first month, I wouldn't have had to pay anything. So I was like, it was kind of like a low risk, high reward type situation for me, as opposed to you go to a bootcamp that you have to pay $10,000 to get in, you pay $10,000 and you don't work out. You're at $10,000, you know, so it was, it was one situation for me and that's why I joined it for that. And I heard a lot of good things about it from a lot of different people saw was like, I'm going to go ahead and try this out. I think it was still kind of new when I started, but it was something that I thought was different and something that I think, like I said, more people at that time should have kind of took advantage of it because there really wasn't a whole lot of risks involved. Like I said, it was just, you know, you had to pay that 17% or whatever it is, but you get a high paying job on me. That's paying you more than you were getting paid, working at McDonald's or Walmart or whatever you work in there. A lot of people that go to bootcamps like that, they didn't have, they weren't making nowhere near that type of money. Like I, I heard a lot of stories of people that it changed her life on his land to school. So, you know, just having that life changing money, you're going to want to pay back. Whoever helped you get to that point, whether that's a bootcamp, whether that's a person, it don't matter who it is. If someone has changed your life, you don't really think about how much you got to pay back because. You got so much more out of it, that it was worth it. And it's like, same thing with like college or whatever it is. If you going to college to be a doctor. Right. And you know, you, maybe you're paying a hundred thousand dollars as two loans, but if you get a, a job, what's your picking pay $300,000, it's worth it because you may way more money than you actually spent for that degree. So that's what you always got to think about. Like how much are you going to get paid for what you're trying to do. And you got to think about those things. And if you do those things and you think that through you make the best decision for yourself and for your family and for your future,

Kimmiko J:

You got to just do what's best for you and yeah. I mean, both routes college or coding bootcamp, they both have a lot of pros and cons, right? Like the, in my, in my opinion, I think with the coding bootcamp, Depending on how much money you have upfront, which is the tricky part. It's the cheaper route and the faster route versus college, which is averaging a hundred K or more, depending on where you go for the entire four years. And it takes four years. Sometimes more for me, it's taken about five and for other it's taken about six or even more because life happens, but they have a lot of trade-offs, but I feel like the playing field for employment, depending on what school you go to, like, if you go to Stanford, MIT, sorry to exclude you. But if you go to a school that isn't really CS or engineering based like UC Davis, like mine, then the playing field is very even like it's. Yeah. I know people think it's corny, but I do agree with your network is your net worth. And for me, that's what proved to stand true with my internship offers. It's, what's proved to stand true for other people that have had internship and job offers because you're competing against hundreds and thousands of people. How are you going to stand out? If you guys have similar skillsets degree or not? Like it stands, you stand out with your projects, don't get me wrong. But from both perspectives of the coding boot camp, which you do build a lot of personal projects, which employers love. They love that. And same for a student. If you go to these hackathons, work with people and build more personal projects, they also love that. But in my opinion, both sides, again, the competition is so heavy in, I can't imagine what that competition looks like during this pandemic where you can from anywhere now. So everyone's applying, it's hard for both ends. You just got to figure out. I guess what would be best for you? For me? I appreciate the college structure because it's helped me kind of get out of my shell as someone that normally wouldn't have socialized and being a self-taught developer. I don't think it would have been for me like cam was kind of saying, like, if you have some savings of, we'll say 10 to $30,000 and you don't want to go to college, I would do the coding boot camp, to be honest with you. Cause you know, you can pay up front and still have. Some extra side money for rent and whatever you need to do. And also sometimes they're flexible. And once you can do the coding bootcamp part-time while you work full-time. So some of them are flexible like that. I don't know how flexible under school is, but they try to make it work with you. But my long tangent aside, I just, you just have to figure out what works for you. There's like no wrong or right way to get into coding.

Cam Perry:

Yeah. And to go back to your point about the part-time thing, that's actually what I did when I started, like, land is closed and that's why it took so long because the part-time cohort was like, and this is something that like, I probably wouldn't have done. Like if I went back now, just because I think when I started, like, it was, the program was way shorter than it was. And then I think that midway through, they extended the program, like to make it. I think four months longer, something like that, something crazy. And I was just like, man, like, are you spending this much time? Cause you know, most people, you know, when they sign up for something and they, they have an idea, okay, w what's my sign up date? What's my end date. And then, okay, I'm going to start looking for a job or what, or, you know, whatever it is. And it was already pushed back for a month for where I was going. And luckily for me, I was working, I think at the time I was working at like a thrift store. So I'm at the time when I was doing the land of school thing, because I needed to do something where I wasn't working like all day and the schedule could be flexible because when you're doing a bootcamp or whatever, whenever you're learning how to code in general, it's a time commitment. Like you can't spend one or two hours a day every day and expect to be, you know, a real good developer and get yourself a job in six months. Like this is going to take you at that pace. It might take you a year and a half, two years to get to that point because. There's so much time that it takes to be able to be comfortable and be able to build stuff, unless you're just a natural born prodigy, which on a bunch of y'all I ain't a prodigy. I, somebody there, you know, I can, I can see something and be like, yeah, I get this. Like I know with JavaScript, it took me like a full, like I think two months to figure it out. And that's just the basic stuff. Like, and it took even longer than that to actually be able to use, uh, to apply that in a project. So anyone was listening at home, like if you learn anything and I say this all the time, like apply it in a private that you're learning, whatever you, whatever it is. So if you're learning how to build up a header or something like that, or learning how to do a four loop or something, or a, you use a function, like try to apply that function into something that you're building. So like what I would do. Is like, you know, start building like, you know, a reusable component. And I don't know if any of y'all know about components, but it's like something where you can use at different parts of your site. So you can, you can literally have a function that literally is a component for something in your site. And that could be a practice for you to be able to know, okay, this, I do a function. This is how I'm able to, you know, export it and all that stuff like that. So I think just having strategies on what you do when you're learning something, so learn something, apply it, learn something, apply it, and then just keep doing the process. If you do that, you'll eventually learn stuff a lot quicker than just looking at the tutorial and be like, okay, I'm copying and pasting this tutorial, but I really don't understand anything that I'm learning because I know that that's a lot of people, you know, me personally, I have the same issue. You know, people call us the tutorial, hell, you know, wherever, you know, wherever you want to call it. But that's what, you know, when you just keep learning tutorials, doing the tutorials and you never really learn anything. If I was you stop, you know, stop whatever the toll you're doing. Stop the tutorial. If you're not building something that's, that's clearly off the tour that you did. So if you did a tutorial yesterday, literally build something that applies the same thing that you learn and don't copy and paste. You know, what I tell people to do is look at what they're about to build and try to build it yourself first, without the video, whatever you're looking at the tutorial for, and then play the video and then see how they built it. And then after that, go ahead and build something. That's a, of what they built, but not exactly how they built it. So that's three different ways where you can literally learn how to do something. If you do those things, like, just tell me, like, if y'all need me to come back on at the time, tell me if y'all learn something from that, but I'm sure someone's going to be listening to this. Be like, oh man, cam, you know, you had a point there about the,

Kimmiko J:

yeah. So I guess my follow-up for that would be how, what was the learning style like at Atlanta? Because, you know, the project based learning is kind of the sense I got, but could you just give a little bit more detail?

Cam Perry:

Yeah. Yeah. So like Lambda school, it was, it was project based. So you had to do like with part-time it was a project every two days. So every other day, you know, it was a project. So you had to be quick and like learning things. So if it wasn't like, self-taught where like you probably look into tutorial, right. And then it may take you a full week to build something based on that tutorial. But this, you have two days and full-time, it was a day. So you have one day full time, two days part-time and you know, if you're part-time you have a job too, so you gotta be able to balance a job. And that's why, like, at, at some point I quit my job because I was like, man, like, I can't like do my job and do this. Like, there's just no way. It's just, there's too much. I got to learn and I don't want to burn myself out at the job or burn myself out, like with the coding stuff. Like, I think at some point you gotta realize like, if you're really serious with it, like you gotta expect sacrifices. Cause sometimes, you know, you have someone, you know, that you're seeing, right? You have, oh, you have friends, whoever it is, friends, girlfriend, good boyfriend, whoever it is maybe instead of seeing them every day, see him every few days, you'll be fine. Trust me. You'll be fine. Cause if you, if you tell, you know, tell them, Hey, I'm learning how to code. So while we can provide a better life for us, but I'm going to make a lot of money, not something out of 10, they'll be okay with it. And if the not, no, I'm just telling, I'm not giving her a blended relationship advice. I'm not, I'm not giving that up. If it would mean our job for him because there's someone out there for you. That's going to understand that. Trust me, that there's, there's, you know, 7 billion people in the world don't be caught up in the person you think is your soulmate because there's probably someone else out there. You, if you talk to enough people, there's someone else out there. So, so don't get caught up in that one person that you think you don't want to ever sacrifice, whatever they're doing for what you want to do. Like take care of yourself first. This is something that it took me years to figure this out. Take care of your first yourself first and foremost, and then take care of everybody else later, unless you're well off. If you're well off being worried about other people, but if you're not well off of here, you're barely getting by. You don't have the luxury of automating. What else? You got to worry about yourself first. So, so, so definitely take care of yourself, make sure your career set, stick the sacrifices, and it's going to pay off like the man women, whoever it is, don't be around. Trust me. That'd be, that'd be around just, just, just making sacrifices now. And then six months a year from now, you're going to thank me and be like, yeah, like I'm glad I did that because if I were to stay where I was at, I've been stuck in the same cycle because a lot of people are stuck in that same cycle. I'm sure you got a lot of friends. They in the same spot, they weren't three years ago. Yeah, Kyle is going to be, it's gonna be the same thing. You're gonna have friends there in the same exact spot they wore. When they graduated high school, graduated college, go to the 10 year reunion. If you go with 10 reunion, they'll be in the same exact spot because they weren't willing to make the sacrifice one-on-one to make that take that risk I'm talking about because in life, if you want to make something happen for yourself, you got to take some type of risks. You don't have to be like reckless take calculated risk on yourself. So you got to do,

Kimmiko J:

oh, cam, I feel like you were talking to me. I needed that advice.

Cam Perry:

Like I be in the zone sometimes. Like I tell people all the time, like sometimes I just be preaching. Like, I don't know if any y'all used to go to church. Like I used to go to church. Do you know when I was younger? And like, I feel like sometimes I just get in the zone where I be like talking to people. It just, it comes out. Like, I don't even plan it either. So like, hopefully if y'all listening, you know, hit me up, definitely hit me up because I'm approachable. You know, if you hit me up on Twitter or whatever, like I'm always willing to help people out in situations. If you need a pep talk or if you need advice with web development in

Kimmiko J:

general. What are your most favorite parts about being a full-time software engineer and also your least favorite parts?

Cam Perry:

Yeah, so I think my favorite part is honestly just having the luxury of doing something that I love and getting paid for it. I think that's like the big thing that I, I love more than anything because I think a lot of times be working job, right. And we're not, we're getting paid or we're getting paid a lot of money, but we hate it. Like, there's, there's two, there's two different extremes. There there's the people that get paid a lot of money, but they hate the job. And there's a lot of people like that or the people that don't get paid a lot, but they love their job and that's bad too. And that is the worst. And I guess is the third point is people that hate their job and they don't get paid anything. I think that's like probably 50% of America. Like, you know, that paper job and I get paid a lot. I don't know what the numbers are, but I think it's at least 50% for sure. Because, you know, you talked to a lot of your friends, whatever they do an I for, I guess, most people that they know, but are they really doing, you know, well enough that they could provide, you know, generational wealth. And that's something that we don't really hear a lot about as generous in making sure that we have to make enough money where our family is set for life. And that's kind of my goal. Like I want to be in a situation where I'm able to provide for my family years, you know, decades, centuries down the line so that, you know, my name, you know, people will be like, yeah, he started something. And then my name was able to keep building on to what I built. And I think that's something that people should be thinking about. Like, I know that's not taught in school either is making investments, making the decisions that will set you up for life and you're able to be millionaires and hopefully for your life. Tens of millions, hundreds of millions, like that's, that's the big goal. I mean, I think most people here, if you play a carpet, you can be a millionaire. I think that's not really that difficult, but it's even harder once you get that first million, Hey, get that second million. Because I, I think once you get to that point and if you do it, when you're young, the sky's the limit for you. Because a lot of times people become millionaires when they get old, but so they never really get a chance to really enjoy that, that once that they built. But if you start working on those things now and you start making those investment down, you start thinking about ways where you can make money on the side. Like you don't have to be something where you're making a whole bunch of money and starting out. But if you can start making small amounts of money here and there eventually is going to compound events to get to a point where you're making a whole lot of money. So say you're working what a Velma job right now start doing, you know, some stuff on the side, like start maybe doing some small client work or something where you're making some money. You don't have to even be tech-related by the way. But I think it's the easy way you can make money because you already know this. Or you can just do some metal stuff, like whatever your passions are, but just do something on the side because you want to have multiple strings of income. So that in case some doesn't work out, whether that's your, your tech job, whether that's, you know, your side income, whatever it is, you have some else to fall back on because that's something that I think a lot of people don't do. Like they, they, they get stuck on, on just having that one job or stay at that one job for three, four or five years, or, you know, or longer than that. I mean, I think the ages of we stay in a job for 20 plus years is over, like, there ain't many people, our age that are going to be doing it. Like, unless you just trying to move up the ladder and be a CEO of a company or something like that, like it's not gonna happen. Like most of us are going to try and start our own companies. And we live in an age where that's possible. Like, you know, if you play your cards where you can start a company and be successful at it, you just got to just figure out what you're good at and make it happen for yourself. I mean, everybody is not meant to be an entrepreneur, but if you want to, it can be done.

Kimmiko J:

To Cam's point having a side hustle that you're passionate about, if you're passionate about a side hustle, you can definitely make money off of it because number one, you're going to be working for nothing. The first two, three years, potentially, depending on what that side hustle is. And with that, it just compounds like it doesn't always compound into money, but the better, the more passionate you are about the thing, the better you get at it, the more people see that. And then the money comes and that compounds as well. It's, it's weird with tech because it's like. It feels like a sprint. A lot of the time, like it, it feels like a sprint from not having the job to networking, to interviewing while studying for interviews and then interviewing and doing that at the same time and then getting the job and working 40 hour weeks. But with a side hustle, it's more of a marathon. And I think people get caught up in that mindset of, you know, they spend maybe we'll say six months to a year on something. They don't see anything happening and they just give up. That's how, you know, you're not passionate about it. It's time to move on to something else. Just because we'll say as an example, if I make money from my blog, I've been doing five years and I make a hundred K a year off of that. And I've been doing it for five years. That doesn't necessarily mean you can do the same, not because you don't have the motivation, but because you don't care. It's just not going to happen. That's why people give up on podcasts. They don't, they don't care like a cute, cute little hobby, right? The first five episodes you do with your friend and you just, you just drop it. Obviously you're not going to be making money from it, but passion, it compounds into bigger things in my opinion.

Cam Perry:

Yeah. And he'll at your point on the podcast thing, like I know I have podcasts before this, before this one that I, that I did between two days, which is the kind of podcast, but I'm out of podcasts where I talk about sports. And I think my problem was, it was the point you made before, which I think I spent like maybe six months, maybe eight months. I can't remember how long it was. And I didn't see the numbers that I wanted and podcasting it's like, just like, I think most things it's like a marathon, not a sprint, like most things that you do. Like you're not going to see results, like she said right away. But I think at some point, if you're good at it, like a people say you're good. Cause I think the biggest thing. To get feedback from not your friends, but people that you don't know, because a lot of times your friends aren't checking your stuff out. Like they're not, they're not the customers like most non some that attend your friends are not your customers or people that you gone need to reach. And don't worry about the numbers. The numbers will take care of itself if you play your cards. Right? So if you tried to a podcast trying to create a blog, you try to start a business venture, just worry about making sure whatever you're doing is good. If it's good, it will sell that guarantee. Like it may take you a year. They took you two years. May take you five years, may take you 10 years. But as long as you're getting you're growing every single year, Don't give up on it. Just keep going the goal. Like, cause if, if you really good at what you're doing, you'll make money eventually. So don't be worried about the numbers right off the bat, but just worry about improving yourself and making sure that your, your mental is a good thing. And sure that, you know, if you need to take a break, take a break, but don't give up on whatever you're doing.

Kimmiko J:

I just wanted to get into yeah. Between two dibs, like, you know, what, what is your podcast about and you know, what sparked the journey for you to start

Cam Perry:

it? Yeah. Yeah. So I kind of touched on this a little bit earlier, but I wanted to do a podcast because I had a podcast before I gave up too quick. And I always, I think with me is I always try to learn from our mistakes. Cause I think that's the biggest thing that anyone who listened at home needs to do. Like if, if, if you fail at something you fail, you know, but get it back up because I know sometimes people fail. And they never get back up. And then, you know, they're stuck in the same spot for the next three to five years. Like I don't want to ever be in that position where I'm like kinda mad at myself that I didn't do something because a lot of times, if you take enough chances or do enough things, opportunities will present itself. Like it may not present itself the same way that it did before, but eventually it'll come back around. That's why, like, I try to do as many different things as I can, because I know eventually, like stuff's going to pay off. But, but with the, between two devs, the reason why I did that podcast, because I saw with the sports podcasts sports, there's a lot of people talking about sports. So it's like you compete against a lot of people. Like, unless you have like something that's like real niche, like you're going to have to either have like a real, like solid marketing campaign to be able to put yourself in a position where people will be able to check you out compared to other people. Or you just going to have to just put in a lot of work, like more work than you would do on the podcast that we do. Like you have to literally probably put something out, like probably once a day, just because like, you're going to have to just put out a bunch of stuff out. That's really good. So you kind of get eyeballs at your stuff because eventually these people will find you if you have enough content up. So with between two days, I was like, okay, I'm going to try to find a podcast that like, I type of podcasts where it's different and it's not a lot of people talking about it. Cause I know we talked about this before. Um, you know, last week that's not on off-air we talked about how there isn't a whole lot of podcasts talk on, you know, with people of color or just black folks in general. Like that's even less people talking about, you know, podcasts talking about people like us on that just isn't like, so I was like, man, I want to do a pocket. Where people can come in and have conversations like we're having on your podcast, where people can be themselves at real conversations. And they not afraid about stuff, because I know sometimes I'll hit people up, do interviews and I'll tell them to say, they'll ask for that. What I got to prepare for. So just be yourself. You don't have to pay for nothing. Don't think I'm going to ask you is how you got your journey in tech and that's about it. Everything else. We just want to be vibing. We going to be just having conversations based on what you do and what you're comfortable with, because I'd like to make people feel comfortable. I don't want people to feel like they gotta, you know, in a job interview. Cause I know they hear that all the time. Like, and also I don't want to do an interview where I'm talking about the same stuff that someone else may be talking about. Cause you know, a lot of podcasts, maybe tech pockets that you probably listened to, they asked the same questions and they asked like technical stuff. Like if I wanted a tech pack, like a tech tech podcasts, as we were talking about with people that yeah, I listened to someone else, but for us. I want some flavor and want some sauce. I want some person now with the podcast. I don't want, I don't want, you know, some vanilla podcast. Cause if I wanted vanilla podcast listens, you know what I'm saying? What I'm saying? Like, you know, and I think I won't, like, I feel like with the, you and I, we may not get the numbers that those podcasts get because their podcasts are meant to get a lot of people because they talk about those things. But podcasts like ours, I think we have more potential for growth because we are talking about real stuff. And then once we really like blow up, blow up, like sky's the limit because there isn't a whole lot of podcasts that do that. So I try to play the long game. Anything I do, I play the long game. I like man, like, I'm going to buy my time. It may take me five years to get to where I want to be. There's a lot of podcasts out there in general, like the Joe Rogan. But for instance, like, yeah, I don't know if it was to this podcast, but it took them years to be able to get. Done the Spotify deal, where he got a hundred billion dollars, like it took him a long time. So you can't be thinking that it's going to, you know, you don't get that money real quick. Like you gotta play the long game. I know we talked about this too. Like, I don't think about money when I do my podcast, really. Like, I really don't. I want to make money to cover costs, but I know once I start thinking about money, it ruins what I'm trying to do. I like to, to have like one single of focus and focus on that focus. And then once I reach my goals for the year, which I know last year, I think my goal was to get, like, when I start my podcast, I want to get a thousand people to check out my podcast last year. I easily beat that last year. And that was my first year. And I, I beat the, and that number is probably low for a lot of people telling people like man that's, but you know, our hardest to get that many people to check out your stuff. Like it's a lot harder than it looks because there's a lot of people that have podcasts that can't even get 10 people that check out the podcasts a week. So if you get a thousand people to attend your podcast in a year, you're probably in the top 50%. I don't want the numbers are, but to probably in the top 50%, because a lot of people that quit after the first two or three episodes. So I think know with me, I just, I knew consistency. Consistency would be the key. And I think that's what you, anyone who listened at home, whatever you're doing be consistent. Like it don't matter what it is. If you're consistent, the money will come. I know I'm giving a lot of gyms today, but I'm giving advice that I wish I woulda knew. When I was starting everything that I've done, because everything I've done, I failed at least once that particular thing that I'm doing, I think a lot of people were like afraid of failure and I'm not afraid of failure. If I fail something, I'm gonna get back up and do it again. It may take me a little bit to get back up, but I'm going to get back on that horse and do it. So if you fail something, can you just stay down for a little bit, stay down, you know, if you need to sit down, but get back up, don't keep staying down. So if you do that, I mean, I mean, it's, it's gonna work out for you. So I think what the podcast is, I wanted to have something where people can be comfortable. Like I said before, and also I also wanted to have something where people can kind of be together and come together. And also at the same time also wanted to create something where I can eventually have like, you know, sponsorships and eventually create a network. And that's something that I wanted to do. Long-term that's like a long-term goal of mine because a lot of times, you know, we think of black media. And there really isn't a whole lot of black media companies out there like that. Can you think of any that are owned by black folks? Like, I really can't think of that many. So if you can be one of those only people, like you can create a nice for yourself and make money. Like, and that's what I always tell people, like, find me that works for you and you'll you'll survive, you know, long-term because I think some people they get so focused on trying to be. Something that's a big, you know, not a bride, you know, field, right. So you're, you know, doing podcasts, right. You want to be, you know, have the best tech podcast. Right. I don't care. I don't care about having the best tape top tests out there. Like if I could have the best tech pocket, that's cool, but I want to be a personality that people can be like, okay, I'm the best black media personality out there. Like, that's what, that's what I want. Cause I think once you get that, that route, you know, or best black tech media personality out there, like I think if you do go that route, I think it works out for you because you're not really like competing it. Cause there's so many people you got to compete with because there's people that will never check out our podcast because it's centered towards black folks or people of color. Some people will never listen to it. And it's unfortunate because like, I think there's stuff that people can get from your podcast and my podcast, but it's just, you know, in the country we live in, you know, that's just how it is nowadays. I don't know, people always talk about this, but I know I hear this a lot. Usually your first episode is your best performing episode. If you've done, like at least 10 episodes, like that's like some type of data that I've seen what podcasts, but if you do like a 200 episodes, you know, your first episode may suck, but you have a reference point of where you were to what you're doing now. Cause I know with me. I usually don't check out my old episodes. Like I, like, I I'm like actors like actors, you know, you hear access to movies to talk about, you know, they never watch movies. Yeah. Like I don't do that because I, one thing I do is when I do my episodes, I edit the stuff. And after that last time I heard the episode, I don't listen to it after that at all. Like, I, I, I go by what people tell me, they say, man, you talking about this topic. I loved it. You know? Okay. You know, bit like, I appreciate you listening. I think you have to do that. And also at the same time, if you're doing whatever you're trying to do, do like start, you said before, do your research, make sure that you know that you're on top of everything. If you see something that's not working out for you, or you see your numbers, aren't working out the way you want it to pivot and adjust and then, you know, then work from there. Like, cause I know sometimes we get caught up in doing things just one way, if one way is not working, you know, do something else. And like I mentioned before, fail, keep failing. Eventually you're going to fail for, and eventually you got to figure stuff out. If you start plateauing, you know, try something different, they don't work out, try something else and then just keep going and, you know, and it'll all work out like, like, I, I love people like us because we're so young, we can, we can fail and fail and fail for years and still be okay. Cause I know I mentioned this earlier. You don't have to have your life figured out in your twenties. You don't have to have your life forgot in your thirties, but do it now do fail many times as you, as you, as you can now until you figure stuff out, because eventually like you're going to figure whatever that thing is. But, but, but just keep doing it, like don't stop. Like, you know, just, just keep going. Yeah.

Kimmiko J:

Beautifully said from start to finish cam again, speaking to my soul and probably other people's souls, because it's kind of just to summarize the episode as a whole. Early twenties. It's rough. It's rough in the sense that you don't know what your path is and you don't feel like you can fail or experiment, but to Cam's point, can't preach as good as him, but you can fail. You can get up, just keep trying and keep going. But with that, I just want to say, thanks for coming on, cam, it was a pleasure having you on just sharing your journey from start to finish and sharing so many gyms that people are going to appreciate. So I would just like to know where can people find you? Where can people check out your podcast or anything you're working.

Cam Perry:

Yeah. Yeah. So you can find me on Twitter. I'm on Twitter a lot at cam Perry, 21. Like I mentioned before, if you reached out to me there, I can answer any questions that you have, you know, anything, any comments, feedback, whatever you want. I I'll definitely answer it. I'm always on there. Also check out my website between two devs.com. If you want to check out my podcast, also, if you want to get some merge from a podcast, you want support your boy to dibs store.com. If you want to get a hood, a hoodie, a hat, you know, t-shirt, whatever it is. I probably got it. And if I don't got it, let me know and I can make it for you. You know, I'm a hustler. So, you know, I'm going to do what I'm going to do. So support your boy. But yeah, I appreciate you having me on. It's been a pleasure.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the black enterprise network podcast. If you enjoyed it, be sure to leave a review. The next episode will be review on season two of the podcast, featuring key gyms from previous episodes.