How One Veteran Found Community in Coding


Before he joined the Galvanize Web Development Immersive Program, former US Army Sgt. Allen Fordham traveled the world in search of his passion.

Growing up, Allen’s family moved a lot; he had lived in six states by the time he graduated high school. He decided to make his biggest move when he relocated to Germany, where he developed a love for languages that would continue throughout his career.

Then, Allen enlisted in the army, where he found a role in Psychological Operations. After a year of training, Allen was deployed to several African countries including Kenya and Mauritania, working with embassies and generals to develop diplomatic strategies. His final deployment took him to Afghanistan in 2012, and when he returned, he decided to pursue a degree in International Affairs at the University of Colorado – Boulder.

After Allen graduated with his bachelor’s degree, he spent more than a year looking for jobs. In his search, he found that the prospective jobs required someone with programming skills.

That’s when Allen found Galvanize. He looked at plenty of other bootcamp options, but was attracted to the sense of camaraderie he saw at the Galvanize Denver campus.

“In the military, I was part of a tight-knit community that I could rely on. Galvanize has that same sense of community.”

Prior to the program, Allen didn’t have any coding skills. He sought online resources and landed on the Codecademy path where he acquired basic coding knowledge. He began to fall in love with coding. With his passion for learning new languages reignited, he applied for the Web Development Immersive Program.

“It has a lot of similarities to my time in the military: it takes discipline, maturity, and perspective”.

The supportive community and built-in networking helped Allen take on a new challenge.

“I learned more in the first two weeks at Galvanize than I did in any college course over an entire semester, and I’m continuing to learn.”


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