Camo to Code: A Veteran’s Transition to Tech


September 27, 2023

5Minute Read

For many military veterans, transitioning to civilian life comes with its set of challenges. The tech industry stands out as a realm brimming with opportunities for those willing to adapt and learn. In our conversation with Navy veteran Mike Goeres, we uncover a success story that demonstrates the potential of this industry to veterans. 

Military to Tech: A Seamless Transition 

Mike Goeres is a military veteran with a background as a fire control technician. He joined the Navy in 1990 and his NEC (Navy Enlisted Classification) was focused on electronics and radar systems —a far cry from the traditional military image.

After dedicating six years to military service, Mike was well-equipped with valuable skills and experiences that would soon prove to be highly transferable to the tech world. His transition began with the decision to pursue electronics, which he had already been exposed to during his time in the Navy.  

Discovering The World of Machine Language 

Mike enrolled in a community college and earned an associate degree in electronic engineering technology.  

“The thing I liked best about electronic engineering, besides learning how to fix things, was learning how to program machine language,” said Mike. 

Choosing a Coding Bootcamp 

With a desire to go deeper into the tech world, Mike decided to explore coding bootcamps. He ultimately chose Promineo Tech’s bootcamp, which he discovered in his community college’s handbook. Beyond being impressed with the curriculum, he was attracted by the affordable, accelerated nature of the program—a critical factor for many veterans exploring career options. 

“The number one reason I chose Promineo Tech is because it was in the Southeast Community College handbook, and I trust them. They have an excellent education system. I figured if it’s listed in this Southeast Community College handbook, it’s got to be good. Plus, it was cheaper than a lot of other options,” Mike said. 

The typical coding bootcamp comes with a price tag exceeding $13,500. However, thanks to our innovative flipped-teaching approach and faculty model, our partners can provide high-quality programs at a fraction of the average tuition cost, reducing it to nearly one-fourth the price. 

The Coding Bootcamp Experience: Mastering the Essentials 

Mike embarked on his coding bootcamp journey with Promineo Tech, and it proved to be a transformative experience that allowed him to master a range of essential skills—and utilize existing soft and hard skills.  

Mike’s military discipline and the ability to troubleshoot problems with unwavering perseverance were attributes that translated seamlessly into the world of coding. The structured approach of bootcamps and the emphasis on teamwork resonated with his military background. 

The bootcamp was structured into three distinct phases, each offering a unique set of challenges and opportunities for growth… 

Phase 1: Introduction to Java (Weeks 1-6) 

The first six weeks of the bootcamp were dedicated to Java—a programming language Mike had encountered during his military service but hadn’t actively used for over five years. These weeks served as a valuable review and refresher course, allowing him to reacquaint himself with Java’s intricacies. It was an essential step in building a strong foundation for the journey ahead. 

Phase 2: Relational Databases with MySQL (Weeks 7-12) 

In the subsequent six weeks, Mike dove into the world of SQL (Structured Query Language). While he had prior experience with SQL, the bootcamp provided him with the opportunity to deepen his knowledge and skills. What made this phase particularly valuable was the integration of SQL into practical coding scenarios, highlighting its importance in real-world applications. 

Phase 3: Web API Design with Spring Boot (Weeks 13-18) 

The final six weeks of the bootcamp introduced Mike to the world of Spring and Spring Boot—a territory he had never explored before. These technologies are crucial in modern web development, as they enable the creation of powerful Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). For Mike, this phase represented uncharted territory, but he embraced it with enthusiasm. 

For Mike, mastering Spring and Spring Boot was the key to understanding how to create APIs—a skillset that has become increasingly valuable in the tech industry. This knowledge opened doors to new opportunities and allowed him to contribute to the ever-evolving world of web development. 

Mike’s coding bootcamp experience with Promineo Tech was a structured and comprehensive journey that covered essential programming languages and technologies. It provided him with a solid foundation in Java, SQL expertise, and the ability to create powerful APIs using Spring and Spring Boot. This diverse skill set has not only propelled Mike’s career but also positioned him as a valuable mentor, sharing his knowledge and experience with aspiring tech professionals. 

Unique Aspects of Promineo Tech for Veterans 

One standout feature of Promineo Tech that Mike highlights was the concentrated and compressed learning style of the bootcamps. He likened it to the fast-paced training he received in the military, emphasizing that this style of learning is familiar to veterans and often leads to better retention of skills. 

“Like most military training, Promineo Tech bootcamps are compressed and fast. You’ve got to learn fast. And in the military, you learn fast,” says Mike. 

Becoming a Mentor at Promineo Tech 

Thanks to Mike’s military mindset, he was a star student in his Promineo Tech coding bootcamp. Thankfully, he would also help other students in need. 

“I was going to office hours and helping students and when somebody would post on the help channels, I’d go help them since I wasn’t working full-time and had the bandwidth and enjoy it,” says Mike. 

Upon successfully completing the bootcamp, Mike didn’t rest on his laurels. He dove headfirst into the tech world and became a program mentor. His transition from student to mentor was swift, driven by his passion for helping others.  

“I love helping people and I love coding. As a program mentor I can do both,” Mike says. 

This mentorship role at Promineo Tech is affording him the opportunity to combine his love for coding with his deep desire to support and guide aspiring tech professionals. 

Looking to the Future 

When asked about his career goals for the next five to ten years, Mike expresses his commitment to staying in the tech industry. He envisions continued growth within Promineo Tech, eventually taking on roles that allow him to make an even greater impact on students and the company. 

Advice for Transitioning Veterans 

In closing, Mike offers some sage advice for transitioning veterans contemplating their career paths. He emphasizes the importance of utilizing education benefits, such as VET TEC, to explore areas of interest. He encourages veterans to embark on a journey of self-discovery, find what they love, and wholeheartedly pursue it. 

Mike says: “Take advantage of the education benefits. Find out what you like, explore education in your areas of interest, and do research. Find what you like and then go for it. Just go for it.” 


This insightful conversation with Mike Goeres, a military veteran turned coding mentor, showcases what can be a seamless transition from the military to a career in tech, with Promineo Tech’s back-end development bootcamp playing a pivotal role in this transformation. Mike Goeres’ journey is a testament to the value of hard and soft skills learned in the military and how they can be leveraged to excel in the tech world. For veterans considering a career change, Mike’s story serves as an inspiring roadmap to a brighter future in the tech industry.  

Inspired by Mike’s journey? Discover how to pave your way to a tech career with Promineo Tech.

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