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Retired Wall Street Tech Expert Sharpens Skills at Rutgers Coding Bootcamp

John Bruno Presenting at Rutgers Coding Bootcamp

By Padraig Ryan

John Bruno chuckles looking back at the dismal outcome of his first computer course more than 40 years ago.

“It was the only course I ever failed,” Bruno said. “I remember my professor telling me never to go near a computer in my career.”

Luckily, Bruno, 63, didn’t listen. In fact, he aced his subsequent computer tech classes. That opened a 40-year career in information technology, where he helped revolutionize data management on Wall Street. He even taught coding courses at night.

After retiring, Bruno took on a new challenge, to create a regulatory and compliance application and build it himself. Feeling a bit rusty in his coding skills, he enrolled in the Rutgers Coding Bootcamp, a six-month intensive program offered by the Division of Continuing Studies.

“I had an important application that I wanted to finish but I didn’t have the skillset that I needed,” said Bruno. “I could have hired people to finish the app for me, but I knew that this was something I wanted to learn how to build myself.”

So, from October to May, Bruno spent 40 hours each week going to class, on homework and on projects. Working beside students less than half his age, Bruno didn’t give that a second thought. Instead, he focused on getting everything he needed to become a full-stack software coder.

“I may have had to study a little more because of my age but the course was worth three times more than what I spent because I learned so much,” said Bruno who lives in Warren. “I was able to add to the skills I already had and continue making my app into something that I really believe will be a great advantage to business and consumers.”

Bruno, also a certified auto mechanic and licensed auto dealer with a collection of over 100 classic cars, decided to use what he learned at Rutgers to create a second application called PILLS - A Global Prescription Service. He believes the app will automate the prescription process between patients, doctors, pharmacies and insurance companies.

“Right now healthcare industry technology is 35 years behind and needs to be updated and brought into the 21st century,” said Bruno, who worked with a medical group interested in automating the data and streamlining the procedure. “I interviewed a lot of people, looked around and realized that although people may think this process is automated, it really is not.”

That’s why a prescription service like PILLS is needed to keep track of vital patient information, said Bruno, who had been responsible for technology design and development at major investment banks.

While many in Bruno’s position may have thought about taking it easy after retirement, Bruno said the Rutgers Bootcamp program was a great use of his time. It provides the skills needed, he said, for those interested in what the United States Department of Labor lists as one of the most in-demand career opportunities.

“There are a lot of hidden jewels when it comes to the students who come from such varied backgrounds,” said Bruno. “Rutgers teaches the program the right way and they put students in the right mindset to learn.”

To find out more about the Rutgers Coding Bootcamp, or to enroll in the program, call 732-430-2144 or visit the Rutgers Coding Bootcamp website.


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