One thing though. The fact that you were "offered a senior position in ruby, Rails, and front end development" after less than one year of development makes me worry about that "software development contractor company".
I wonder if the OP would have felt comfortable being in a senior role. More thoughts on what makes someone 'senior' here: http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/25564/when-sh...
(Hint, it isn't just time on the job.)
I don't know if I would've been comfortable in that role. It may have played a part in me not accepting it. I know I wasn't comfortable with the team, and if they had to answer to me than it might have been an uncomfortable situation all around.
Good on ya for knocking that interview out of the park.
Tl;dr congrats, it is a hard road to legitimacy for a self-taught developer.
Another quick point, those CS concepts will come with practice, and you might not know every aspect of what is happening in the CPU when you use .sort! on an array, but I assure you that you will not be required to rewrite sorting algorithms in any job you should be applying for.
(1) Other people who are getting ready to shell out $10k for a bootcamp deserve to hear from dissatisfied alumni
(2) There's a lot of negative press around bootcamps and the good ones shouldn't be lumped in with the bad ones. I had a great experience at Hack Reactor that set me up for interview success with data structures and algorithms, despite lacking a formal CS degree.
I'm not sure why GA is pursuing this strategy because it seems to be poisoning their reputation. They really shine with things like weekend courses on marketing analytics or a two-hour course where a non-technical founder can get some concepts and vocabulary to grok what the engineering team is doing, but their nine-week courses are lightweight and don't serve their graduates very well. In fact, when I hear engineers complaining about "bootcamp graduates" it's never about Hack Reactor and rarely about DevBootcamp or App Academy -- it's usually General Assembly.
I wonder if the experience would have been different in the Bay Area due to the sheer number of folks in a similar position?
Also impressed by Starbucks' role in all of this. How many other companies would have supported you through that period and perhaps in some way made this possible for you! I can't say I like their coffee much, but I've always admired them as a company that values employees and your experience adds to their cred imnsho.
I've provided some feedback, but this first hand account is particularly useful. I've shared it with her. Thank you.
Greetings, from somebody, who in the 90s, was a) still going to school and b) making 8.0000 - 10.000 DM per website, "on the side". Yeah, those where the times..
One question, just for fun: have you even heard of some "Zeldman"?
(To the inclined: We coded to the DTD long before he got off print design. Because only coding to standards was cool on the usenet, already in the 90s :-) )
Most frontend web developers I have worked without are also competant to excellent backend web developers (or more). I'm not sure why they would be necessarily constrained to one domain, or why the domain is not important enough to hire for.
It is a sustainable living, and if you don't sit on your hands it will be for some time. Though we might call ourselves something different by then right?