Build Your Career in Tech: Advice from Alumni!

August 10, 2020

Bryan Walsh, Codeup Web Development alum, and Misty Garcia, a Codeup Data Science alum, joined Sarah Mellor, Director of Marketing & Admissions, and Stephen Salas, VP of Business Development, in a virtual Zoom event to offer you their insights into building a career in tech. If you’re interested in becoming a Lead Software Developer for a government contractor, like Bryan, or having Misty’s title of Data Management Analyst for a healthcare tech company, keep reading (and watching!) to see how they made that possible.

What were you doing before Codeup?

Both panelists were established in their positions before finding Codeup. Misty had been an electrical engineer for 11 years, while Bryan worked in hospitality for 14 years. Both hungry for a change, Bryan found San Antonio before finding Codeup. While answering customer questions about why an application wasn’t working the way it should, Bryan wanted to fix the problems, so he figured out a way to make that his job. Misty, however, first found data science before finding Codeup. Below, Misty discusses what stood out to her about Codeup.[video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]

What if you’re torn between data science and web development?

Both panelists knew exactly which program they wanted to apply for prior to even finding Codeup, but that isn’t always the case. So, if you’re torn, there are a number of things we’ll help you think about. What are your interests? What is your background in? What are you expected to know before applying vs. before starting? What is your desired timeline? It will really help to talk this out with your admissions manager rather than on your own because you share a common goal, which is for you to succeed in the best program for you.[video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]

There are always new things to learn in tech. How have you learned new skills and new programming languages on the job?

The most important thing you’ll learn at Codeup is how to learn. We can give you a solid foundation in skills like Python or Java, and you’ll learn very quickly. But technology is always changing, and much more important than any singule particular skill is the ability to learn. Here, Bryan hits on how Codeup prepared him to learn new skills that they weren’t explicitly taught in Codeup, but needed on the job.[video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]

How did we help with your job search while in the program?

In addition to our curriculum, we also train you on professional development. In the midst of changing career paths so quickly, it can be easy to doubt yourself, or to not know the industry standards and expectations regarding the job search. To help you out, each student is coached professionally, in the ways that Bryan mentions here.[video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]

What if you graduated but hadn’t yet gotten a job offer?

In addition to professional development, we also offer job placement assistance. Not only will we help you develop the skills you need to land a job, but our Placement team goes above and beyond to actually make sure you get a job, and that by no means stops after you graduate. Misty didn’t graduate with a job lined up, but still worked closely with the Placement team until she had one.[video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]

What would you say to someone second-guessing this career move?

The field of technology is always going to change. You’ll always have to learn new things and you might start to feel like you can’t do it. But Bryan says you just gotta push through. Misty has similar advice, below. Additionally, if you feel like tech is something you can’t do, still apply for Codeup and as you move through the admissions process, allow us to work with you from where you’re at in order to get you to where you need to be. That’s what we’re here for![video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]

While building a career in tech, what sets the successful students apart?

Be willing! Be willing to be vulnerable, willing to admit what you don’t know, willing to work together, willing to ask for help when you need it. Instructors and admissions staff can’t help you if we don’t know that you need it. But so long as you seek out guidance, even if it means going outside of your comfort zone, we’ll make sure you succeed![video width="640" height="360" mp4=""][/video]And that’s how to build a career in tech! Desire the change, believe in your capacity to do it, follow through with a willingness to learn, and soon enough, you’ll move from entry-level developer to Lead Developer, or from job seeker to helping a company build their first data science team. Codeup is always ready and wanting to help along the way, it just starts with your application!