From a Recent College Grad to Software Developer

Sep 28, 2018 | Alumni Stories, Behind the Billboards

I take pride in my bachelor’s degree. Starting my computing career at Trinity University has proven to be extremely important; all the hours spent on algorithm design, data structures, logic are all essential in what I’m doing now. However, it is not an uncommon idea that what colleges teach can sometimes be an offset to industry demands. I experienced this significant gap between employer expectations and my computing skill-set post-college, and with the I-need-a-job-to-get-experience-to-work-for-a-job-that-requires-experience catch that most college graduates experience the first few years of leaving academia, I found myself struggling to find employment. The first year of leaving my university was a humbling yet soul-crushing experience. Why is it that I’ve pursued a degree directly related to such a hungry market for software developers, but I am unable to find a job? Among what seemed like an endless stream of interviews in which I partook, I began to notice a trend – I lacked full-stack development experience with relevant programming languages that are currently in demand. Turns out, having theoretical knowledge isn’t enough for most employers in the market. The industry of software development has evolved throughout the years of its existence, and with its evolution came new programming languages that better suit the needs of its users and the customers it will eventually serve. Ultimately, logical thinking did not trump most self-taught HTML, CSS, Javascript developers that fill the market with highly innovative ideas and projects.

As a Trinity graduate who still lived in San Antonio after graduating, I learned more about Codeup from peers who contributed to the curriculum and program’s growth. Some of my classmates in my department also attended the program and found great opportunities within the industry upon graduating from the program. At first, I was skeptical of the value Codeup could bring to someone like me who already had experience in programming, albeit in languages that weren’t exactly in demand. But, being unemployed and discouraged for seemingly an eternity, I decided to give it a go.
student success stories | Coding Tech Bootcamp San Antonio

The program was an introduction to programming, which is very different from my experience in college. Since I was verbose in the structure and characteristics of software development, it was easily digestible. The curriculum consisted of introductions to different programming languages, and most importantly, showed me how everything pieced together to form working and aesthetically pleasing products that definitely had the potential to be client-facing projects that serve the public. It was an eye-opening experience for me: seeing and experiencing web development with relevant technologies like MVC, ES6, and the Spring Framework. As most of the course material was quickly grasped by my existing mode of thinking, I spent most of my time on the assignments, perfecting them and pushing myself to create difficult effects or programs. The instructors were all extremely helpful and understanding of my background, and were even nice enough to provide me with bonus assignments to push what I’ve learned to its limits.

I never would have guessed that Codeup would benefit me in the way it did. Within a week of graduating, I found a job as a Salesforce Developer at a consulting company here in San Antonio. Together with the knowledge I’ve obtained from my degree, I have put everything I learned at Codeup to use: creating real products used by thousands of real users. I wouldn’t be here without the experience I had, not just with the curriculum, but with the excellent career placement staff at Codeup. As cliché as it may sound, the benefits I’ve gotten from the program that acted as supplements to my degree don’t fall far from being life-changing, and I would encourage those who have experienced the same struggles as me in this competitive market to give it a go.