My journey into tech has been a challenging but exciting one. I started getting interested in code during Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, when there was no power! I worked at a deli part-time and a coworker introduced me to Codecademy. The choose-your-own-adventure section was what got my attention and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Challenges I Faced
In high school, I worked with Unity, Unreal, MIT App Inventor, and Android Studio, but I didn’t realize this one important rule: it’s best to master one thing and not become a jack of all trades. Today I can code in several languages and configure Salesforce, but it was my CSS (styling for webpages) skills that got me my first job. At the time, I wasn’t good with any of the tools. I didn’t see real progress until I got into web development. When I graduated high school, I worked at Amazon Fulfillment, then at Mcdonald’s, then at a warehouse. Even while working, I was always practicing my CSS. I looked crazy because I would always bring my laptop to Mcdonald’s and just code.
When I worked at the warehouse, I saw someone’s website, and I immediately fell in love with that design. I knew I was nowhere near that level, but I wanted to elevate my coding skills and get there. I studied through freeCodeCamp, learned a lot, and built projects, but I chose Kenzie Academy from SNHU for a more guided route. The Kenzie Academy Full-Stack Web Developer Certificate program was tough but extremely rewarding and I made great friends along my journey. Once I graduated, I completely leveled up my coding skills and started applying for jobs.
Standing out from the Crowd
Getting into the tech is like getting into the NBA. For real. The only way to stand out is to build projects, apply to a set amount of jobs each day, and talk to your career advisor (if taking the bootcamp route). As you go through your Kenzie program, it’s important not to say things like, “I built this project and they should hire me.” Instead, you should be saying, “I have obtained these skills and now I can apply them to the real world as I build projects of my own.”
Where My Coding Journey Has Taken Me
I am currently a junior salesforce developer and I work with Lightning Web Components, a frontend framework similar to Vue, and Apex, a Salesforce backend language similar to Java. I enjoy it a lot! I get to work with my favorite languages and love learning on Trailhead (Salesforce Learning Platform).
Last Bit of Advice
To those considering a career in tech, I say keep learning, stand out, and have consistency. Coding at least 1 hour a day is better than none. I also suggest you try to keep track of your habits — have fun with it too. Go to devChallenges.io or Frontend Mentor to find some projects. An example of me having fun was recreating the last webpage I found on Dribble, an amazing and inspiring place for designers that lets you try your hand at replicating a design with code..
Another thing I did was volunteer my services to gain experience. I worked at two fun startups, one for virtual art with crypto and one for a site that allows musicians and venues to connect. I even built a website for a videographer. All those projects were challenging, but I enjoyed each one and I look at them as completely rewarding in the end.
Kenzie Academy from SNHU Can Change Your Life
If it wasn’t for Kenzie Academy from SNHU, I would probably be working at a warehouse still. It was there that I learned React which was extremely helpful and I even met my first developer friends. I got into different meetups and worked with different teams through those friends. I was also recommended a music internship and got my first role at Infosys as a mainframe developer. And this was all during a pandemic!
Two years later, my whole lifestyle changed. If you’re interested in code, Kenzie Academy from SNHU is for you. It can lead you to so many different pathways. If you want to freelance, get into machine learning, learn about AI, or start a business you can! Kenzie Academy from SNHU really is the door to endless possibilities.
A new career in tech could be in your future! Will you take the opportunity? Kenzie Academy’s programs can help you build a foundation for a bright future in a growing industry. Apply today and begin your journey
*This alum graduated from a previous, non-credit bearing, version of the software engineering program.