Alumni Stories

Filling in the Gaps of Traditional College

Filling in the Gaps of Traditional College

 Curious about what it’s like to be a learner at Kenzie? Alumnus Cramer Grimes gives us a peek into his journey and shares advice for navigating the program in this learner blog. 

Why did I come to Kenzie? I’m often asked this question.

I did my undergraduate and graduate studies in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science, but I was never able to manifest those skills into a developer job.

I would hear things like:

“Math people make great developers.” 

“Employers will jump at hiring you.”

“The transition is easy.” 

Turns out, it wasn’t as simple as that.

I have spent so much time learning particular programming languages, reading XYZ books, doing lists and lists of ‘problems,’ enrolling in a number of online classes. But I never really got anywhere.

It’s really easy to find stories of people who have degrees and/or studied programming for years, yet they have no luck getting job interviews. I was definitely in this boat. Looking at my background, I was confused as to why I was having such difficulty. I would think, “Hadn’t I done the work?” In frustration, I would ponder, “What more do I need to do?!”

I was slowly coming to the conclusion that I was doing something wrong but had no idea what it was or how to make the change. I was slowly giving up.

Enter Kenzie.

I didn’t sign up for Kenzie to “learn how to code.” I didn’t sign up to “learn a particular programming technology.” I probably could have gotten a job eventually on my own.

I bought into Kenzie to fill in the “gaps” of what I was doing “wrong.” I was surrendering to Kenzie to help me right my ship. I wanted to know:

● This is how you create a portfolio

● This is what you can expect in a workday

● This is how you can present yourself to a prospective employer

● This is a job we think fits you

● Here is an interesting project to stretch your skills

● Here are things to investigate on your own

● Here is support from fellow learners

● Here is support from alumni

For someone with degrees and previous coding experience, these were the things which ultimately led me to sign up for Kenzie. Knowing then what I know now, I would do it all over again, no questions asked.


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