Alumni Stories

From Farmer to Software Engineer

“My name is Doug. I used to be a farmer and now I’m a Software Engineer.”

For Doug Enas, Kenzie Academy inspired an excitement for technology and transformed his career path. Doug, like many multihyphenates, had been moving around in the years since his high school graduation and struggled to stick to a singular career choice. He’d tried his hand at traditional higher education, spending 2 years at a large university. He then dropped out to work as a touring musician, traveling across the country playing gigs.

After some time on the road, Doug attempted to restart his bachelor’s degree program but ultimately decided to drop out again, realizing it wasn’t for him. Following this, he spent 4 years in the foodservice industry before moving to Colorado to work on one of the largest dairy farms in the U.S. in 2016.

His last stop before arriving at Kenzie? Working as a dishwasher at a hip restaurant in downtown Indianapolis. Doug was at a crossroads. He knew he wanted to take a step forward with his career but wasn’t sure which direction to go in. Then, his dad read about Kenzie in the Indiana Business Journal and the rest, as they say, is history.

During his time at Kenzie, Doug fell in love with the programming language Python and was mentored by Curriculum Developer Piero Madar.

“I ended up creating a good relationship with Piero who became a mentor both in life and Python,” Doug said. “That was inspiring for me because it [taught me] you can love what you do. It’s a privilege to be able to do something you love for your job.”

After completing Kenzie’s 12-month Software Engineering program, Doug took a role as a Facilitator to help new students learn the ins and outs of code. Now, he’s getting ready to take the next step in his journey as the newest employee at Multiply Technology. As a Developer, Doug will work in a language called PHP and will assist with data scraping, among other languages and duties.

Doug has found fulfillment and is looking forward to a long career in the tech industry.

“For me at least, this was a long shot dream of mine,” Doug said. “I dropped out of college to become a dishwasher and I never really thought I’d end up doing something like this.”

One of Doug’s biggest pieces of advice for others who are considering a career in tech is to avoid falling prey to imposter syndrome.

“I don’t think about imposter syndrome,” Doug said. “Just don’t listen to that voice. Go do you — doing you is good enough to get the job done.”

For Doug, the key to kickstarting a successful tech career is all about work ethic. To current Kenzie students, Doug shared this bit of advice on the subject:

“Put in the work because if you think that something is magically going to happen and you’ll become a Software Developer, it’s not going to happen. Chok would say pretty much the exact same things and it’s true. As a Facilitator, I’ve seen students who don’t put in the work and it shows.”

He hopes others will be inspired by his journey from Musician to Farmer to Software Engineer and believe anything is possible for them too.

“What I want other people to see in me is to believe in your dreams — it’s possible,” Doug said.


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