After discovering mechanical engineering wasn’t his passion, Brady enrolled with Thinkful to explore his passion for software. Now, Brady’s working in Connecticut as a Software Engineer. Here’s his story about how he took the skills he learned from the service industry, and made the switch to a career in tech.
Tell me: what were you doing before you enrolled?
I was the General Manager of a Chipotle.
Why did you end up taking a bootcamp?
When I was in college, I always had an interest in software. I thought that I liked software as it related to Mechanical Engineering (my major). When I got my “dream job” at SpaceX, I learned that Dynamics/Mechanical Engineering might not be my passion. I made a tough decision to leave SpaceX, and spent the next 2–3 years working odd jobs (including as an Artisan Pizza Joint and as the GM of a Chipotle).
When I moved to Wethersfield with my wife, I knew I wanted to do something different, and I thought that my love of software would translate well to a job. I joined Thinkful because I wanted an excellent coding bootcamp that was online but offered an education that included more of the CS fundamentals like Algorithms, Data Structures, ORM, etc.
I did the Software Engineering track, and had a lot of fun doing it. I have a deep curiosity and love for learning, so Thinkful gave me a good foundation that I could go off and add to. I continue to learn new and other technologies, and I am currently fascinated by using Functional Programming principals to develop more declarative, readable code.
How did Thinkful change your life?
Thinkful changed my life because it gave me a structure that I could follow in order to achieve my goals of being a Web/Software Developer. It’s easy to make goals for yourself like “learn the language” or “take this online course.” Thinkful gave me the structure I needed in order to know how to move forward, moving ever closer to my end goal.
I think that something that is overlooked is the role that mentorship can play in development. In many ways you must be your own best mentor. But having an experienced developer be able to point you in the right direction is the ultimate stepping stone that makes sure you are on the right path.
What advice would you give to other students who are currently looking for a job?
It’s easy to form the concept that you “know” enough, but you must expand your boundaries, keep learning, and overall work to keep up with the faced paced world of Software.
If you want to stand out in terms of open source projects, make a developer tool rather than a website. A developer tool that improves productivity for others is more valuable to a company (IMO) because it shows that you know how to make others more productive with your work, which is a huge benefit.
Ignore everything that the job says about requirements. If you are interested, apply. Don’t say no to yourself, let the company say no to you.
Write a cover letter for every application. Yes, some companies might not read it. But I think the ones that do will be many times more likely to call you back. Passion and excitement for the field is incredibly hard to find, and the cover letter is your chance to show your passion for web development.
Ready to Start Your Own Web Development Journey?
If you’re looking to transition into a stable career path, we’re here to support you. Check out some of the transferrable skills that lead to a thriving career in software engineering, and learn more about what a Software Engineer actually does on the job.