Blair took our web development program and is now working towards her dream career as a Software Developer. We recently checked in with Blair to see how her new career is going and get her take on Thinkful.
Read on to learn more about Blair’s journey. If you're interested in learning how to code like Blair, Check out our career-changing software engineering bootcamp.
Tell me: what were you doing before Thinkful?
I was a Ski Instructor. Before that, I was a Chemistry graduate student.
Why did you end up taking Thinkful?
I was looking for an industry to get into after leaving graduate school because of a bleak job outlook. I realized that the tech industry was growing and after taking some basic online coding courses, I knew development was for me.
How did Thinkful prepare you for your first job in a technical role?
I think the best takeaway is the ability to work independently on a technical project. Because Thinkful is all online, students need to learn self-sufficiency when working on a development project and troubleshooting bugs. I learned persistence and research skills through Thinkful, which I’ve utilized in my current position, and those skills have impressed my coworkers.
How’re you liking your new career after being at your new job for a few months?
I am beyond excited for my career in tech. I decided to take Thinkful because I wanted a more fulfilling career where I could leverage my problem-solving skills and my passion for learning. I’ve achieved all that and more in tech, and I’m hopeful and positive about my career in a way that I wasn’t before Thinkful.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing about my job are the constant learning opportunities. I always leave the office for the day having learned something new. Whether it’s learning more about our specific product, developing SaaS applications in general, or how to communicate more effectively with coworkers, I get to soak up new knowledge every day and it’s exactly what I want out of a job.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job has been reading and troubleshooting legacy code. This is a task that I didn’t get experience with at Thinkful, but makes up most of my day. Though the learning curve has been steep, I am getting confident in this task, and it’s the most useful skill I’ve learned at my job so far.
What was the most challenging part of Thinkful's curriculum?
The most challenging part of my curriculum was the first application I built on my own, without the step-by-step instructions. For my program, it was a real-time chat application that used an Angular front-end and the Firebase backend-as-a-service. I remember looking at the user stories thinking “where do I even start?” and “maybe I’m not cut out for this” but once I started on the project, and got through some troubleshooting hurdles, I knew I was capable of developing applications from scratch.
Did you find that Thinkful offered a good amount of support throughout your program?
Thinkful offers an amazing amount of support. For me, my weekly meetings with my mentor were great support, and I really appreciated being able to speak to a full-stack developer twice a week.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of support I’ve received since I ended my program and started my job. I’ve gone to meet ups in my area with fellow students, and I’m still on the Slack channel. Thinkful does a great job of making you feel part of a supportive community.
What was your job interview process like?
My job interview process was definitely rough at first. Being put on the spot to answer technical questions is very daunting — and I’ve even taken graduate school oral exams successfully. It took me a couple interviews to become confident speaking about development concepts. After I gained this confidence, I was more successful with the interviews.
Do you think you got a good return on your Thinkful investment?
I do indeed! I can see an immediate return on my investment, more so than my undergraduate degree. I’m utilizing and building on the skills I learned every day at my job. Thinkful gave me the confidence and ability to pursue a career in tech, and I’ll be forever grateful because of that.