Becoming a Real Programmer.
Jeffrey's initial programming education was pretty informal - he took some programming classes in high school and college. The skills he picked up from those classes were sufficient to help him land a job in QA for a game company and eventually, he became a junior Software Development Engineer in Test. After some time, however, he began to hit a wall. He needed to broaden his skillset if he wanted to advance at his company.
"I got into web development making PHP sites mainly with WordPress. The node craze took over and while studying, I saw an ad for Thinkful."
Jeffrey enrolled in Thinkful's Engineering Immersion program to take his career to the next level.
Working with data structures, algorithms, and React+Redux were Jeffrey's favorite parts of the curriculum. He also worked with a partner to develop a spaced repetition app.
"The app utilized so many skills and it was my first foray into a non-solo project. Once it was fully deployed, it was hooked up to a CI which was very professional."
How His Life Changed:
After graduating, Jeffrey stayed connected with the Thinkful community by serving as a teacher assistant for Thinkful's meetups. During one fateful meetup, he spoke to the attendees about his new node skills as well as his history of PHP development. One attendee, who Jeffrey connected with later that evening, worked for a company in need of Jeffrey's exact combination of skills. A week later, he had an interview and landed a new job soon after.
"Before I down-played being a programmer. Imposter syndrome is a real thing. A combination of prior experience and current skills has turned me into an actual Software Engineer. Now I know I have the skills and will never look back. I hope to continue learning and enjoy the career as much as possible."