4 min read
8/24/2022
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Alumni Success Stories

From US Navy Veteran to Software Engineer at Booz Allen

From US Navy Veteran to Software Engineer at Booz Allen

From US Navy Veteran to Software Engineer at Booz Allen

Lia: I was nowhere near top of my class or anything like that and I came out of the program with two different job offers. This is the bootcamp to go to, Sabio will get you a job that will change your life.

I'm Lia Archuletta, I was born in Utah but I mostly grew up in Seattle and I've always enjoyed technology. I was an IT in the military, more on the hardware side of computers. There was just something out there I think for me so I left the military and decided to go back to school. It was a rude awakening of "No, this is not the place for me," and if I want to be in any kind of career field this is going to take too long to get there. I knew there had to be a better path.

Q: What led you to Sabio Coding Bootcamp?

Lia: During covid a lot of things opened up for me, I started to think "how did I used to express my creative side?" and it was actually through HTML and CSS in MySpace. Meaningful time spent just staring at a screen trying to line things up, and in theme with my song on my page. I think it was on Facebook I had a friend post, "Hey check out this program" and a quick google search led me down to find Sabio. I'm a research nut on anything, I can't just buy a vacuum, what's the best out there? So with that Sabio was the best, they were the best program to go for.

Q: What was learning remotely like at Sabio?

Lia: Day to day in Sabio was a very immersive program, which is what I wanted. It just makes sense to me if you want to get the most out of something, just cannonball right in. Learning remotely was kind of a seamless process for me, I had experience kind of working remote from home over covid. Sabio already had a schedule laid out, the instructors really made it a workplace that I wanted to show up to everyday. They're tough but fair, they're keeping it real which I like because like I said I went back to college and I tried the college thing and I didn't like it, felt like a lot of hand-holding to me, how is this going to translate into the real world? Sabio translated all the way and it paid off.

Q: What job do you have now?

Lia: I work for Booze-Allen, as a software developer. They're a large government contractor but all of us are remote. I had started talking to the recruiter a couple weeks before graduation. I got the first interview a month after graduating. They offered me the position which I was not expecting at all. I was already actually got another offer from a different company. And so to get a second offer I was over the moon, I was like "how is this possible?" I almost was like scared to feel excited because I kind of got that imposter syndrome, "These people are going to pay me to do this, and they're going to pay me this much?" So both my job offers, I got one for 80 and another for 75, and I was able to leverage the second job offer and bring that 75 up to 80 to be at Booze-Allen.

Q: How did Sabio help with the job interview process?

Lia: Sabio did an amazing job at preparing me, through Different trainings through the networking portions was the biggest part of it, that's how I met my recruiter, who ultimately offered me a position. When it came down to stock options, when it came down to negotiating, I have never played in that arena before. When I let Sabio know that I had two different job offers they actually connected me with an alumni who said that "I actually specialize in negotiations." He gave me so many different resources and answered questions that I didn't even know I should be asking that led me to being able to negotiate to a higher salary for the position I wanted to be in.

Q: How did Sabio prepare you for your current job?

Lia: So Sabio prepared me to step into my role, one being remotely because I am fully remote now, and two how to work with a team when it comes to developing code. It's one thing to know how to write code on your own, but do you know how to make your code talk to somebody else's code, you know how to integrate your with entire teams, what's your process for doing that, and I had never had experience in that area before, and I quickly learned that software engineers, it's very much a team sport and you need to know how to communicate and work well with a team. I don't think I would have been as successful in my job hunt if I didn't have that team aspect to it. I sent out referrals all the time for anyone in Sabio because I know Sabio has an amazing program, I know Sabio puts out good developers. I still have recruiters that call me and email me. I'll tell them that I'm happy with my placement but can I refer somebody to you? That holds a huge place in my heart to help other people get into this world because it can change your life, I know it changed mine.

Q: How did going to Sabio change your life?

Lia: Ultimately I would say the biggest change and the biggest positive impact is that this job allowed us to move to be closer to family. While we could have chosen to move anywhere, our priority and our value is family. Being fully remote, we were able to take steps to make our values everyday in our lives. Being remote and along with having a great salary, we can look for a home to buy. Now you know my husband has the opportunity to go to school, and I can take over on paying the bills and keeping the lights running and everything so that he's able to pursue his dreams and I can pursue mine at the same time. Sabio, their instructors, Gregorio and his team, they do an amazing job, they are very invested in seeing you succeed. If you go into it with that mindset, that all these people are here just to help you is going to totally change your attitude in how you feel about programming, because you're going to get out of it anything you put into it.

You don't have to be a super smart genius nerd to do this, most of the people through my coding bootcamp were like me, who maybe had tried two, three jobs like myself, I had tried real estate, I had tried managing a restaurant, I tried a bunch of different things before I eventually did some self reflection and found myself at Sabio. Sabio was probably the hardest thing I've ever done academically. I mean there were nights where I was dreaming about code, they weren't always good dreams either, sometimes they were nightmares. I was nowhere near top of my class or anything like that, but because Sabio laid out such a great way forward in the job search, I was able to be successful because I am a hard worker, Sabio just had countless resources for me to attack. For me I came out of the program with two different job offers, one for Booze-Allen another for a very successful startup in Texas, and then I got a third offer actually last week for Sony for their internship. I can't say enough great things about Sabio and how much they care about their developers, they do want to see you succeed. I would suggest for anybody, this is the boot camp to go to. Don't look at others, like this is the one to sign up for, this is the one that's gonna get you a job and at the end of the day, that's all that matters. Sabio will get you a job that will change your life.

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