4 min read
4/25/2023
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Alumni Success Stories

His Job is Top Secret, but How He Got it is Not. Take a Page from Heriberto's Playbook

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His Job is Top Secret, but How He Got it is Not. Take a Page from Heriberto's Playbook
Tuesday, April 25, 2023

His Job is Top Secret, but How He Got it is Not. Take a Page from Heriberto's Playbook

His Job is Top Secret, but How He Got it is Not. Take a Page from Heriberto’s Playbook

Heriberto:


If you think about it, programming is all about combining these fundamental aspects of the language, the programming language, to build a larger system. So if you truly understand how everything works, it's easier for you to come up with solutions.


I joined the army after high school. And then after the army, I went to college, but I didn't think my degree in computer science prepared me well enough to get a job. Because when you get a job, they want specific skills on the resume. Again, it's computer science. It's very scientific, it’s very theory based. They don't teach you about the applying process, they don't teach about LinkedIn. They don't teach you about how tough it is to get a job working in this field. 


Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you as a software engineer?


Heriberto:


It's always a struggle. But I think the biggest struggle for me. Yeah, you're given a task and there's all these different ways that you can accomplish a task. Finding that one way and then just sticking with that one way of solving the task is hard for me because it's like I'm always my brain is, I'm very open. So it's like, Oh, I can do this or I can do that. Just gaining that focus was the hardest part for me.


Q: How did you overcome this challenge?


Heriberto:


You talk to people, right, you talk to your instructors, you talk to your teammates and you bounce ideas off each other and that helps you gain focus. Yeah, I would go on the queue and just talk to an instructor. Hey, this is what I'm thinking. Just having that validation helps you focus. 


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


Heriberto:


So I took the 17-week route. Yeah, I just felt like I needed some, I just needed messing around with JavaScript and some other stuff. The thing that I learned at Sabio that helped me the most is C# because it's highly object oriented, and the language that I'm using is object oriented, and we are expected to use object oriented principles. 


Q: What was the job search process like?


Heriberto:


I did put out a lot of applications. I didn’t keep track of how many, but I would estimate like 500. So I kept giving applications out and I got a lot of rejection, but I got calls from recruiters. They were like, Hey, I have this job. I was very wary of these recruiters because, you know, there's scams out there. So I was like, okay, is this real? Again, I got responses through email and I had multiple interviews. Some went well and some went bad. I did it through LinkedIn, I did it through ZipRecruiter, I did it through Indeed. You just have to make yourself confident. Like, you know, I got this. I think for me, it's just reminding me that, yeah, like, this process is not easy, it's complicated. And these people that are hiring people like they want to get the best candidate because they want the company to succeed. So you just have to realize that everyone is, you know, playing a game and you just have to be okay with rejection because it yeah, it sucks. But I think the more you deal with it, the better, the stronger you get. 


Q: What’s your job now and how did you end up getting it?


Heriberto:


It's a contracting company and they mostly do contracts with the Fed, but I knew it went well because the interview, it just flowed and it wasn't one-sided, like we were both talking and it just felt good. I don't like just focusing on technology. I like letting them know that I can solve problems, like I'm a problem-solver. And I understand that it's difficult, but with persistence you can solve any problem, hopefully. That's the goal.


Q: What languages do you use at your job?


Heriberto:


With defense, we use a lot of legacy stuff. So it's a lot of older languages. We don't use the newer stuff. We use something similar to GitHub and then we do have a CICD pipeline. But again, I can't really say much since it’s mostly classified. 


Q: Do you have any general advice for Sabio students?


Heriberto:


The biggest thing that I keep in the back of my mind is don't give up. You know, Google is your friend and, you know, really understand the core concepts of programing because that's going to help you later on.

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