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

Jefferson K. Software Engineer at Solari Inc.

Jefferson K. Software Engineer at Solari Inc.

Jefferson K. Software Engineer at Solari Inc.

Jefferson:


Part of the reason why I switched to software engineering is because I heard the work life balance is there. So then that's when I started looking at veteran benefits. And I did find VET TEC and then Sabio was one of the schools listed and it was local to me and I thought, perfect, this is the school I want to go to.


My company is called Solari Inc. It's a non-profit crisis response company in Arizona. II got offered 83k, which is around the same as I was getting paid before my banking job. But the difference is, you know, I have a lot of free time. Honestly, the biggest thing of why I like working remote is because I don't have to dress up. I don't know how it is for other industries but for finance you have to dress like you're always going to a wedding or something. And I was like, Jesus. Working remote, you didn't have to do any of that. That's like the biggest thing I like about remote work. 


Q: Talk about your experience at Sabio. Did you do any pre-work?


Jefferson:


I did take like courses on my own, but when you're like trying to Google and learn by yourself, it's like hard. Everyone's saying different things like, Oh, this is the best language to learn. This is what you need to learn. The way that I learn, I like I need structure. And Sabio was able to give me that structure. 


Q: What was the job search process like?


Jefferson:


It was pretty disheartening at first. I was just sending out resumes and I wasn't getting anything. I got assigned the alumni mentor and she actually had me look back at what I was doing just to kind of see like, okay, well, why am I not getting called back for interviews. It was kind of like the way I was selling myself. You don't want to mention like you come from a bootcamp. It just has like a bad feeling to it when people hear that. 


So then when they would say, like, Tell me about yourself, I would just say, Yeah, I was interested in coding a little bit when I was in the Navy. And then I learned Python because I was into Jordan Shoes. When they release, they're gone. I would look at researching like, why do they sell out so fast? And it's because people are using bots. So then I tried to code my own bot and that kind of didn't work out because I couldn't get past CAPTCHA. That kind of makes people laugh a little bit. So you kind of get them to focus on that. Then I found a military program that helps people transition into the career of tech, and through that program I was selected to work on this project. You kind of like sprinkled it on right there, that through that program was the bootcamp. But I said through that program I was selected to work on this project, which is all the projects that you guys will have during the end of your cohort. 


Then you start talking about what you did in that cohort. Like I did this this and this using these languages and this framework and then it kind of gets them away from how you learned it and just focusing on what you did. Nine times out of ten I would get the interview step after that screening phase when I used that approach instead. 


Q: Looking back, what advice would you give to someone going through the job search process?


Jefferson:


You just got to apply, apply, apply, get your numbers out there, because even if the job description says you need to know two or three things, if you know 80% of what's on there, they still could look at you. And then if it says like 3 to 5 years experience, they just put that because the role that I got, it says – when I actually got hired and I saw the paperwork from HR it says 3 to 5 years experience. But during the interview, they liked me and they hired me. 


Q: How did the skills you learned at Sabio translate to your current job?


Jefferson:


So half of the interviews was a lot of online assessments. So actually I was working on a lot of LeetCode type questions. So the data and algorithm workshops you guys have, definitely go to those. Everything you learn in Sabio that I learned in regards to database, HTML, CSS and the C#, the back end part where you use like controllers, interfaces, and do the API calls and you route the URL, that all applies. Like the only difference is the way that they want me to apply it is a little bit different than the way Sabio taught, but everything I learned from Sabio like directly applies to my role now.

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