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

Joseph Found a Tech Job and Negotiated the Income He Was Looking For Through Sabio

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Joseph Found a Tech Job and Negotiated the Income He Was Looking For Through Sabio
Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Joseph Found a Tech Job and Negotiated the Income he was Looking For Through Sabio

Joseph Found a Tech Job and Negotiated the Income he was Looking For Through Sabio

Joseph:


They asked me what my range was, and I told them I was looking for 80-90k, and they came back with 75k. I knew what I was worth, and you learn that through Sabio. He said "hey, I spoke with the customer again, and I got you 86k".


I was in the Air Force reserve. My plan was to go to college for chemical engineering, and dropped out there.  I got into the zoo business, where I was then a maintenance manager and worked up to assistant director. But then my wife got pregnant, I felt like I needed a better career path and I was looking at some VA education benefits, and saw the Vet Tech Program. Sabio ended up being one of the preferred vendors on there, looked into them, they looked really good, I decided to join. Before then I had no coding experience. I got in Sabio pre-work and I was like "Wow, I'm totally out of my depth," because I've never touched Javascript, or anything like that. Right as I was getting discouraged on it, the VA had dropped that 17 week program was being approved for VET TECH, and so I was like "oh my god! This is perfect!".  So I immediately got signed up for the 17 week program, and started as soon as I could.


Q: What real world project did you work on at Sabio?


Joseph:


I was part of the project that worked on Innerrodas, a web app that basically takes data from past Mexico elections, Governor elections, presidential elections, everything like that. We split it down to all the different states within Mexico and we rate the pollsters. So just like we have pollsters here, like CNN, Fox Polls, different things like that, they obviously have them there too. The whole purpose of it was to see in the past how the polls lined up with what they said was going to happen in the election versus what actually happened in the election. And my part of that was creating a web scraper. So wikipedia has great articles on the past election from the pollster data, and so I had to take those graphs and charts and everything from wikipedia and basically transform that data to sit in the sequel tables and be usable. That was my main portion.


Q: Tell us about your search process?


Joseph:


We all kind of begin the job search process about a week before we officially graduate. I would say it was about three weeks before I got my first interviews, and it seemed like I would go through these big swings.  So i'd go three-four weeks with nothing, and then all of a sudden I have 3-4 weeks of scheduled interviews, and then it'd be 3-4 weeks of nothing, the 3-4 weeks of interviews. So I got my official offer letter four months post graduation. In some interviews you have to know why every line in your code is written the way it is, why do you use useEffect instead of useState in this instance when you used it in another? So I eventually kind of looked back on my code and I would read it like a book. Why did I do this, and if I didn't quite understand it, do a little bit more research into it. I would focus on that.


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


Joseph:


Essentially what Sabio tells you to say, and I had great luck with it, was that what I lack in overall experience, I make up for in skill. That's critical that being able to back that statement with talk about code. I spoke on although my experience looks like it's four months I would tell that that it was 12 hours a day six days a week, and that's what I was doing. It was intense but we were a startup creating an MVP. At Sabio what normally looks like four months is actually closer to 8 months of regular experience. A lot of people, if you again can speak intelligently on it, and prove your worth, prove your skill, that's how you go from there.


Q: How did Sabio help with your salary negotiations?


Joseph:


They asked me what my range was, and I told them I was looking for 80-90k a year. And he said that's about where we're looking, I'll go talk to the customer and we'll see what we can do about that. They came back with 75k, not bad at all especially from where I came from, but I knew what I was worth and you learn that through Sabio. I talked to Nancy, I was offered this, should I put in a counter offer, how do you negotiate? And she helped me through that, I decided on emailing him saying you know I appreciate the offer, 80k is my bottom number and he said "I completely understand, let me go back and talk to the customer, see what I can do." Then he came back and he said, " we can't do 80 yet, pay you 78k with a 5k sign up bonus, and while we wait they're also paying for my top secret security clearance. After that goes through we'll bump you up to 84k." That was perfect for me. Couple weeks in I get an email from the same guy, he said "hey I spoke with the customer again, I got you 86k".


Tell us about your new tech job?


Joseph:


I'm currently working for a Navy contractor SAIC. My official title is Software Engineer, it's mainly supporting the cyber warfare and counterintelligence schools for the Navy. I was really worried about having to commute, turns out I can actually work remote two days out of the week, which really helps. One thing that I had to do was get a CompT Security Plus Certification and that focuses on basically cyber security. They paid for that. I've kind of left out that SAIC was willing to do the Top Secret SEI clearance on me. But it definitely benefits you when it comes to contractors, people working with very sensitive information. If you have a secret clearance, you already a 20k dollar asset to the company. Depending on what level of top secret, you can be anywhere from a 60k-140k dollar asset to the company. And right now they're paying for me to get a junior developer certification. The commute isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

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