From learning to code at Sabio, to Tech Consultant at Booz Allen
“I was in the 17-week program, and at first I found it extremely challenging, but everything always came together after the fact. I put a lot of extra time into the areas I struggled in, which ironically enough, are the areas that I’m strongest in and which lead to me getting hired so quickly.”
A military veteran, Chris never would have dreamed he'd have a career in tech, "I was in the Navy for years and had various positions there. I have to tell you, at the time, I was completely computer illiterate. I couldn’t even navigate my file explorer before I got to Sabio. I was one of those people who would go and save a document and then couldn't find it. I didn't know where it went, it was just magic. However, I have a brother-in-law who is a senior developer and after I got out of the navy, he started teaching me some coding stuff. To my surprise, I started enjoying it, but knew that I didn't want to do a four-year degree to get into this field. I figured there had to be another way, so actually, Google led me to Sabio."
Once he started Sabio, Chris quickly got over his learning curve, "I was in the 17-week program, and at first I found it extremely challenging, but everything always came together after the fact. I put a lot of extra time into the areas I struggled in, which ironically enough, are the areas that I'm strongest in and which lead to me getting hired so quickly."
Ultimately, Chris knew Sabio would help him get a job, "I looked at all these different schools and Sabio really seemed to have the best turnaround rate for employment, which turned out to be true. I may
have put out over a thousand job applications before and after graduating, but once the interviews started coming, they never stopped. In fact, I am still getting calls for interviews even though I just started my new job. It's funny, Sabio tells you certain things to do, and if you follow them, they really do work. For instance, even with the rejection letters, I would follow up and ask what the reason was that I wasn't selected. This put me in a boat of having a company look at me and maybe say, we actually do need a junior engineer that we can train. Even though I was hired very quickly at my new position, it's a very similar situation. I’m working with a junior developer, but I have a better understanding of code than they do by a lot and that's thanks to Sabio. They really prepare you to enter in a junior level position off the bat, and possibly even higher.”
Currently a junior engineer at Booz-Allen Hamilton, Chris attributes his interview success to Sabio as well, "We had so much prep beforehand, especially with how to verbally talk about code in a comprehensive way. Because of that, at my interview, I was able to sort of control how the flow went. When they asked me about my experience, I was able to immediately talk about all the real-world experience that I had done with Sabio and was able to hit on all the key points very quickly. Although, what it boiled down to was describing what I did at Sabio and how Sabio taught me to describe it. They were impressed and it went really well."
Negotiating salary was another skill Chris accredits to Sabio, "You have such a vast network of mentors with Sabio, not just the instructors but all the alumni you can reach out to. Because of Sabio’s training, I was able to negotiate up my annual salary, get a $5k starting bonus, $5k at home office expense plus benefits. Not too shabby if you ask me. Additionally, the job is transitioning to be completely remote, although it’s pretty much
there already because we’re only required to be on-site once a week. This is 100% one of, if not the best job I’ve ever had. I thought I might get burnt out after doing this for so long and often at Sabio, but I never did. Every day is like solving a complex, interesting and thrilling puzzle. I just find it so satisfying, software engineering is just puzzle after puzzle all day long."
"Sabio is an intense program," Chris continued, "but a great one. If you really buckle down, you can get through it and then suddenly have a brand new, not to mention, lucrative career. At first I was scared to ask questions, then I learned very quickly, that's mostly all software engineering is: asking questions and solving problems. In my job now, I have questions every single day, but that doesn't frighten me anymore because Sabio gave me all the tools I need to solve them. If I can get the hang of this and learn how it all works, I guarantee you could too. I didn't grow up with computers, it was a completely new world to me. I had the logic, I just didn't know how to use it. But now I always will, thanks to Sabio."
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