Alicia Scores First Tech Job as App Developer at ManTech
Before attending Sabio, Alicia’s background was anything but technical, “I worked in healthcare, then labor organizing, which was all very intense because I was an independent contractor. I had tried to become a member of the full time staff, but they didn’t accept me which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. With the pandemic, whether I wanted to or not, I had time to sit down and really think about what I wanted to do with my life. I thought about all my previous careers and looked for a constant in them that made me happy, which actually turned out to be when I was accidentally working with technology. Whether it was teaching people how to do something or even just working through an application, I enjoyed it to an extent. Then, I found the Vet Tech program which at the time was running out of funding. However, after waiting a bit, I was able to get a fully funded education through Sabio’s 17-week program.”
It was really the all-in aspect that attracted Alicia, “I remember calling them and asking, I’m a very hands on, all-in type of person, and they told me that literally was the 17-week program. I knew I needed some guidance as well, which was also provided tenfold. I had a slight learning curve because I’m a very slow typer, but after a certain point, things just start clicking and you start picking up steam. Between my cohort-mates and the instructors, I was able to excel beyond anything I even imagined I can do.”
Alicia also praises the guidance of Sabio’s job search methods, “Sabio walks you through everything. LinkedIn, resume drafts, they prep you, you practice with a team, any fear you have, they rip away. I remember being terrified at LinkedIn because of an experience I had in college, but Sabio made it super simple. They brought in recruiters, guest speakers, alumni, it really took away the fear I had and gave great insight into what employers are looking for. They provided experienced people to help you edit and change your resume to really work for the tech job market. I sent out so many job applications, but just like Sabio said, once you hit a mark, the recruiters just start coming to you. I started getting interview after interview that eventually led me to my current job.”
Another thing great for Alicia, was the prep Sabio gave her for salary negotiations, “Firstly, a speaker at Sabio told us that if you have security clearance, immediately apply for jobs that require that, which was so smart. I ended up applying for a position in Colorado that I was willing to move to, but it was fully remote. I was a little worried at first, but thanks to Sabio, the transition to remote working was super flawless, it wasn’t challenging at all. When the recruiter asked me what I was looking for in salary, Sabio had already told me what to say. I literally wrote out what Gregorio instructed us too, and the recruiter got really excited about my answer. He initially said the salary they had was between $50k-$70k, and my number was $85-90k. I remember at Sabio they said, if you have a salary, stick to it. So I did, and then I ended up getting the job at that salary. When it ended up happening, I was pretty excited, especially with inflation the way it is now, this will be a life saver. Sabio really boosted my confidence to stick to my guns and advocate for myself. Also, this company I’m at now offers great benefits and encourages their employees to continue school, so I’m looking into getting my masters in computer science to eventually transition into artificial intelligence. Now I will be able to get my tuition paid for as well, I’m just so thankful.”
Now a full stack developer, Alicia says the imprints of Sabio are everywhere in her new job, “It’s Almost exactly like my day-to-day at Sabio. We have daily stand ups, I’m asking questions on a queue, sometimes waiting on a queue for my answer, and now I know what to do with that down time thanks to Sabio. My supervisor tells me all the time, you’re new, don’t worry about stressing out, all your questions are great and you should always ask them. Unlike Sabio, my job isn’t a bootcamp, so the hours are way less intense, but my work team is just as amazing. They are so supportive and helpful whenever I run into an issue and we really just enjoy working together. It’s great because my research skills have really made me an asset, which also wouldn’t have happened if not for Sabio.”
For those in the middle of learning to code, Alicia had plenty of advice to impart, “The bootcamp is long hours, so you have to take care of yourself. I was fully invested and took it extremely seriously, but it can be exhausting. However, Sabio also really emphasizes self-care. They remind you to do things that seem so basic, sleep, eat well, take a break, the computer code will always be waiting for you, and you’re going to forget things because it’s a lot of information to retain. Trust the instructors, the speakers say it, alumni say it, and it’s true. Their curriculum is truly set up in the best way possible to help you. I remember struggling with it at first because I like to 100% complete something before I move onto something else, but their schedule allows you to adjust to what it’s really like to be a coder. There’s a method to the madness and as long as you listen to the instructors, you’ll get through it. I remember talking to another classmate who said, if we can go through Sabio, we can go through anything, which is so true. If you’re in the middle, keep pushing, because you will get through this. Now, I work at an amazing company and I have a great salary, you just have to never give up and listen to what Sabio tells you.