A marine corps veteran of 26 years, Jon originally thought serving his country would be his only job, “I come from a family that served. My Grandpa served in WWII, my Dad was a marine back in the 1950’s, although when I started I did not envision sticking around for 26 years. In fact, I attempted to get out, but was then given involuntary recall orders in 2003 when the Iraq war was kicking off. By the end of my career in the marines I had been made a Colonel. I was the director of force development and requirements for marine corps forces pacific command. So that’s about 90,000 marines that are assigned everywhere from California to Okinawa. My time in the marine’s was awesome, but I can’t say I ever dreamed of going into software engineering.”
And of course before joining the marines, Jon had a life too, “I grew up in the pacific northwest in Oregon and ended up going to the United States Naval Academy for college.
I remember my first experience with computers was working with a model called 386. It was a brick with a 40mb hard drive and 2mb of RAM. At the time it was top of the line and it cost around $1500 in 1991. Microsoft office didn’t exist yet, but the military were the ones who had created email, so I actually used the initial military email services. By the time I was ready to retire, I had promised my kids that we weren’t going to be moving around anymore. I remember my daughter went to four different elementary schools in four years in four different states. I promised her no more and that she would be going to the same high school, and I promised the same thing to my son. One of my wife’s friends told us that they had recently gone to a coding bootcamp and while having no prior experience in computer programming walked out with a $90,000/year job. I thought that sounded great, especially the idea of being remote, and this friend had a job that was 100% remote. I started looking into bootcamps and I came across Course Report. Reading through all the reviews, I kept seeing Sabio’s and how highly it was recommended. I then attended a webinar and was sold. So in June of 2021 I started doing the PreWork.”
Turns out for Jon, learning remotely wasn’t a difficult skill to pick up, “It’s funny, if I hadn’t learned remotely, I’m not sure how I would have been able to work remotely. Although, this isn’t the end of my learning, this is just the beginning. I’m going to have to continue to learn for the rest of my career as a software engineer. After years of wearing a uniform, it is so nice to get up in the morning, throw on a t-shirt and jeans, and hop on the computer. No commute, no driving to the office. It made it so much easier for me because I could just have my cup of coffee and dive in. My family was also very respectful of allowing me all the time I needed to dedicate to this.”
Even though he learned remotely, Jon still was able to create great connections, “Our cohort was a really tight-knit group. Sometimes we’d have zoom sessions after hours not to even necessarily talk about programming.
It was really helpful on weekends when instructors are taking their well-deserved break and we needed to keep solving problems or blow off some steam. To be honest, in the beginning I felt like I was perpetually behind. But, being able to jump on zoom or slack and talk to an instructor was extremely helpful. They would always give us just enough for a nudge in the right direction but not too much so we were still able to problem solve for ourselves.”
While learning at Sabio, Jon says one of the most important elements for him was the job prep, “The Sabio instructors were awesome with helping us prepare for job prep. They put out the tasks for you that you needed to complete to be able to go through an interview and talk coherently about all the concepts. There was probably around 100+ questions that they gave us to prepare for our interviews. Then of course there was the actual sending out resume process. We were tasked with sending out 18 resumes per day, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. Or I should say, they told us to send out 5 and I upped my goal to 18. I would spend about half my day sending out resumes. They told us to not worry about locations when we were sending them out, but in my case, after 26 years and having the cushion of military retirement in my back pocket, I was able to be a bit more picky. I initially thought if I had to wait even 5-months to get a job, I would still be happy. In the end, I only sent out 108 resumes which equals about 6 business days, and in that time I was given three job offers. I initially told my wife this was going to take 2-3 months and a week hadn’t even passed before I got my first offer. It really blew me away, but that job wasn’t 100% remote so I had to pass on it.”
Not deterred, Jon kept going, “When I got another remote job offer, the salary range shocked me. I just couldn’t believe how high it was. They then asked how much money I’d like for the job and I said that the range they advertised was the range I was looking for. The next day I did a technical interview and they wanted to hire me on the spot. I asked if I could take 48 hours, and they said, what if we bumped the salary up $5,000 more. But then, I had another job interview at a job I really wanted, so I told them that I had this other offer and I had to let the 2nd company know, but that I really wanted to work with them and could they match that salary. 24-hours later, they did and boom I was hired!”
“I’d also like to say,” Jon continued, “thank you to all the Sabio crew. This is a game changer in so many ways. Considering that I had zero experience in this industry 7 months ago and now I’m here. I never thought I could make such a drastic change so quickly. Sabio is a game changer and opened up completely new career opportunities for me. Thank you Sabio.”