Alumni Spotlight: Kaylee M., Consultant at Credera
Can a woman get a good job out of a bootcamp? Thanks to the brave women and men who have raised their voices against the gender disparity in tech, companies in the U.S. are looking for new ways to attract diverse candidates.
Even though the road to parity is long, recruiters are increasingly turning to boot camps to fuel the journey. Looking to switch careers or dive back into the world of work, female bootcamp graduates are on the rise. Skill Distillery caught up with SD5 graduate Kaylee to share her experience.
Skill Distillery: You currently work as a Consultant at Credera. What does this mean and what does an average day look like for you?
Kaylee M.: I work on a team at Credera that specializes in open source solutions for their clients. This means that, for every project I get put on, it’s our job to either help out with or help create their Spring API, Angular or React front end, or any other need in any other open source language they might have. Sometimes I’m spending the day coding, sometimes I’m spending the day meeting with co-workers to help design a database schema, and sometimes it means I’m simply meeting everyone on a new team.
SD: How did you decide to transition into the tech space? Is it always what you wanted to do?
KM: I never ever thought I’d end up in tech! I always loved to read, and studied English in college, and definitely thought my path would be more traditionally-arts based. Once I started my professional journey, though, I realized that if I really wanted to make an impact in the world I needed to learn how to code. A few years in, I now consider writing code to be just as artistic as writing a novel.
SD: How did you decide to attend Skill Distillery as opposed to other boot camp programs?
KM: I was looking for something extremely intensive – I really wanted to get a bang for my buck! I looked at some schools in Seattle, as well as a few more in the Denver area, but Skill Distillery was the best price and length for my budget and what I wanted to learn.
SD: What was the application and admission process like?
KM: I had a bit of a unique admissions experience – I was traveling in Southeast Asia while trying to get into Skill Distillery. In addition to the online logic test and introductory questionnaire, I ended up doing my phone interview and logic test at 2 am in a hostel in Malaysia. Needless to say, I prepared with quite a few cups of coffee.
SD: What is the program like at Skill Distillery? How do you feel this course of study has helped your professional career?
KM: The program at Skill Distillery was really tough – I remember thinking in the first few weeks that I might have to drop out. But, I stayed late and asked a million questions about things I didn’t understand, and it eventually all came together. This mentality, of being ok with the unknown and pushing yourself to learn something you don’t understand, is the reason I’ve been thus far successful in my tech career.
SD: What was the transition like from the classroom to the first day of the job?
KM: Very nerve-wracking! I was extremely worried that I hadn’t learned enough in school, but my company was continually impressed by how much I learned at Skill Distillery, and how productive I was my first month on the job.
SD: Would you recommend this program to other students? Why or why not?
KM: I would and have! With the extra money I made as a software engineer I was able to pay for my husband to go to Skill Distillery, and my cousin is now currently a student. Skill Distillery allowed me to change my life for the better in so many ways. I have a much, much better salary, and am professionally much happier than before I went through the program. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to change their life!
We are excited to see that boot camps are providing a pathway for more women to enter the industry but deciding on the right program can be tricky. If you enjoyed learning about the process you can find more alumni reviews at SwitchUp.org.