We know it can be scary to decide on a coding school — Can I really get a job? How do I switch careers at this age? Am I making the right decision? The best thing to remember is that these questions are entirely common especially when making such a bold, courageous move for yourself.
At Hackbright Academy, over 300 women have gone through the program and graduates are working throughout the tech industry at some of the best companies in the world. While the choice makes sense now, many were scared about taking that leap. To give you some perspective, and inspiration, we’ve included profiles of 5 women who made the move — they pursued Hackbright Academy, San Francisco’s coding school for women, and are now in a career they love. Below they share what motivated them to move forward with a career change so you’ll get to see how each of them made the career transition.
Designer → Software Engineer, Splunk
“Coming from a background in fine arts, there aren’t a ton of career routes you can take other than museum or gallery positions if you’re not a working artist...I enjoyed programming: the design and logic of it, and the ways I could find creative solutions. I started looking into going back to school for a second Bachelor’s or even an extension program, but the commitment was too great. Enter Hackbright Academy to save the day! Hackbright Academy was the best thing I had ever done for myself.”
Rachelle is now a software engineer at Splunk and loves her job!
Finance → Software Engineer, Clover Health
“My journey to engineering was a slightly convoluted one, but it was chiefly instigated by a desire to make things — more specifically, for social impact. I started out in investment banking, then did a brief stint in non-profits including a research role in a public policy think tank in Hong Kong and a consulting assignment with the World Bank in China. During that time, I decided to start a non-profit community platform with a friend, but we were limited in our technical ability to shape the platform as we wanted. That was when the first seed was planted in my head, but it took another period of self-studying (and Hackbright, to which I am forever grateful) after that to get me to a point where I believed I could actually do it.”
Jasmine now works as a software engineer for Clover Health, helping to provide better care at a lower cost.
Account Manager → Software Engineer, Indiegogo
“I loved the parts of my job where I got to do some front-end development, but the rest of it made me miserable. I knew I had stayed too long at a place that wasn’t a good fit for me…”
Siena is now a software engineer at Indiegogo and recently helped celebrate Indiegogo’s international app launch with the mobile team!
Public Policy → Software Engineer, Getable
“I was really excited about the idea of using technology to improve government and social services. I had gone to an Open Oakland civic hack nights and was so inspired by the projects they were working on. I wanted to contribute but felt that I didn’t know enough about coding to be of help.”
Jessica works as a software engineer at Getable and works with a team at Code for San Francisco to develop a web app that visualizes the construction pipeline in the city and encourages people to attend public hearings in favor of new housing.
Analyst → Software Engineer
“I was frustrated by my day-to-day work. I love solving problems and saw coding as an opportunity to grow my skill set and bring more innovation into my day to day job...Ultimately, I decided to take the plunge, and I am so glad I did!...I recently returned from a trip to Nepal in which I met with local stakeholders to understand how SpatialDev can build tools to better help them use data and mapping.”
Sarah now works as a software engineer for Spatial Development International and is combining her love for tech, travel and international development.
Hackbright Academy, the engineering school for women, is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis until February 1, 2016 for our full-time 12-week software engineering fellowship. Join a supportive community of faculty, alumnae and a network of over 100 partner companies dedicated to seeing more women in engineering roles.
Click here to learn more!