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Drew Pellum
Drew Pellum

Posted on

My Coding Journey

My Background: I have a bachelors degree in exercise science.
Why is this important? It led me to where I am today!

After graduation, I was unsure of what was next for me, so I went to work for my dad while I figured that out.
After working for my dad at his restaurant for several months, I started applying for any and every job. I was applying to jobs in the outdoor industry (one of my biggest interests) along with ski resorts (now my favorite hobby snowboarding).
While I was doing this, I accidentally accepted two jobs. First, as a snowboard instructor with Winter Park Ski Resort. The other offer came after as a call center agent with Vail Resorts.

I decided that I had to call and turn down one of the offers, so I let Winter Park know that I would not be arriving in Colorado to be a snowboard instructor. However, I did go to Colorado to work at Vail starting in November of 2017.

In my time at Vail, I was presented the opportunity to become the supervisor of my office shortly after the summer program started in July of 2018. Doing this helped to teach me lots of valuable skills in managing a team, creating training workflows, along with dealing with difficult customers.
I knew that my ceiling could be so much higher after gaining all these skills and showing how I could implement them into my work, so I started to look at more options.
My skills were still limited to customer service, but I found a startup that had awesome culture and could introduce me to many more options.
I accepted a job with Zen Planner (Fitness Member Management Software) in May of 2019 as a customer advocate. In this role, I taught users of the software how to use it and helped with issues. This was very rewarding because I was solving problems all day and letting the customers get back to what they were best at (Running their gyms and coaching).
As soon as I started, the parent company Daxko acquired a fitness app called SugarWOD. Little did I know this acquisition would help me to pivot and change my career trajectory.
I began working with SugarWOD doing part time email customer support in September of 2019 and was given the opportunity to go to events with the team.
In February of 2020, I went with the team to Wodapalooza (a CrossFit competition in Miami) and had a blast. I was able to watch the event, interact with customers and users of the app, along with talking about a product I had so much knowledge about.
Things began to change
In march of 2020, COVID hit and my industry was taken by surprise. I began working for SugarWOD full time and it was the best move I’ve ever made. SugarWOD was actually built perfect for this. With all these gyms moving remote, they could use SugarWOD as a way to get the workouts to their athletes and keep them engaged. The tool helped with retention for gyms and helped athletes to communicate outside of the gym.
With SugarWOD, I started training with product managers and I had an opportunity to apply for a product manager opening with SugarWOD. I made it to the second part of the interview which was a project to create a roadmap for the product. I didn’t get the job, but it introduced me to working with developers, product managers, and what an incredible product looks like.
Over the next months, I worked with features and became an apprentice as a product manager. I realized that it would take a lot of time to become a product manager and there is a huge responsibility that comes with being a product manager and creating the vision for the company.
This is how my journey led me to Flatiron and starting to code. I downloaded Codecademy and began learning HTML and CSS. I did some work with Javascript, but most of my experience was watching the SugarWOD developers in code reviews. I decided to make the plunge and start working toward a career in Software Development!

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