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Cover image for How I Broke Into Tech

How I Broke Into Tech

april_ec79 profile image The April Chilldres ・2 min read

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Who

As a 40-year-old, single mom, working a dead-end job in Healthcare office administration, I was living an unfulfilled life. The monotonous routine of working a nine to five job, doing the same repetitive work daily had me yearning for something more, something greater. I’ve always had such a passion for computer technology and being creative, so I began my search online.
During my breaks working in the office, I would scroll through social media, and I happened to be scrolling through Instagram one day, passing the time. I came across a post and read about how anyone with any background could break into the tech world. So, naturally, I downloaded the app and was instantly hooked. The 21-day challenge became my new obsession and was the first app I would open every morning.

What

Upon completion of the 21-day challenge, doors began to open. I started joining squads and researching every Featured Bootcamp. At first, I learned about Lambda, and I started some of the pre coursework. At that time, I had no intention of quitting my day job for a Bootcamp and figured I would just do something part-time, or self-paced, Still, at that point, I wasn’t quite sure about the whole idea of a 3-4 month Bootcamp. I also learned about other programs like Thinkful, Botegga, and General Assembly, and each time I would find information about another program, I would begin any free courses available.

When

About a month later in July 2019, I was super focused on learning how to code, I found Kenzie Academy, and saw that they had a UI/UX Design Engineering program, which truly sparked my interest in a way like no other. I applied, completed the assessments, and was accepted! When I got my letter of acceptance from Chok Ooi, I knew, this was it. I was finally going to start a career I am passionate about. So, in August 2019 I gave my two-week notice at my office job and have never looked back.

Where

The UI/UX Design Engineering program began in October 2019 - UX5 cohort and I have learned so much and met so many amazing people! Never in a million years did I imagine the tech community would be so welcoming and friendly! I have grown to love and respect each person at Kenzie Academy and am so grateful for the opportunity to learn there. The program is a full-time, immersive program where the first half is spent learning UX and the second half is learning about UI Engineering. It is a Monday through Friday program and that did sound scary at first, but it has become manageable for me & my daughter. At Kenzie, you are surrounded by people you may consider family as I do and because of that, I not only have learned how to accept support, but how to be a supportive person for those who need it.

This is my very first post on Dev.to and so any tips and feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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Scott Simontis

Thank you for sharing your story with us and welcome to DEV.TO! I also came from the medical world, I had actually left my original studies in Computer Science to become an Emergency Medical Technician after my best friend died of an intentional overdose. Somedays I really miss that world, but it was also clear I could not support myself financially/mentally/emotionally working that job.

Is there anything specific you hope to get out of this site? Looking back, I started coming to this site for the high quality technical content, but what kept me coming back and ultimately ended up feeling more satisfying was the sense of community. I've met some very cool people from all over the world and had the opportunity to share ideas and life experiences, I hope you find the community just as welcoming and inspiring!