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Rachel found herself in a dead-end tech career and knew it was time to re-skill herself in order to keep pace with great job prospects. She found We Can Code IT and attended our full-time coding bootcamp. In the end, she landed a great new career as a software developer earning more than ever before!

Rachel Goes to College

I went to Cedarville University in Cedarville Ohio (it was still a college when I attended). I started out in engineering, but I really discovered that I dislike math and solving ‘story problems’, so I ended up with a degree in Biology. But since I didn’t want to go on to further education, I took some technical writing classes as well.

Technical Writers aren’t in as much demand as coders

When I graduated from Cedarville, I pretty quickly got a technical writing job at PPI Technical Communications in Solon. I worked there for about 16 years, then they got rid of the technical writing department, and I was moved to part verification, where I worked for two more years.

Online learning wasn’t enough

During the two years I was in part verification, I continuously put resumes out there, searching for another technical writing job, but I couldn’t find anything. I knew that just verifying parts was not a job with a future. For about a year I tried teaching myself Javascript using online courses like Udacity, Udemy, and Free Code Camp. They were very helpful, but I knew I couldn’t learn it on my own, even with the online support. I really needed a classroom setting. When I realized that WCCI was there locally, I jumped at the chance. I discovered We Can Code It in February 2016, quit my job, and joined the March cohort.

What makes you love WCCI’s coding bootcamp?

It was a good structured system, with homework, classmates you could ask/work with, and teachers who were there online even after class. I was always impressed at the way the teachers made themselves available for private study, and remain keyed in to our progress, even after graduation, watching us and helping us succeed. As a cohort we had a lot of strong personalities, but we all found ways to work together.

Rachel’s We Can Code IT job coach strongly encouraged her to apply

I wasn’t sure I was interested in the job, but I decided I really ought to apply anyway. I got an interview at AmTrust. They’ve hired other students from WCCI, which encouraged me – they knew what they were getting. Working with a recruiter was a new experience for me, but AmTrust offered me the job immediately after the interview. I have been there almost a month now, and I’m a QA Analyst (which means I debug). I’m still getting used to having such a big career change. It wouldn’t have happened without WCCI teaching the skills and connecting us with those jobs. The interview took place before I was even done with my cohort, and the job started the day after graduation — it was almost too fast for me! But I’m really glad to have the job. I am still learning on the side, though, and attending other local code meetups to strengthen my coding skills and work on passion projects.

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