Mallory was working in retail when she made her decision to join We Can Code IT. Unsatisfied with the work she had been doing she was determined to find a path that would leave her feeling fulfilled. She found her passion at We Can Code IT. With the help of her cohorts and instructors she was able to learn, grow, and discover her love for UX design. Mallory’s story shows how experiencing We Can Code IT can lead you to many different path, though ultimately finding the best path that works for you. Learn more about how Mallory landed her dream role with a company she really enjoys.
So I think that the most surprising thing was finding my other career path. I probably never would have known. Had I not gone here I wouldn’t have ended up where I am, and I love where I am.
I did not go to college, so I had a high school diploma. I graduated in 2011 and I started We Can Code IT in 2018. I was in retail management.
I decided that I wanted to go to a code school, and so I looked at a couple. I came to the information session for one of them and I really liked the people. That’s what made me decide that this is where I want to go. I met the staff and instructors and they all seemed awesome. They seemed like people that were very invested in what they do. That’s what made me choose here. I was looking at Case also and it wasn’t really the same vibe.
Every person, both students and staff, were so welcoming…. It was an environment where no one was made to feel stupid.
What made you decide to pursue a career in coding?
First of all I hated retail. I really was just not happy at all. I had so much potential for growth at the company that I was at, and thinking about getting a promotion made me miserable. So, I tried to think about all the things I liked to do. I like solving problems and I don’t really like talking to people all day. I like collaborating, but not necessarily face to face with customers all day. So I tried to think about it and what careers I could do with that. Then I remembered that I use to absolutely love building websites and layouts on myspace. I just started thinking about how I could learn that. I was going to go to Tri-C, but then I learned about the bootcamps. Then I met everyone here and that’s how it began.
I really liked the friendly environment. I was horrified to start. I thought that everyone was going to think that I was stupid. Everyone was going to be like “who does this girl think that she is,” and it was not like that at all. Every person, both students and staff, were so welcoming.
When I had issues with anything they never made me feel stupid about it. They were like “of course you can’t do it, you’ve never done it before.” They were really good about making you feel validated for not knowing what you’re doing, and helping you talk through the problem. They would never give you the answer. They would give you a path and ask you to really think about what you’re doing. I really liked that. It was an environment where no one was made to feel stupid.
What did you find most surprising on your journey to becoming a coder?
I would say that I actually didn’t want to code to be honest because now I’m a designer. So, having the code experience helped so much because now when I’m designing I actually think about how they’re going to build it. I take the time to think about how they’re actually going to develop it. So I think that the most surprising thing was finding my other career path. I probably never would have known. Had I not gone here I wouldn’t have ended up where I am, and I love where I am.
I literally reached out to We Can Code IT like “SOS I need your help,” and they came through. They put me in touch with the job I have now.
What was your job search like?
I’ve always known that I liked front-end so I started looking for jobs that were titled “front-end developer” and “java script developer.” There were so many jobs to apply for. I probably applied to one hundred in the first month after graduating. Applying for jobs was something that had been top of mind since the beginning of starting bootcamp.
In the first week we started working with staff in helping with our resumes and interview skills. We did white boarding practice. It took me a while to find a job because I was very particular about the kind of work I wanted to do. Once I did find a job it ended up being something that I felt I was prepared for. I was still nervous but I felt there was nothing they could really surprise me with.
How did it feel when you got your first interview?
I was so excited. It was right before Christmas, so I didn’t think that I was going to get one because that’s such a weird time of the year to hire someone. It was so exciting, and I text the We Can Code IT staff to tell them how excited I was. Unfortunately that company ended up closing. So that’s when I ended up transitioning into design. I literally reached out to We Can Code IT like “SOS I need your help,” and they came through. They put me in touch with the job I have now.
I am obsessed with the company I work for, Briteskies. They are absolutely amazing. They also have another We Can Code IT grad there who’s a developer. So they have two of us. I’ve been there just about a month now. It’s been absolutely amazing. Having all of the experience that I had from We Can Code IT helps. Collaborating with a team, and designing the website for a user and not just for me is something that I learned here when we did our final projects. That was a skill that I felt transferred over really well. Also time management. I am really busy at work, and I did not expect to be this busy so soon. The only days I didn’t do anything were the first two. That’s exactly how it was, so I felt like I was prepared.