Columbus Coding Bootcamp Grad Becomes First Woman Developer at Scriptdrop
After graduating college and landing a job working with databases Izzy’s curiosity began to grow and she needed to find a way to satisfy it. Her experience with databases always sparked an interest in software development but she needed to find a learning an environment that fit and matched her values. After attending an Admissions Open House and meeting the We Can Code IT staff, she decided that We Can Code IT would the perfect place to provide her with what she needed to take the leap into learning code. Learn more about Izzy’s journey and how the learning environment impacted her experience by preparing her to become the FIRST woman developer at her new job with Scriptdrop.
I really loved the instructors. The staff to me was one of the best things about the coding camp.
What was your education and career background before attending We Can Code IT?
I had a bachelors degree in human ecology and mainly worked in customer service until I got a help desk position at CoverMyMeds, and I moved from there to databases. So I had gone from customer services to like a tech-ish background.
What made you decide on We Can Code IT?
I was looking for a bootcamp that aligned with my experience in tech and things that I was passionate about in tech, specifically more diversity and inclusion in tech. I often found myself as the only woman on the team and it was rough. So I looked at techelevator. There was a pretty strong lack of diversity on their website. When I found We Can Code It their mission statement was about diversity in tech. So that really spoke to me, and when I went to their information session I heard them talking about the community they set up with the students, and that they were really their for them. They specifically talked about a girl that was in a bad situation who graduated from the bootcamp. They were doing everything they could to get her out of that, and that really spoke to me.
What do you like about We Can Code IT?
I really loved the instructors. The staff to me was one of the best things about the coding camp. The modules were also set up pretty well. The overall structure was great. I really felt like I was being supported by the staff. It didn’t feel like they were just going through the motions to make sure things were getting done. They actually cared about what was going, and cared about my job too because I was still working full time. It was a rough two months, but it was also really exciting.
Did We Can Code IT make your coding experience easier?
So about midway through bootcamp I had been in a toxic situation at my job and they were supporting me emotionally through it. I had a really bad day and two of the instructors had me come into the office and they had tea waiting for me. That meant a lot. By the time I finished the bootcamp I had made the decision to leave my job, which was really scary. The imposter syndrome was so bad. The instructors were really helpful in keeping me motivated. That was something that really stuck out to me.
They absolutely cared that I was staying in a good head space and continued applying and kept coding. Having that emotional support to me was what really made the experience.
A lot of places that you would go to for school even in college you graduate and they say they’ll help you find a job, but they don’t. I went to OSU, and I got no response when I reached out to them about career services. Though, if I messaged one of the We Can Code IT instructors they would get back to me almost immediately. They absolutely cared that I was staying in a good head space and continued applying and kept coding. Having that emotional support to me was what really made the experience. I would’ve honestly given up about a month into my job search. If I hadn’t had their support behind me I probably would’ve been like maybe I suck at this and I’m just going to do something else. But they told me keep coding and keep applying. They told me I was better than I think, and so I did. I got a job, and it’s the best job I ever had.
What was your job search like?
I think technical jobs are a bit rough to apply for. I think the interview process was a lot harder than I expected. The rejection obviously is rough with any job search. After a while you kind of get into a rhythm with it, and you start to know what to expect. It got easier.
I ended up eventually figuring out that the kind of place I wanted to work wouldn’t interrogate me in an interview. It would be an experience that would be valuable whether or not I got the job. That’s exactly what happen at Scriptdrop, the job I have now. They gave me a take home code test, and I sent it back to them. They had me come in. I paired with some of the developers on their team, and they let me ask as many questions that I had while I was doing it. They went over code with me and taught me stuff while I was there. It was so cool. I felt like I came out so much more excited about the language they use and about what I had done for the code test then I had coming in, which was not my experience interviewing at a lot of other places.
Tell us about your new career!
I was number 34 at the company, so its a small company. I was also the first girl, which was kind of exciting. I was coming into a small team with a lot of work to be done. Almost immediately I was able to start writing code that would be merged into production. They weren’t handling me with kid gloves. They let me jump right in, which is what I like to do. They were good about asking me if that’s what I wanted to do as well. They weren’t like “we expect you to just do this,” it was more like “what works best for you.” So I got the chance to get right into development which I was so excited about. We have people working here who are really talented and intelligent people, and getting to learn from them has been amazing.
I think the most important thing about my job here is about hiring process and wanting more diversity. I asked if I could start a user group, Tech EI and host it at our office, and they immediately agreed. They sponsor it. They bring in all the food. They’ve been incredibly supportive.