Coding Bootcamp Graduate Lands Job and Works Her Way Up To Senior Developer
When Austen Perelman-Hall received her undergraduate degree in marketing, she was ready to take on the world. She assumed that because she had the degree and was more than willing to work hard, there would be a clearly defined path to success and a rewarding career for which she knew she was destined. That wasn’t the case. “When I got out into the real world, I just hated every single job that was available to college graduates. I was super disillusioned by that,” explains Perelman-Hall. She reluctantly took a position in retail sales making right around minimum wage while she weighed her options and asked herself, “How do I jump this gap?” Then she came across We Can Code IT (WCCI) Coding Bootcamp. Austen was elated at what she found. With a small commitment of time, tuition that was much less than any college and some honest effort on her part, she could “jump the gap!”
Austen started WCCI Coding Bootcamp, and quickly realized that WCCI was the right place for her. “Everyone had really good energy. There were a lot of women in the room which was really encouraging. I felt very comfortable, and I wasn’t intimidated.”Austen elaborates that she has seen friends go through other bootcamps, and all of them have been male-dominated. That wasn’t the case at WCCI. She also liked the fact WCCI is a woman-owned and led bootcamp. “Mel McGee, WCCI Founder and CEO, was so approachable and she really cared.”
Austen found comfort in the wide array of diverse students attending WCCI. She speaks of her cohort, “Such an interesting group of people all coming together and supporting one another. It was really nice because people were able to find other people that they could connect with because there was such a diverse crowd of students.”
Austen is a talented and diligent worker, but she tips her hat to the WCCI Career Services Team for making sure that she found a position in software development. She credits their “next-level” commitment to student success for helping her land the job of her dreams. Austen mentions the skills taught at WCCI like networking, resume building, and self-presentation as being a huge help in her job search. She also speaks of the relentless job placement efforts that WCCI Career Services puts forth for their students, “(WCCI) did things like bringing in employers that were selling themselves to the students, they were like… “We want to hire bootcampers!”
As Austen went out into the real world and began interviewing for jobs post bootcamp, she realized she was very well prepared. “ It seemed like almost every job that I applied for in Cleveland was looking for the exact stack that I learned at WCCI.”
When Austen accepted her first position out of bootcamp, she was amazed at the pay. Austen had increased her pre- bootcamp earnings multiple times over. By the end of year two of her software development career, Austen had nearly tripled her pre-bootcamp annual income. Now, in year three as a senior software developer for a thriving company in Cleveland, Austen is nearly at a 4X increase in income! Congrats to Austen. That’s a great rate of return on her initial tuition investment!
Having been “down the path” of potential bootcampers looking to make a lucrative career change are taking, Austen offers up some sage advice, “If you want to hide in the background of a bootcamp and just learn the skills and have it be kind of low-key, don’t go to WCCI. But, if you want a hands-on experience, if you want to feel like people are investing in you specifically, if you want to be challenged, then go to WCCI.” Well said, Austen!