Why Customer Service Reps Make Great Software Engineers

By Jes­si­ca Mitsch ● April 20, 2022

Changing career paths can be a daunting task. When making the switch from one career to another, individuals within and outside of the tech industry tend to overlook the multitude of transferable skills they may already possess – time management, customer service, creative thinking, problem-solving, and more. 

Geoff Register, a Momentum graduate and software engineer at Natera, came to Momentum in 2018 after many years in the customer service industry. Geoff serves as an inspiration to others as he has made the career change himself and can be an example to those who want to make the transition into tech.

First and foremost, becoming a software engineer doesn’t happen overnight. It’s best, if possible, to treat the process like a full-time job. It takes a lifetime to become an “expert,” and treating the process as a job allows students to put the much-needed time into understanding and enjoying the journey. 

Those who make the switch from hospitality and customer service to tech and software engineering have a massive advantage over other candidates: knowing how to interact and work with others. It’s more difficult to teach “people skills,” unlike teaching coding, and there’s a growing need for authentic intelligence as the tech industry moves towards AI. Having intrapersonal skills is key within this industry, and although there’s a misconception that software developers prefer to work alone, professional developers work on teams and need to be able to communicate, interact, and support one another. 

As Geoff put it, “I don't think there's any particular disadvantage coming from bartending other than if I had pursued tech earlier in life I'd be further along. But that's like saying, I could have been a professional [fill in the blank] - if I'd just started earlier." 

"I've also found that restaurants are a terrific metaphor for web development."

For example, the front of house operations are similar to front end development, the menu is the UI/ Browser, and the walk-in freezers are like the database.

Geoff Register, Momentum Graduate and Software Engineer at Natera

In the end, if you enjoy coding, then the rest will follow. Learning to code isn’t an easy process; it’s difficult and takes time. But once you realize that everyone is in the same boat, it can really be fun. The message is simple: anyone can become a coder

 The demand for software developers remains high. In January 2022, nearly 340,000 IT job openings across industries remained unfulfilled. If you're not happy where you are or feel like you're in the wrong place, you should be able to find a job where you’re happy. Making a career change isn’t as hard as it seems, especially considering transferrable skills that you bring to the table. The need for developers is only growing stronger, and companies should be looking to all sources and backgrounds for new talent cultivation.

The demand for new tech talent mixed with an increasing supply of individuals considering a career change makes now the perfect time to try out coding. Contact our team today to learn more about our software engineering bootcamp at Momentum and how to begin your journey to software engineer.