Meet Alyshia, Apprentice Software Developer at Accenture
Before Momentum, Alyshia was a skilled hairdresser who worked her way up in salons starting at the age of 19.
Life as a hair stylist can be erratic. Often, they skip lunch breaks, stand all day, work unpredictable shifts – and when they do work shifts, it’s long physically demanding hours for less money than rightfully earned.
According to Alyshia, that was great while she was in her early 20s. She got into the skilled craft at age 19 and worked her way up in salons. Five years of the stylist lifestyle gave her entrepreneurial opportunities, but she was ready to find another career option that made sense for her wellbeing and her family life. “I would like to go home before 9 o’clock at night and realized I need to figure something out.”
Free coding resources got Alyshia excited about starting a career in web development – an area ripe for finding and solving problems like in her styling profession. But she thought carefully about how to make the career change happen. A four-year college program? Too long. Independent learning? Too unstructured. Code school? Just right.
I’m not exhausted anymore which is like a weird feeling for me. My general quality of life has massively increased, I’m less tired, less in pain. I feel a lot better.
Looking ahead as a software developer, Alyshia is most excited for the stability her new career provides. “Knowing that I’m going to have the same amount of days off, make the same amount of money, generally know what I’m getting into day to day.” That’s a big deal compared to the feast or famine volatility in her role as a stylist and a reassuring feeling after making the major career change.
She did it all during the COVID-19 pandemic, too. “I even think when I did it was the best time to do it. I would’ve been out of work anyway,” citing the pandemic’s crippling effect on the beauty industry. Yes, the course was 100% virtual. But the live discussions, community, and real-time support the course profoundly helped Alyshia’s journey to becoming a developer. “There was a huge difference between Momentum and online options to learn code because I was still face-to-face with someone. That I really appreciated and having someone accessible to me. Not even that, but more camaraderie in the class. I still talk to my classmates now and it’s still very helpful.”
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Plus, completing the course from home actually made it easier in some ways. With a “private tutor” in her front-end engineer fiancée, she was able to tap him for extra help on coding challenges. “He was pretty in awe of what I was able to do,” as she showed him projects he says he didn’t learn to do until his junior year of college.
To those considering web development, Alyshia encourages them, “If it feels right, just do it. I’m very glad I went with my gut and just did it.” So, if you’ve got the gut feeling, we’re here to help you get started.