Grad­u­ate Stories

Meet Jeanette, Soft­ware Engi­neer for Red Hat

From Graph­ic Design­er to Front-End Engineer
Momentum Jeanette O Brien Finals Web 05

[Before Momen­tum] I didn’t real­ly have a career,” Jeanette O’Brien tells us. Don’t let her words con­fuse you though. While she wasn’t on a career path, Jeanet­te’s resumé reflect­ed a series of jobs she excelled in.

From Site Coor­di­na­tor for a YMCA pro­gram to Events and Mar­ket­ing Coor­di­na­tor for a non-prof­it, Jeanette was always able to get jobs in dif­fer­ent indus­tries. But a long-term career where she could use her cre­ative tal­ents and pos­i­tive­ly impact peo­ple? That Jeanette had yet to find.

Even more, Jeanette rec­og­nized that with­out a sol­id pro­fes­sion­al net­work, it was hard to make a career change. I was stag­nat­ing because I didn’t know who to con­nect with. I didn’t have that men­tor or even the net­work to show me the ropes.”

Her career began at Momen­tum. After a year in her Soft­ware Engi­neer role at TransLoc, Jeanette now works at Ansi­ble by Red­Hat as a Front-end Soft­ware Engi­neer. I’m real­ly grate­ful for the fact I have a career now. It feels great. I don’t feel like I’m work­ing some­where just to be work­ing some­where.” She says the door is wide open” for her career now. “[At Momen­tum], you’ll get a com­mu­ni­ty and you’ll get help find­ing a career. Not just a job. A career.”

Momentum Jeanette O Brien Finals Web 03
Every time I go to work I think about all the other women who are in the tech industry. I think about how grateful I am to be another woman in this industry making a career for myself.
Jeanette O’Brien
Associate Front-End Software Engineer

The uncon­di­tion­al sup­port she received in the Momen­tum class­room helped her get there. In Jeanette’s words, she was the biggest cry­ba­by” in her cohort but nev­er felt judged for it. This tech com­mu­ni­ty has prob­a­bly been the most open, non-judg­men­tal com­mu­ni­ty that I’ve been a part of, espe­cial­ly the one that Momen­tum has built. Being a black woman going into the tech indus­try can feel very oth­er­ing so hav­ing that diverse com­mu­ni­ty that Momentum’s built for its stu­dents has been para­mount in my abil­i­ty to grow in my career.”

of students receive a job offer
average salary graduates report earning
8.3 out of 10
happiness scores are high for graduates in their new career

Go from potential to professional with us

For Jeanette, Momen­tum was more than just learn­ing how to code. My pro­fes­sion­al net­work grew and grew and is still grow­ing even now.”


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With Momen­tum, you get men­tor­ship and a long-term com­mu­ni­ty to sup­port your career change. Our com­mu­ni­ty is where skills are shared, career guid­ance hap­pens, and so much more.

Jeanette is pay­ing it for­ward. At Red Hat I get to con­tribute to an open source com­mu­ni­ty. By doing that, I get to help peo­ple who look like me, who want to learn how to code, take real code and learn from it.” Whether it’s con­fer­ences, mee­tups, speak­ing engage­ments or Momen­tum men­tor­ship, Jeanette seizes oppor­tu­ni­ties to con­nect with oth­er women in tech and trail­blaze for under­rep­re­sent­ed groups to have a seat at the table in tech. Every­time I go to work I think about all the oth­er women who are in the tech indus­try. I think about how grate­ful I am to be anoth­er woman in this indus­try mak­ing a career for myself.” 

It wasn’t easy, but for Jeanette it was so worth it. Momen­tum was one of the hard­est things I’ve ever done and I would 100% do it over again in a heart­beat.” She’s tak­ing that expe­ri­ence with her into the com­mu­ni­ty as she advo­cates for diver­si­ty and change in the tech indus­try. I want every­body to learn how to code. It is a future-proof job. It is a reces­sion-proof job.”