Graduate Stories

Meet Taylor, Software Developer at Relias

From Staff Recruiter to Software Developer

Pater­ni­ty leave gave Tay­lor Cooke time to think. Tay­lor grad­u­at­ed from NC State and had worked in staff recruit­ing for 13 years, a role that left him exhaust­ed at the end of most days.

Then, while car­ing for his sec­ond child at home, he real­ized some­thing. Tay­lor recalls, ​“I went through the men­tal exer­cise of ​‘Is recruit­ing what I want to do for the rest of my life?’ The answer was ​‘No.’”

Momen­tum was an easy choice for Tay­lor when he was ready to make the career change. An inde­pen­dent dab­bler in cod­ing, Tay­lor had insight from his job on salary trends and the career oppor­tu­ni­ties of Momen­tum grad­u­ates. ​“From my recruiter seat, I saw how career paths unfold for code school grad­u­ates. You don’t have to be a 4‑year Com­put­er Sci­ence grad­u­ate to have a lucra­tive career.”

Tay­lor is now an Asso­ciate Soft­ware Engi­neer for Relias, where he uses his full stack skills to resolve front-end and back-end changes for the e‑learning com­pa­ny. If work is on his brain after hours that’s only because he’s excit­ed to test new things. No stres­sors or strain here. ​“I might walk out of the office won­der­ing what I’ll try tomor­row in order to solve a prob­lem… That’s a good sign,” Tay­lor explains. ​“Where­as phone screen­ing anoth­er per­son would be the absolute last thing on my mind in my pre­vi­ous career.” Out­side of work, he’s got the time (and ener­gy) to think about his own side projects.

We think about the doors tech opens for us. We are some of the few privileged who can still work and don’t have to put ourselves in harm’s way. You could say it’s a pandemic-proof job.

Taylor Cooke

Software Developer at Relias

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

Go from potential to professional with us

Pure opti­mism is Taylor’s career out­look post-Momen­tum. Despite uncer­tain times, the flex­i­bil­i­ty and options tech careers afford keep Tay­lor and his part­ner, who also works in tech, grate­ful and pos­i­tive. ​“We think about the doors tech opens for us. We are some of the few priv­i­leged who can still work and don’t have to put our­selves in har­m’s way. You could say it’s a pan­dem­ic-proof job.”

What he got most from Momen­tum? The peo­ple he expe­ri­enced it with and those he got con­nect­ed to. ​“I feel like Momen­tum is my built-in net­work right now. Not only are these peo­ple devel­op­ers but soon they will be hir­ing man­agers and founders. That’s a very valu­able net­work to have.” What’s more, Momen­tum ​“feels like a fam­i­ly, like a com­mu­ni­ty” to Tay­lor, one that he con­tin­ues to con­tribute to after graduation. 

Life is dif­fer­ent for Tay­lor and his fam­i­ly. ​“The soft­ware engi­neer­ing space is not going away any­time soon and we have the fun­da­men­tals to take that wher­ev­er we want. The skills are portable to any indus­try because every indus­try uses soft­ware.” With that in mind, Tay­lor encour­ages oth­ers not to be afraid to make the career switch. He ral­lies ​“this one is worth it” and with the fam­i­ly time, con­nec­tions, and sta­bil­i­ty he cites, it’s hard not to agree.

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