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.
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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.