Veterans Alumni Panel: Transitioning from the Military to Software Engineering

In honor of Veterans Day, we want to highlight our alumni Veterans. Join us to learn more about Taylor Morgan, Tjolanda Sullivan, and Minchan Jun’s journeys through Codesmith and their transitions from the military to becoming software engineers.

A Q&A period will be available at the conclusion of the event, so bring any questions you might have for our alums.

Hi everyone Welcome welcome Um just a quick intro my name is Chelsea De la Grana I'm the director of people Here at code Smith Um I've been working here for almost Four years I've spent time working on Lots of different areas of the company Admissions prep programs immersive Programs and now the people side Um I'm very happy to be here today Moderating our veterans alumni panel so In honor and Veterans Day we wanted to Highlight some of our alumni veterans so Tonight we will learn a little bit more About their Journeys through code Smith And their transitions from the military To becoming software Engineers so we can Start with some introductions then we Will move into some questions that we Have prepared for each of the alums on The panel and then if there is time We'll open it up to a q a period uh from The attendees on YouTube so we can start With the the intros oh and real quick I Always look to my right that's where my Monitor is just in case that bothers Anyone and I have two cats and I'm sure I'm almost positive you will see one or Two of them pop up on the screen today Because they do not respect my space Um but yes we can move into the intro so If each of you could just share your Name where you live the company you are

Currently working for and how long You've been working there so Sally let's Start with you Hey there I am Celia Sullivan I Currently work at Microsoft and I've Been here for about a year and a half a Little longer Um and yeah that's all for me And then Minchin Um yeah hi my name is minchan I Am currently working at holiday Um And I've been here about a little over Six months Okay that's cool Um And Did you share where you lived by the way Right now did I miss that oh sorry yeah Currently I live in New Jersey Okay and I'm over in Seattle Okay sorry I probably skipped that one Very cool Um all right so we can begin with some Of the questions that we have for today So firstly could you tell us about your Time in the military what branch you Served in and how long you served for Um minchan if you want to start that'd Be great Uh yeah I can start off Um uh I was in the Army for about five Years and I was in the um army And what was the other thing that we're

Asking about sorry no I think you got Both questions and then Sorry mess with the mute Um so I was also in the Army I was an Engineer and I was in for about uh 10 Years oh wow long time Um so moving on to your time at code Smith uh can each of you tell us which Program you did Um and what made you decide that Software engineering was kind of the Best next step for you once you left the Military and we can start with you Selling Um yes So I guess you said my timeline so like When I got out and then Um what which code Smith program did you Do and then uh what made you kind of Decide that you wanted to do software Engineering after the military yeah okay So um actually software engineering was Always my goal after the military I just Didn't know how I was going to end up Doing it Um but I did a bunch of research after Getting out and was looking for a Program that Um seemed to cater more towards like uh Mid-level Engineers versus like base Level Engineers because I just felt like I've already done 10 Years in the Army I really didn't want To start at the very bottom of a career

Um so I did do CS prep and Um I enjoyed the instruction and like The people that I was working with and That and so then I just went ahead and Dove into doing a full-time program so I Did full-time remote New York cohort 11. Um actually with Minchin yeah oh very Cool so minchan we already know which Program you did Um but you could you tell us a bit more About why you decided to go into Software engineering Uh yeah I can definitely talk about it So Um Uh before the Army I was actually doing Working as a software engineer and then Um I joined the army and I was Completely doing different job in the Army And Um you know five years Um can be short but then You know kind of for me it was kind of a Long time and then uh when I got out I Just needed I needed a place to uh pivot Myself to start off and then Um I did a lot of research on Um Christmas about it and then From that point being on that's you know That's everything started so and yeah as Certainly Sully mentioned like Um yeah we were in the same cohort

And it was remote So you said you were engineering before You joined the army Yes I was and was it software Engineering Yes I was a software engineer before the Army And I worked as a soft engineer for About a year And then right after that I uh joined The army And what were you coding in JavaScript Or a different language before Um at the time I was quoting in um Java And then I mean but then right now you know I Don't remember anything about Java Actually No worries and then Sally you said did You say you did Engineering also while You were in the army I was actually a construction engineer Some more like civil focus and the like So no computer action uh but in college I did some software engineering classes Um didn't get like a minor in it but I Kind of realized that that should have Been my major So yeah I just figured when I got out That I was gonna go more towards that Direction Got it So um how prepared did each of you feel When you started the software

Engineering immersive at code Smith in Terms of like technical skills Um Min Chan we can start with you Uh yeah so um JavaScript was basically a New area for me So uh and then Um when I was in the Army I actually Never Um Spend time on coding that much so I wasn't pretty much prepared that much And once I uh once I knew about Um you know cool space I started going into hard part JavaScript and Um you know basically I'm learning from There and then just trying to apply uh Uh you know Um just problem solving skills to myself And I think those class like those classes Uh pretty much helped me get into the Interview process And I was yeah I think I was pretty prepared But then when I actually started uh Started the journey it was completely Like different story so Um Yeah so basically I wasn't pretty much Prepared at all so you were prepared as Much as you could be Um and then Kelly I know you mentioned You did CS prep

Um how did that help you prepare and Anything else that you you did before Starting Yeah uh CS prep I think really got me in The mindset of like doing Algos and Um actually like coding something that Works like I we did like a final project And my team made I think it was Tic-tac-toe or something like that which Was a lot of fun because we actually Made something that functioned and like We had to like sit down and Um actually think about like how to make A computer do movements and yeah so that Was really neat and that was the first Time well not the first time that was The first time in a long time that I had Done something like that because Previously it wasn't like I hadn't done Anything since College where I made Things like Like Battleship and stuff like that like Games but also my programming language Was uh C and C sharp So completely different Uh and yeah so JavaScript was very new To me I had done very little in it and So CS prep kind of got me into that Mindset and then also the I forget what It was called but like the the website That had like all of the Algos on it That you could work through Um the code Smith one I started working Through there and

Um yeah I was just introduced to like I Guess like higher level Concepts that I Didn't really know like recursion and Things like that that I hadn't really Ever dealt with and so I think Also like mentioned said go into the Hard parts and like really applying Those was definitely super helpful but In the same way like once I got into the Program it was like oh now I'll use the Stuff that you've just been kind of Dabbling with and use it in react and And yeah and so like that just through a Complete wrench in my preparedness Um but it was like I feel like I had a Solid base I at least I wasn't Contending with what is Javascript I was Now like okay I know what JavaScript is But how do I use it and actually create With it Right was the code Smith site you're Talking about CSX yeah I couldn't Remember that one it's been a long time Yes that is very a very helpful tool as Well as the the slack workspace that Goes along with it Um very cool thank you both so do you Feel like your military experience Helped prepare you for maybe some Aspects of the immersive and if so uh What ways did it help you prepare and we Can start with Sully Yeah I mean The remote immersive

So like it's like what three months and It's really long days And it's just a lot of information and It can be very exhausting and so I feel Like the Army definitely made me a very Resilient person where it's just like Well you know this is kind of sucking But that's okay because it'll be better In the end and yeah so I feel like that Aspect of the military have just kind of Sitting down and gutting through Something uh with knowing there's a Light at the end of the tunnel that was Definitely like a part of like ingrained In me in the military And then I guess just Being self-disciplined in general like I Don't know I feel like that part of me Definitely was developed in the military And not to say that I wasn't like Self-motivated beforehand but like it Wasn't that hard I think of a transition Because I know like going back to school For some people especially a school That's very accelerated Um if you haven't been in school for a While that can be like a really massive Shock to the system and I don't know I Was just coming from the military where Everything was really regimented like You're gonna be in your chair at this Time you're going to do this you're Going to work on this and and so it was Just like going from one regimented

Program to another uh just using my mind In a different way yeah And what about you minchan Um yeah pretty much similar what steli Mentioned Um but another thing I can talk about is Um I'm sorry Another thing I can talk about yeah Sorry about that yeah another thing I Can talk about is the communication Portion so in the Army we always had to Make sure to you know have everyone on The same page every single time And to make that happen I uh I was Always communicating with Um other soldiers all the time And that sort of Um helped me out with the process of Communicating with other uh Other Um others you know other students or Other team members within uh Cosmos Immersive Journey because we pretty much Have to Um Coded you know pretty much have to what Do you call it like pair programming yep We we pretty much have to do pair Programming together and that you Constantly have to communicate each Other and trying to understand Um how to solve the problem together so Uh and also uh Um when you going to senior phase I

Think you also start building the actual Um project and You start forming with the um team and You get to work with other team members But without the without the Communication it's you know pretty um Hard to do it so one thing I definitely Learned from the Army was communication For sure We emphasize the check The checkcation it's like a huge part of The code Smith program but that stems From you know having good communication In general Um very cool so Um what are you doing now post code Smith specifically in your your roles And how do you think the program helped You prepare for that type of work Um we can go over to minchan First Um yeah so right now I'm working at the Healthcare startup company called um Holiday Uh it's a senior software engineer and I Um I joined here It's been about a little bit over six Months as I mentioned before And I'm currently focusing on Um basically The uh my team is basically focusing on The um the way how we're trying to Change the uh Physicians workflow In a way that Um make it more valuable

And Yeah that is the Um you know pretty much the project that I've been working on and then as far as The Um customers One thing I learned about uh one thing I Definitely learned from Goldsmith was The problem solving scale So um just I'm So I learned uh react from cosmiths and Then node.js but then uh previous step I Had and then the job I'm doing right now I've been using completely Um different languages And Um you know it's a matter of you Figuring out by yourself and then I Think that's one thing that I Um Definitely learn from Christmas Nice yeah and I know a lot of our alums Have a similar Journey like learning JavaScript but then working somewhere Else and being asked to code in another Language I even saw I think today or Yesterday and the alumni workspace People kind of asking you know have you Ever coded in Ruby on Rails I need some Help and so it's like also a very Supportive Community after you leave to Help with with those new languages you Might ask to be asked to used Um over to Sally do you want me to

Repeat the question or you got it I'm Good Um so as far as what I'm doing now in my Current job so I I'm part of the Azure Cloud organization and so my particular Team is held Hardware Health Service and We just grabbed Telemetry from all of The servers all around the world so We're basically like a pipeline Streaming service so every server emits Information And that information could be things Like fan speed to how hot it is and we Take all of that information and feed it To the data scientists you then return Um some sort of like policy back to us And then my team is then also Responsible for taking those policies And ensuring that they're constantly Running and those policies will do Things like predict when a server is Going to fail prior to it actually Failing so that way we can roll Customers off of that server and ensure That they're always having a good Experience of being customers of the Azure Cloud Instead of you know experiencing any Sort of downtime so yeah so my service Is definitely integral to like the Health of uh all of azure because we're The only Health Service for the entire Company so every server emits their data To my service

Um yeah and Um I've got like an interesting piece of it Where I am one of the individuals who Works on the government contract sides Of things so I represent my team and Basically Give Azure and ramp Azure up for Um like all of the dod contracts that Have been awarded to Microsoft Um and as far as like what I got from Code Smith that uh That I guess they prepared me for this So like minchan I don't use any of the Like the languages or tools that we Learned inside of code Smith uh but I Think the big thing that I got out of The program was just the ability to Learn quickly uh because we were Inundated with like a lot of information All at once and you have to like put it To use uh immediately and so that's kind Of like the same thing that I have going On here is Like we learned AWS a little bit in code Smith but now I'm working on another you Know Cloud version since the vws I'm Working on Azure and it's like put those Concepts to use like it's still the same Just just maybe uh perform it a little Different on and then the things like Just I think another big thing is like Pair programming like it doesn't really End I think when you graduate like the

Ability to actually Um Like use like speak technically and and Accurately and correctly about you know What it is you're trying to solve so if You hit a blocker you can articulate it With you know Precision to a senior Engineer or someone else and and get to Solutions faster without wasting People's time uh so that was like a big Thing and I would say Yeah like the biggest one though is just The ability to learn things fast and Just like okay like now I'm using python What do I have to do to spin myself up On Python and put it to good use quickly Yeah thanks So similar Trends between both of you so Um looking back at your time at code Smith what would you say is your Favorite memory from being in the Program we can start with Sully I would say actually like the senior Project Um Was like right like it was really hard I Like getting that final project out but Like The friends that I made in that Particular group like we still text each Other on the regular like we've still Got our group text and we give each Other updates when we've moved jobs and And the like so I just think like the

The friendships You know that you can create in the Program are pretty amazing and and just Yeah just very supportive people because We're all you know Changing our careers like of all Different ages is all going from one Thing to the next and so we're like in It together Yeah that and also The talent shows Oh yes we love the challenge shows Um what about you mention Um Well what was the question again sorry You're one of your favorite memories From your time at code Smith Oh yeah well yeah one of my favorite Memories Um I I think salty mentioned about that Senior project and I think it's pretty Much the same for me Um It's It was different because Um we From the Um So We didn't know what to do as a team at The time and then we pretty much come up With the actual subject that we want to Deal with and we do research together

And Uh And if we don't know what the user is Going to be and what the reaction is Going to be like but then Um planning those Um as a team Members and then come up with the actual Solution and then Um Those Solutions being out in the you Know actual four customers I think you know that is like the uh one Of the memories that I think it was Super valuable and Uh You know the fact that There's a potential users that you know Actually gonna use your um you know Application that you're building Those like Um like short amount short amount of Time you're building that Um You know Just going you know just going through Those like experience in Christmas it Was super Um valuable memory to me Nice very cool So looking beyond the curriculum and Hard skills you learned at code Smith What do you feel were the most helpful Or impactful parts of the experience

That you think has supported you in your Career today I feel like both of you Have touched on some of these but in Case you want to elaborate more we can Start with you minchan Um Yeah so Uh At the end of the Journey of cosmis Um I think it was about two weeks of Focusing on the uh resume portion and Then the actual interview so as a team We gather together and then do a mock Interview on each other and also the Fellow Engineers they come in and then help us To the mock interviews and Um Also the Um I don't remember everything so I'm Trying to think every time but um I think it was Eric Um he yeah he was pitching us Um how to you know talk to the Um recruiter and then interviewer and All those information uh was Um really helpful and then also helping Us Um how to Uh do the uh do the job you know job Search and then all the um you know how You want to plan out your um daily Um workflow how you want to go about it As well

Um I think those are the uh things that Was super helpful I mean I I never knew Those type of process at all I I think That's another uh really valuable Resources that I got it from Um Christmas for sure And what about you Sully Yeah I think I'm the same with Min Chen Because that was one of the things that Drew me to code Smith is that they did Say that hey you know we do support you In hoping to find a job uh which was Huge for me because I had never Interviewed for a job before like I had Been in the Army my entire adult life And the idea of job hunting how do you Go about it how do I write a resume Because I never wrote a resume in the Army it was just like a lot of basic Skills that I just I didn't have and I Didn't know how to even go about Especially being somebody going from one Career to another Um so that that was huge for me and I Think another Piece is that so I was a fellow after Graduating the course and I think that Was like massively beneficial to my Growth as well because you go from you Know being in this immersive just trying To you know chug through it learn all You can to now you're sharing and Teaching and uh giving all that Knowledge you've collected back to

Somebody else and trying to articulate It to someone else so I think that was Huge in my growth as well while also Doing the technical interviews like Being an interviewer like you can see Because you do so many and you start to See trends of like what impresses you Like when somebody is applying to code Smith and they do something like Unexpected you're like oh wow you know You can impress an interviewer like I've Seen hundreds of these but there's still Ways to stand out and be different And so I think that's something that I Thought was a massive takeaway from the Program is what can I do once I'm back On the interview side of things to be That standout candidate Um and be the one that's you know now Impressing the person who's interviewing Me and yeah I think that was hands down Perhaps one of the unexpected like Takeaways I got from the program That's an interesting perspective do Either of you do interviews right now at Your companies I do you interview candidates Is it interesting being on that side Yeah I don't feel like I've been in this Career very long time and to uh suddenly Be an interviewer yeah Um they're exhausting because we do like Round Robins like One after another but

Yeah Yeah I mean I I personally don't like Doing interviews To be honest everyone And what is something that you wish you Knew before taking the immersive uh we Can start with you and Chen Um I think this is hard for me Um but one thing that I should have Known Or I wish I knew it was You don't have to be afraid But I know it's not it's you know it's Impossible for me like but that's that's One thing I definitely want to say and I Did have uh you know imposter syndrome Along the um Cosmos all the time and you Know In the end it's pretty much Um you know nothing to worry about and Nothing to be afraid of And I don't know as you know you're Switching your um career from A to B and It's completely like you know Different Um environment environment that you're You know you'll be facing too so Um it's really hard but then at the same Time Everyone's gonna feel the same too so Yeah definitely uh yeah Yeah no fear for sure yeah like everyone

Does everything they can to prepare you All pass the same technical interview But it's you know it is a challenging Program so you all kind of feel those Same feelings of you know imposter Syndrome which is why we do that lecture On it because we know it's a common Feeling Um what about you Sully what is Something you wish you knew before Starting the immersive Yeah it's a tough one Um I guess for me I wish I knew like What it was I wanted to do uh in the Actual job field once I graduated Um because then I think it would have Allowed me because there's just so much Information uh and I felt like I had to Like get it all and be perfect at it all Um but also at the same time like you Don't use it all like if you end up you Know being more of a front-end Dev if You're going to use more of those skills Versus if you go more back end and I Think like going through the course it Helped me realize what it was that I Enjoyed but I wish I could have like Figure that out prior to so I wouldn't Have just Felt like so stressed out of like I Gotta get it all because I don't know What I'm gonna end up using yeah Because I went more the back end side of Things and

Um and I that's what I really enjoy and I wish I could have like dove in even Deeper in those topics like giving them A little extra energy Yeah it's like picking your college Major before you get there it's you Never know but I know there's ways to Cater the program to work on certain Pieces that might interest you more like Solo projects or your Tech talk so that Could be useful to have an idea before Of where you think you might want to go Um so right now code Smith can't accept The GI bill but how did each of you fund Your programs and do you think that the Return on investment at code Smith is There we can start with you selling Yeah it was a bummer that I couldn't use A GI bill Um but So yeah I I did like apply for some of Like the scholarships I think I got like A thousand dollars off or something like That Um But the other rest came out of my Savings which initially that hurt Because you don't know you're getting Yourself into and you're like well That's a chunk of change that just I let Go of just then and you're jobless Because I had gotten out of the army Already and was tumbling around during The pandemic like okay so I'm jobless

It's a pandemic and I'm letting go of This large sum of money Um but it all worked out uh because like I've gotten it all back like in this job And I mean just looking at my 401k from The year and a half I've been here I've Got more than what I paid into this Program already and so like it does work But yeah it's definitely scary Up front because I just don't know Yeah a heavy upfront investment how About you mention Um for me uh when I left the Army it was Right at a pandemic And I was actually Looking for so I was actually supposed To go to another Um immersive courses not Cosmos and Uh and then it was funded by vet tech And then what happened was the funding Was seized For that year so I wasn't able to go and Then there was a time that I started Looking into closeness and I knew that It was not going to be funded I yeah I Think I got that thousand dollar Scholarship as well But um Um you know it was you know out of my Pocket for sure But Um So for me it was like uh if you know I Because my goal is not using my uh you

Know my money at all like I mean it's Pretty much the same goal for every Single people but then Um there was just me uh and that was in My head and then uh you know looking Back and I think about myself as a you Know joining cosmiths I think that was The um actually best decision even Though it was it was out of my pocket [Music] Um Because Um you know during the Um I think it was about three months of You know this journey I Um you know I learned like really Valuable skills from there It's not just about you know um coding Skill it's it's more about Um as I mentioned problem solving skill And uh on a daily basis you run into That issue every day You're running into issue that you Do not know at all and you're you know You just need to find a way how to solve It and you know every time I run into This I feel like the uh the first day in Goldsmiths where Um you know I thought it's gonna be a Smooth process and then all of a sudden You are drawn into this GitHub you know Repository and then you're reading a Whole bunch of readme files and then Solving uh problems on your own with

Other Um other fellows or other Engineers Together so Um yeah that is something that I think it was super valuable and then It was definitely worth it for sure Well happy you eventually ended up at Code Smith through that Journey And we have a few more questions Um so these are just more General about Kind of your software engineering life Post codesmith Um but what do you feel has been the Hardest moment Um on your way to becoming a software Engineer both inside and outside of the Program and what kind of in those Moments has helped to motivate you to Keep going and pushing through that that Difficult moment we can start with Sally Difficult moments Um I think Honestly yeah it is mentioned I think Mentioned this earlier is like imposter Syndrome And uh Not comparing myself to others Like that was in the program and also in The actual Workforce because It's very easy to look at other Engineers or look at other individuals In the program and be like okay well This person's getting it why am I not Getting it and then start like really

Getting down on yourself and you're just Like oh you know maybe I made a mistake Like like this is hard you know and you Start really doubting you know the path That you're on And and I will say that that doesn't go Away like now I'm in the job and Like nobody really knows my background Unless I tell them so unless I say hey I Went to a boot camp for three months you Know they they don't know where my Starting point is uh but like a lot of Them have degrees in computer science And the like and I do not and so it's Like there's there's no point in Comparing myself to others it's really Like my own journey and my own ability To you know learn what I can ask the Questions when I need to uh find the Documentation whenever possible right Like I just have to do my thing and know That I'm doing it well you know to the Best of my ability at least because yeah Like it you can get really down on Yourself and think that you're like not A good engineer at all and I had a Moment like that and then my manager was Just like You're doing amazing completely and not Only are you doing amazing like here's a Bonus you know and a raise and it's just Like whoa like I don't think do I Deserve this you know like but clearly Like he saw all the work and effort I

Was putting in so yeah like Just do your thing don't compare Yourself to others it'll be okay That's awesome what about you minchan Yeah what was the hardest moment Um in your journey to becoming a Software engineer both inside and Outside of the program and how did you Motivate yourself to get past that type Of difficult moment Uh yeah so I can I can talk about post cosmas and Um one thing So I was lucky To so right after Christmas I actually Got a job in two weeks So it was super lucky moment but then I Actually didn't listen to what Um Eric was talking about how you wanna Wait for other offers and then uh you Know Choose Wisely basically you know and Um at that time it was hard for me uh For on the financial side to support Myself so I had no choice uh you know But to go with the first option that I Had it Uh and I do not regret to be honest that I worked at the uh the previous company It was um awesome team members and Everyone was awesome But um one thing I wish I could done is You know if I could have you know waited

A little bit more and then see more Um you know offers or any more Opportunities that I can face it and Could have been nicer And And I think that's really uh important Because you know eventually you'll get Um you know number of offers and you're Gonna You're gonna have to choose but then if You just you know go with the first Option you're just you're not gonna be Able to see Um other you know opportunities that you Will have so yeah that is one thing I Definitely want to say for sure And how long were you at that first job Before you moved on to your Are you did you go to that job and now Your current job Yeah I worked there uh for about Um I think it was about one and a half Years oh okay and then yeah and then Moved to uh this company and yeah Well it all worked out in the end yeah So you kind of were Sully you just Touched on this quite a bit but did you All have fears or feelings of like Self-doubt and imposter syndrome or have You either in the program or after and Any tips on how to overcome that um that You haven't shared yet so let's go to Minchan First Um I've had that every single day

Um from the start of the day and Um It was it was really hard buildings Every every time but then Um I mean to be honest you know I don't Think I ever Um you know overcome that That imposter syndrome or anything it's It is more like I was more focusing on myself Like you know trying to avoid those Thoughts and just you know focus on Yourself Um you know it's not a race at all you Know it's it's pretty much uh Um you know how you're gonna do and then How you perform And you know it's it's building your Future basically so You know and everyone has a different Line and You know there was something that I uh Have had to learn myself because you Know I you know every single day I was Pretty I pretty much had a lot of like fears And imposter syndrome and Yeah and I think that's the way how I Overcame just not Thinking about it and focusing on Yourself Yes that's similar to uh I think what Sally was saying about comparisons but Anything you wanted to add Sally

Um I guess the only thing I would add is That it's okay to admit when you don't Know something Uh because I feel like sometimes we are We get really afraid and we feel like we Should know something and so then we Stay stuck for a really long time like Just trying to figure it out Um but I think that's something that Code Smith you know is all about where You know you work together you're paired Up with other people you work through Um like the daily exercises and the like And it's you're not alone and it's okay To admit when you don't know something Because then it opens you up to Potential mentors right somebody who's Going to be like oh like I had no idea Like you're doing so great like I had no Idea you were so new at this yeah let me Take you under my wing and inundate you With some more knowledge and it's like Every time I've done it I've just had It's been very receptive where I'm just Like please help me like like I may give The impression that I know what I'm Doing but it's like faking it so I make It right now and I just really need you To to guide me right now and they're Like absolutely and Um yeah people were willing to share Their knowledge I think more frequently Than we Give people credit

That's awesome advice Um I think we're gonna now open it up to A q a from the audience so if you have Questions just leave them in the chat on Our YouTube live uh to start things off We have a submitted question from the Audience which is is there anything that You would change about your journey into Software engineering Um anyone want to jump in and answer That or start I mean I guess I could go ahead so I Feel like when Shannon and I are kind of On the same page so I did the same thing In that I I chose the very first offer Um and I have zero regrets about taking That first offer like I love where I'm At uh but I also think it would have Been interesting to See what I could have gotten to kind of Take a minute and and try some more Interviews and and kind of see what what Else was available out there Uh but I was also the same mindset like I was pretty desperate like I was just Like all right I need a job Um and I got the offer and I just like Jumped into it uh so yeah I think on That journey I think like had a just Taking a breath and Again not let imposter syndrome get to Me because I in my mind I was like What If I don't get something else and I pass Up this company and and the like but

Yeah I think that's the only thing I Would slightly change up Anything you want to add munch on Um So I I think I've been seeing problem Solving every single time but um Um what you learn from coast means it's Pretty much I mean the context it's Gonna be different but then the actual Um the core skill that you're doing in Christmas it's gonna be applied to Any uh software engineering jobs that You'll be working on so Yeah so yeah that's that's what I want To say about it yep Um so did either of you apply For Jobs during the program or did you wait Until you finish the program to start Applying Minchin do you want to start Yeah Um yeah I know slowly uh she was a Fellow so Yeah she probably have a different Experience but then uh for me I started Um I think it was yeah I think Right next day I was done with Christmas I think I started the process And then Um Yeah I just didn't you know want to do

It you know during Christmas Journey at All like I know I I know some other Um people actually did that and then But then for me I just wanted to because I wasn't prepared I I had a like some Type of imposter syndrome at that time Too and uh I always thought like oh I Don't think I'm ready I don't think I'm Ready and then uh you know next day you Wake up and pretty much you're not doing It you're you're just on your own and I I was like yeah maybe I just you know I Should start looking into jobs and And you know I think that's how Everything won Yeah I think a lot of people wait until They finish the program too because the Like last two weeks there's so much Content that is relevant to your Application and job search like even the Resumes aren't wrapped up until then and Then the mock interviews that you Mentioned that are really useful so that Makes sense Um what was the mentorship like for you All in the program and did you Participate in any Um or do you participate in any Mentorship opportunities in your current Jobs Sully do you want to start Yeah I mean in the program you get Paired up with uh What do we call them like a mentor yeah

We get a mentor and then when you become A senior then you become the mentor and The like uh so I had that experience and Actually my mentor from cohort 19 Actually came and visited me out in Seattle and the like and said we're Still very close we get along very well And so yeah I I enjoyed that aspect of It Um I don't think the person that I Mentored Really cared for having a mentor so we Weren't super close but I was like Sending messages and motivate them all The time but he was ridiculously smart And Brilliant and he just crushed the Course so he didn't really need my Assistance in any way shape or form Um but a nice person uh but yeah I but As far as like Mentor in Um my current company like we've got Like ergs and Um those programs all of the different Ergs have different Mentor programs so Um there's an ERG for the military like In veterans uh so if you want to get a Mentor who has a military background you Can do that and so I think those are Really great programs I haven't actually Joined any of them because I feel so Inundated and just like there's a lot Going on I feel like I'm just learning So much that right now I'm just in the Fire hose take it all in and make it

Each day and not really thinking of okay What's the next step like Yeah and you did a ton of mentorship at Code Smith so you can take a quick break And jump into it yeah yeah I'd mentioned Um yeah I Yeah I did have Mentor while I was in uh Christmas and then Um Whenever I was stuck and then I you know Hit some type of blocks Um you know they uh they came in and Then they are willing to help they Helped me out with the process and Yeah I think that was super helpful and When I become a mentor and my mentor Actually didn't need much help at all Same so I don't have too much experience In that area [Music] Um But um I think I'm mentoring so I've been doing uh mock interviews for Cosmates uh senior uh Um fellows at the moment and then Uh you know I think I've been uh doing That for a while and then I think that's Uh you know it's not just helping me and Helping them and I I actually love doing It even though I kind of you know don't Like doing interviews uh it's it's mock Interview so you know it's not a problem So

Yeah that's definitely a form of Mentorship and we are very thankful to You for volunteering for those Um we actually have a question for Sully So coming from a non-software Engineering background how was it Entering into a new career and making That transition Yeah definitely a massive switch Um I went from like very much Construction Focus where it's just like Uh like big trucks build roads kind of Thing too okay and I'll sit at a desk And you know code and the like so Definitely it was a massive transition But for me though it was something that I had always wanted to do and so Yeah it was it was definitely a desire I Had I didn't know what I was getting Myself into I could definitely like There are aspects of it that were that Are that I'm so like getting used to From the day to day and like our I don't Want to say battle Rhythm but just like Our routine and the like and our Schedules and so yeah it was definitely Like a 180 from my life before but yeah There's also a lot of overlaps from what I did in the military because like I Mean I was an officer in the military so Like my life was definitely more admin Paperwork and Leadership focused and that you know I Was organizing people and and the like

And so A lot of that in a way actually Translates to this job because I mean Now I have like an engineer under me That I'm training and and have to Mentor Them and get them up to speed and Everything we do and so like I get to Draw on that previous experience of Leadership and like from there but yeah It wasn't too huge of a difference but Also at the same time it was And then we have time for this final Question that each of you can answer uh What is the biggest piece of advice you Would give Um to current code Smith residents and Then and future code Smith residents on The program and life afterwards just Your your one big piece of advice you'd Like to share Um minchan do you want to start Um Yeah this is hard Um Yeah one thing I have it in my mind there's Um focus on So I'm I'm gonna talk about the um Career perspective and [Music] Uh once you finish with uh Christmas And when you start looking into jobs Um I think it's I think it's kind of important

For you to choose the market that you Want to go So if it's Um like you know let's say you want to Go to like big companies medium size or Like small size or what what kind of Area like what kind of industry you want To work at like I think it's really Um Um imperative for you to choose So that you can focus on those area for Me I in the beginning I was you know Basically you know shooting out of like Nowhere like oh I'm just gonna apply Every single places and then oh Um you know you know hopefully I get to Uh do interview and then I'll probably Do it but then uh you know the next uh Job then I'm currently working on I Actually uh filter myself where I want To focus on and then I think that really Helped me out with my Um you know job satisfaction and Everything So yeah that is one advice I think I can Give And hope that's helpful helpful yeah yes Very helpful uh what about you Sally Uh stay motivated in the course okay do Your hack hours A lot of people stop showing up to hack Hours I was a fellow and then I think The name changed but I was also an LTM As well so one of the main instructors

And it is uh just do them because when I Went and did my interview there were Hack hours which is just you know an Algo that we did in the morning each Morning we do a an algoroo and some of Them were on my interview like and it's Like just do them because they've picked Them for a reason uh and they're Worthwhile uh it's not to waste your Time it's not just to force you to wake Up early in the morning they're quite Valuable and It's an allotted time to knock them out Yeah do you have hours and and like Follow up on them if you don't solve it Ask somebody how they solved it because That's what I did I didn't I saw barely Any of them but yet I collected answers Like crazy so I could look back on them Yeah I've been at code Smith quite a While and seen many of these q and A's And panels and I think that's one of the Most popular pieces of advice so it must Be true and relevant Um but thank you all so much that's the End of our uh panel today we really Appreciate you taking the time to share Your experience I know this will be very Valuable for people especially those who Have similar Journeys to yours we truly Appreciate your time and look forward to Hearing more about where you go from Here and above all thank you so much for Your service we truly appreciate you

Um and have a great night everybody Thank you bye

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