Lea Bellai, May 5, 2016 | 2 min read

Fourth Time’s a Charm

My first general engineering class I ever took was ‘Engineering Tools’. This particular class included a few weeks of CAD modeling and the remainder was an introduction to programming in C++. The CAD part was not so bad. After making it through the first few weeks, I felt confident. Then my blank programming canvas was challenged. Quickly I felt an overwhelming amount of confusion. As a typical college student I thought to myself, “No worries, I’ll just drop the class. Maybe take a different class next semester?” So, I dropped the class and met with my advisor only to find out I HAD to take the class!

Next semester rolled around and once again the trend started. I grasped the CAD material well and then ran into my former foe, C++, and again it was rough. And wouldn’t you know it … I dropped it again! Well, at this point it was time to face the facts; this class was the only thing standing between me and my Associate’s degree in Engineering of Science.

I wish this was the part of the story where I could tell you after taking the class again, I finally finished with an A… but rather I started the class and I grudgingly dropped it once more! This had turned into what seemed like a never-ending series of knock downs.

Now it’s time for the good news. I finally made it through the entire class achieving a passing grade and ultimately, moved on to get my Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering! I believe the quote is, “Fourth time’s the charm.” Right? Anyways, it wasn’t until I made it to the end of the class, that I actually became enamored with the awesomeness and endless opportunities computer programming provides. What I realized from all this was that the programming classes (even though it was just a few) I took during all of my schooling were the most challenging and rewarding classes. I was certain I wanted to work in the tech industry. I landed my first job in the tech world and, oh boy, I recognized I had a lot to learn! Growing up in upstate New York and not familiarized with the educational opportunities Raleigh had to offer, I wasn’t really sure where to start. I had heard about a collaborative space named HQ Raleigh (which is really as cool as I heard it was) and that’s where I happily discovered Tech Talent South and the code immersion class. A coding bootcamp that encompasses literally everything I had been striving to self-learn, as well as a part-time class that didn’t intervene with working hours. Sign me up!

I’ve gained so much more from taking the part-time Code Immersion course than I ever anticipated. My experience has been filled with devoted teachers, a valuable membership to the HQ Raleigh, an amazing network with classmates, HQ members and the Tech Talent South staff, along with a warm welcome into the startup world. But what I’m most excited about is the portfolio I’ve been creating throughout the class. Currently, we’re diving into rails applications and I’m about to kick off my own project in order to put what I have learned to use. I can’t wait to have a final product that I developed!