Sydney Stern Miller, March 2, 2021 | 4 min read

From Residential Real Estate to Full-Stack Development

With a degree in Mass Communications and a passion for continuous learning – Freeman joined Tech Talent South this year to learn Full Stack with a concentration in Java. We sat down with Freeman to learn more about his experience transitioning from Real Estate and Sales to the Digital Workforce.


What were you doing before TTS?

I’ve been working for myself selling residential real estate for the last eight years. Prior to that, I worked in pharmaceutical sales. I have a degree in Mass Communications from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I’ve always loved sales and marketing, but I knew I needed to have additional skillsets if I wanted to be less dependent on the roller coaster sales cycles associated with the real estate market.


What course(s) did you take with TTS?

I attended the full-stack full-time java development course. I have always been the kind of person who dove headfirst into the deep end of the pool. I figured that the best way to learn was to get my hands in everything and then sort out the rest. In my mind, I’m either going to sink or swim, but I’d never know just by sticking my toes in the water.


How did taking this course remotely impact how you connected with your cohort and instructors?

It made us creative in how we were able to interact with one another. I was in a group chat with about a dozen or so cohorts outside of the slack channel. I followed people’s comments in slack and tried to see who were those people that asked questions similar to the ones I asked or wanted to ask before reaching out. It would have been great to have had in-person learning, but I believe we all made the best of the situation.


Tell us about your favorite project!

My favorite project involved building my resume using HTML and CSS style sheets. It may sound simple enough, but I found it fascinating being able to understand the code behind the webpage and know that I could manipulate that code to my will. It was empowering. For years, I’d paid other people to do what I was now doing for myself. Sure, I had to research quite a bit to learn more, but once I did, then it became like peeling back layers of an onion, which led to more learning. I also enjoyed learning new facets of Javascript. But that resume along with building the webpage for a restaurant was really extraordinary.


How has what you learned at TTS impacted your life?

It’s opened a door to a whole new career. Once I started to learn and understand I knew it was time for me to learn more. TTS gave me the confidence I needed and changed my perception of my ability to learn this new way of thinking and problem-solving. I’ve had to take additional steps since the course has ended to continue my journey, but with each day I try to get one percent better than the day before. I’m not striving for perfection, just to be better day by day.


What has been the biggest challenge in your tech journey?

For now, it’s been translating the learned skills into a new position somewhere. It’s been tough getting past what I used to do to get to where I’d like to go with this new knowledge. I’d like people to see that I took a chance on myself and I’m winning. I now need a position or company willing to take a chance on me as well.


What are your personal and career goals for the future? Dream job?

My dream job would be a junior full-stack developer in the short term. I’d like to land somewhere where I can continue to learn and help drive innovation. Long term, I see myself as a cloud architect.


What projects are you working on now?

I am continuing my education in java and cloud architecture. I am working with a tutor to expand on what I learned at TTS and shoring up the fundamentals and advanced Java language. I am also learning Python as my second language.


How has your background been useful in getting you to this point?

I believe I have a unique background because I have the ability to take complex concepts and simplify them conversationally. My sales background has been especially helpful because I am no longer an introvert. I love making presentations and I can’t wait until I get into a tech position that allows me to share with stakeholders the innovation that tech provides. I believe I can be that bridge between tech people who are introverts and natural-born salespeople like myself who can explain in plain English what company executives need to understand.


When you’re not coding, what do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I spend time with my amazing family. I have a middle schooler at home involved in various activities and a four-year-old who loves to build things. I’m happily married and I love to fish and golf.


What is your favorite quote, mantra, or piece of advice?

Tough times don’t last, tough people do.


LAST QUESTION! What is something that makes you unique?

What’s unique about me is that I’m never one to give up on myself. I believe that I can learn and do almost anything I set my mind to do. I have a drive and determination about myself that I carry with me. I believe I’m destined to do great things.


Interested in hiring more folks like Freeman? We’ve got you covered.