Alavia Yahya, September 2, 2015 | 3 min read

Making the Switch(up)

As a biology major in college, I gained quite a bit of experience working in different lab settings—from labs in school at NC State, to a cell biology lab at Duke, to a pharmacy. I came to learn that labs just weren’t the kind of environment that I enjoyed working in. I decided to try something different after I graduated, and I completed a certificate in Business Intelligence. I wanted to see if I was more of a business-minded person, but instead found that I really enjoyed the bit of coding I learned in the certificate program. I knew I wanted to change my career path, and I started thinking about pursuing coding further. However, I wasn’t really sure where to start or how to go about it. My tech obsessed brother (heyyyyy, bro!) sent me an article on about finding the right coding bootcamp for you, and that’s where I first came across Tech Talent South. I kept that tab open on my laptop for months, not really sure if a coding bootcamp was for me at all or if it would even be worth it. Was it all hype, or would I actually learn something? After doing some research about several different bootcamps, I decided to apply to TTS. During my interview, I spoke to one of the co-founders and had a great conversation about why I was interested in learning how to code, and I also asked him some questions about the program. He was incredibly helpful, and I felt like TTS would be a perfect fit for me. I also got the chance to meet my community organizer before classes began, and she was kind enough to give me a tour of the amazing space (love HQ Raleigh!) where I would be spending the next eight weeks.

Joining TTS has turned out to be a great decision. I’ve learned more in six weeks than I ever thought possible. We’ve covered topics like HTML, CSS, Ruby on Rails, and even a bit of JavaScript, jQuery, and AJAX. A line of code that would’ve been nothing more than a jumble of letters to me six weeks ago actually makes sense when I look at it now. I’ve built several web applications, including a travel app, blog, and a music catalog app. This past week, I created a Twitter clone application! I can honestly say that I never thought I would be able to do something like that—but how cool is it that I can?! I’ve even built apps that used APIs from Google Maps and Weather Underground. A few weeks ago, I didn’t even know what an API was.

I’ve had the chance to hear from different companies and developers, and I even had the opportunity to help teach Kids Code. My instructor, Tim—Timstructor, if you will—and community organizer, Erin (quite possibly one of the funniest people I’ve ever met), have been nothing but encouraging and helpful; I really couldn’t ask for a better team at TTS. On top of that, I’ve got a great group of classmates that are eager to learn and help each other out in the process, keeping each day of class fresh and interesting. I guess we’ve got our own little #TTSRALSquad (because we live in an era of hashtagging everything).

It hasn’t been easy, but nothing worth having ever comes easy. TTS has challenged me to learn things that were once completely foreign to me and to think in ways that I haven’t thought before.

I’m loving my TTS experience so far, and I look forward to learning even more in the final two weeks of class.

I know I’m well on my way to doing <big> something </big>.