Hello everyone, I wanted to share my story here. I just started to work for JP Morgan Chase last week. I want this story to be a reference point to measure yourself and motivate you. It’s a long story, but let’s start.
First of all, I want to thank Clint Myer, a member of FCC in Dallas for helping and advocating me along the way. He has given me a lot of advice and referred me to opportunities he knew. He is the one know the process I’ve been through.
A little bit about me. I graduated from Community college with an Associate Degree in Web n Internet Services last year in May 2019. That’s a degree didn’t help me much in job searching. While I wasn’t really active on FCC, I did read a lot of posts about success stories and learn about people getting in the field without a 4-years degree. While I was in college, I often study to code on Udemy besides formal classes.
After graduation, it was really tough seeking for a job. I applied hundreds of applications only to get a few interviews that I failed. I even went to some meet up events to network with people. I reached out to people on the FCC group in Dallas and asked for help and advice. This was when I met Clint had helped me to refined my portfolio website. He also helped me seek out more opportunities.
I met an AVP from a GM financial company who said his company is hiring React Developer from any levels. I contacted him and he said if I could help him build a chatbot with the API he provided. After messaging back and forth, that API didn’t work out. I had to find another API for him and build that bot using Azure API and deployed it on the Azure cloud. I showcased him, he said he liked it and he’ll show it to his boss. But after that, he ghosted me for a long time (6 months) and then he came back to ask me to get a certificate. That’s frustrating and uncleared so I picked another route.
The second solution I tried to go to UTD for one semester and see if it worked. It didn’t work, the curriculum made me study all the redundant classes which I didn’t even need or even practical. It may help some other people but it didn’t help me a lot. So I quit UTD and keep finding another way. I kept going to meetups. On the journey, I even did a pro bono job for an NGO so as it would be good for my resume.
I found out Merit America, which was an NGO Java Bootcamp. Their promised to help me find a job. I didn’t have to pay anything until I found a job. It’s a rare opportunity and it’s hard to believe. I was reluctant to apply but after measuring all the possible cases, I felt I didn’t have anything to lose to apply. So I did. The entry process of the program was tough, you had to do multiple assessments so they would know if you would fit. After finishing the program, they introduced me to some of the employer’s partners including JP Morgan Chase. Next thing you know, I went through 3 interviews with JPMC and nailed it.
I’m writing this because I see this program is really good and it’s a rare opportunity that you can come across. Even if you don’t choose to do so, the key to getting a job in tech is networking. You had to learn to improve your resume, your interviewing skills, and how to present yourself the best when the opportunities come. It’s good to get to know someone in the field and have they introduce you to the company. I met a lot of developers that have no degree but still work in the field. They all know somebody and got referred.
TLDR: I had an Associate Degree in programming but it didn’t help me find a job. I study my ass off and seeking the opportunities a lot after graduation. I went to meetups, asked for help from people in the fields, volunteered to projects, etc. Then I found Merit America Bootcamp and they helped me found a job.
PS: If you want to get to know me more dm me and we’ll connect on LinkedIn. Thanks.