Since his school years, Andrei had always wanted to work in tech, specialize in software development, and come up with innovative ideas. Instead, he found himself working as a tech support agent.
In hopes of turning his life around and pursuing a career that he was passionate about, Andrei enrolled in Codesmith, a top-tier coding school that offers immersive online and in-person programs in software engineering. With a family and a full-time job to balance, Andrei opted for the Part-Time Remote Immersive Software Engineering Program. Now, he works as a lead software engineer earning over $100,000 annually.
Here’s his story.
Tell us about your background. What were you doing before attending CodeSmith?
I was a tech support agent on the operations side at Verizon Wireless, where I helped customers, agents, and stores with operations, sales, and technical issues on a daily basis. Basically, a sales job focusing on solving technical issues in every call.
What motivated you to explore a new career or upskill in your existing field, and why did you decide to pick Codesmith?
I was at a point in my life where I felt that I wasn’t doing what I wanted. Since I was in school, I have always wanted to be in tech, build stuff, create ideas, or at least make them tangible. I wanted something challenging that involved more thinking and involvement on my part.
One day, one of my best friends talked to me about Codesmith. I called him and asked a million questions. After that, I knew I needed to be part of it ASAP because they have a part-time program, [which was perfect since] I have kids, a family, and a full-time job.
How did you finance your education, and what were some of your biggest considerations when making this choice?
Great question, and I feel it is important for every person to know this. You can get a loan and use it for tax returns. Make sure to do your research before pulling the trigger or using your savings. I asked about available financing, which institutions work with Codesmith, and what steps I had to take to get the loan with them.
What did you like about the program? Are there any highlights that stood out to you?
I liked the fact that it was the best decision I ever made professionally in my life. The Part-Time Immersive Program was a real challenge. I’m not going to lie. It took a lot of my time and my family’s time as well. If you have a family, I recommend you talk this through before doing it. Make sure to have a schedule in place for activities and me-time as well.
One of the things that this program teaches is that it’s okay to not know something. It also teaches you how to find solutions through the struggle. Understanding that the imposter syndrome is a post-it on your shoulder reminds you why you need to keep going and what the goal is.
This program gave me back the time I invested in it by offering me the tools to be part of the tech industry as a software engineer. Now, I have the time for my family, work, and personal business.
How did you fit the program into your schedule?
Every challenge needs a different approach, and I believe every person needs an inner circle in their life. That inner circle is my family. I spoke with my wife and friends, and the program gives you tips on what’s coming and how to overcome it. I set a schedule with my family and set some days just for them and others only for the program. Some might say, “That’s too much,” but I haven’t had regrets because of it yet.
Do you have any advice for someone considering this program?
My recommendations are:
- Set a schedule and make sure to follow it completely.
- Make sure you have a quiet space to work on the program. I recommend making this space a closed room. If not, get good headphones for noise cancelation.
- Make sure your family is on board with this long journey.
And, last but not least, ensure you are doing it because you like it, not just for the money (believe me, you will remember this).
How did the program support you in finding a job?
Codesmith has an amazing hiring team and alumni network. They made sure that we had all the tools to best position ourselves on the top of the job market. They taught us how to approach every interview, build a resume, and negotiate salaries. They also made themselves available when we needed feedback.
And I find it so wholesome that they’re always happy to hear from every alumni. They make sure you have everything you need.
Was the job search process different from what you expected?
It didn’t take a long time for me to get hired. That said, the job search can be a tough and overwhelming process if you are not mentally ready. Make sure to have people you can rely on to support you. Looking for a job can be a dark moment, but this program ensures you don’t feel alone during this process.
How many companies did you interview at? How did you choose which one to work with?
I interviewed with 15 companies. I stepped out of four of them because I didn’t like the way they managed the interview process. I recommend you follow your gut, and if you feel something is not right, don’t go there.
I got five offers, and it took me a week or so to make a decision. I chose my current company based on questions I asked, people, compensation, sign-ups, family time, and benefits.
What do you think is different about your life now versus before the program?
I’m doing what I like. I have time for my family and me. And I have an amazing team at work that supports me and encourages me to follow whatever path I choose, and pushes me every day to learn more.
What do you enjoy about working at your current company?
I get to work remotely from any part of the world. Work-life balance is key in my life and is part of my team’s goal. I enjoy taking part in my company retreats. Continuing education is a must in my company, and working from home gives me access to a lot of benefits.