After several years of working full-time as an Uber driver, Olujinmi Ayoade wanted something more—a more flexible career and a more financially rewarding one. To reach this goal, Olujinmi enrolled at Yellow Tail Tech and joined its Linux For Jobs program. He completed his internship program, developed his portfolio, and got a job with Zoom where he earns over $100,000 a year.
Here’s his story.
Tell us about your background. What were you doing before attending Yellow Tail Tech?
I worked as an Uber driver full-time. That’s what I relied on for income. I made money through Uber and then came home to spend time with my family. I always wanted to do something different, something more…I wanted flexibility with my time. Working for Uber gave me that while allowing me to earn a decent income still. Uber was great, but it wasn’t something I wanted to do long-term.
What motivated you to explore a new career or upskill in your existing field, and why did you decide to pick Yellow Tail Tech?
I never wanted to be an Uber driver for the rest of my life. Since I love computers and working out and other stuff, I had to decide which one to focus on. I decided that IT would be the best path for me, so I started looking for IT companies. I found Yellow Tail Tech at the perfect time, and now I am in the perfect job.
How did you finance your education, and what were some of your biggest considerations when making this choice?
I already had some money saved up, so it wasn’t an issue. I also saw the tuition reimbursement guarantee, which made me decide to push through. I thought, even if it doesn’t work out for me, I’ll give myself the best shot at seeing a return on investment. All that said, I went with the loan because I didn’t want to pay off that huge amount in one shot.
What did you like about the program? Are there any highlights that stood out to you?
I loved how you get to communicate with the instructor. You can ask questions and get answers immediately. I learned that it is okay not to have the answers to all the questions. It helped me move forward. The fact that I can connect with other students and work out difficult concepts together is very significant to me. I shared what I understood, and they shared what they understood. It made us better.
How did you fit the program into your schedule?
I found the hours to be flexible since I could take the classes two nights per week from 7pm to 9pm. Since I was working for Uber, flexibility in my schedule was not an issue. I don’t know how well it worked for others, but for me, it was pretty simple to fit the program into my schedule.
Can you give us any examples of projects that you worked on during the program?
During my internship…I learned how to do research properly to find the right information and how to be more specific in my research. It is important to be specific to get a good answer. There were times when I couldn’t get the right answers but knowing that I made an effort was a great thing already.
Do you have any advice for someone considering this program?
If you’re ready to make a change in your life and you’re at that point where you want to focus and make changes, then go for it. Make the time to study, don’t just rely on class schedules. You want to make time to practice and study outside of class.
Did you find a new position after the program?
I found a new job [as a site reliability engineer for Zoom].
How did the program support you in finding a job?
The program helped me to develop my resume and navigate job interviews. We practiced mock interviews, which were helpful in this process. I’m grateful for that. It was helpful because it’s one thing to go over certain things in your head and know them, but it’s another thing to let it out of your mouth, right? Saying it out loud and making sure it makes sense without stuttering every time is a big thing.
Was the job search process different from what you expected?
The job search process was not different. I didn’t expect the number of recruiters who would reach out to me because of my resume. They wanted to talk to me and vet me to see if I was right for their company, and then I got to the interviews.
Interviewers want to talk to you, find out what you know, how well you do your job, and see how long you’ve held a position. The interview process was pretty much the same for me: You apply for a job and hope that you get a callback.
How many companies did you interview at? How did you choose which one to work with?
I had no idea what to expect when I started looking for a new job. I didn’t know if I would get any responses or how many interviews it would take to find a good fit. I think I had three or four interviews at most.
Zoom was the first one that responded to me. And I had a timeline in my head about getting a job at a certain time. So, I was going to accept whoever came along first. Zoom’s job offer fell in line with my timeline, so I took it.
How are the skills you gained from the course useful in your current career?
I’ve applied what I learned to my job, from the most basic command to the more detailed understanding. Understanding the system is also very important because there’s a lot of troubleshooting in my line of work. I’m grateful because even though I started without an IT background, I am now working in such a field.
What do you think is different about your life now versus before the program?
The difference would be I’m busier now. There is a lot to learn, especially different procedures because there’s a lot in the IT environment. Learning how my current environment works is important because I can’t just be here and change everything. I need to be able to learn how they do things.
I’m constantly asking questions because it’s always nice to know how to do things the right way, rather than not asking and doing it the wrong way.
What do you find fulfilling about your current line of work?
I like the team I’m working with because they’re very helpful, and there’s not that much pressure. The manager wants to get the job done, and we all work together to make sure that happens. I also like to work here because there are many growth opportunities.
What do you enjoy about working at your current company?
There’s no such thing as office politics…You just have to get the job done. I work remotely, so that’s also a perk of my current job.
Do you have any job search advice for someone considering a career in your field?
My advice would be while you’re on the job search, you should also constantly practice your craft until you get the job because you have to make sure that you are the right fit. Also, a rejection does not necessarily mean you’re not good. In my opinion, it only means you’re not the one for that position.