From Barista to Uber Developer

A year ago, Mario Vargas was in Silicon Valley working hard and making minimum wage as a barista across the street from MongoDB offices. He had moved there with the goal to work in the tech industry one day. He often interacted with, and made coffee for, the developers that he hoped he’d eventually join as a colleague.

Trying the Traditional School Route

At the time that Mario was working as a barista, he was also in the process of finishing off college. But, he had always felt like the traditional school system wasn’t a good fit for him—especially classes that had nothing to do with computer science or programming.

After doing some research, he decided that he wanted to try a non-traditional route to learn how to code. Through his research, he discovered coding bootcamps as an option. Ultimately, he decided that DevMountain was the right fit for him.

Why Mario Chose to Go to DevMountain

“There are a bunch of coding bootcamps in the Bay Area, but when I really looked into DevMountain it just made the most sense,” Mario said. “It was the only place where I felt like I’d be fully immersed. With the [student housing at no extra cost], I could live across the street from DevMountain, not have to deal with hours of traffic and have much more time and energy to keep studying and coding.”

The Job Search

After graduating from DevMountain, looking for a job in the Bay Area was a little more challenging than Vargas originally expected. While there were a lot of job opportunities available, there were also a ton of developers with varied backgrounds applying. However, he had the confidence that he could be successful.

“I really felt prepared coming out of DevMountain,” Mario said. “I knew I had to work hard and continue to code, study and also stand out when my time for an interview came. The program not only gave me the confidence to learn new technologies but with help from Jeff Chapman, the DevMountain grad career coach, I felt very confident on how to apply for jobs in the most strategic and best way possible.”

After a lot of job searching and hard work, Mario secured three job offers that all looked like great opportunities, paying more than double what he was making as a Barista. He decided to accept an offer at a company that contracts web developers, where he was then placed on the team at Uber. In his role at the company, he focuses on email and full-stack web development.

Working For Uber

“The Uber team is awesome and treats their contractors as actual team members,” Mario said. “I work at Uber headquarters in San Francisco and I love it. I’m happy to be a part of something so great!”

A year later, and after a detour through Utah, Mario is now at the start of the career he had always dreamed of in Silicon Valley.

“I’m absolutely glad I chose DevMountain. It was the best decision I have ever made,” Mario said. “It’s still surreal today, to know that after DevMountain my whole life and career changed in the best way possible! If it wasn’t for DevMountain I know I wouldn’t be where I am at today. I would recommend DevMountain to anyone who is serious about learning how to code. If I can do it, you can do it, too. That’s something I can promise.”

Recommendations from Mario About Going to DevMountain

For anyone considering DevMountain, Mario has a few suggestions.

  1. “I highly recommend DevMountain. I would definitely do all the pre-course work as well as any other online resource you can find, and ultimately make sure you enjoy it programming.”
  2. “During the program, work hard and ask questions. The instructors and mentors will always take time to help you out.”
  3. “When group projects come along, do you best to be a great contributing team member. In the work world, a solid team is everything. And when things go wrong, it’s great to know your team has your back.”

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