Meet Christie Jensen
Among many other things, Christie Jensen is a Devmountain alumna and mom. She’s now also a software engineer working in a career she loves. You can check out her LinkedIn profile here.
Bio: Creative and people-oriented software engineer with experience in full-stack web development, web hosting technologies, and personal development through therapeutic processes. A team player with a passion for continual learning and growth, committed to developing a culture of positivity and inclusivity.
We had a chance to interview Christie about her life before, during, and after Devmountain. How she was able to change her career while being a busy mom by believing in herself and finding the right tech community that wanted her to succeed as much as she did. Here’s what she had to say.
What Led You to Devmountain?
Once I decided I wanted to get into web development, I started taking programming classes at a local university. After two semesters of working and going to school, I knew I wanted a more career-focused, fast-paced track than traditional education can offer.
My brother works in tech and he told me about someone at his work who had come from Devmountain and was excelling at their company. I realized that a short, intensive, career-focused education was the best fit for me. Seeing someone who had graduated Devmountain and was working in the industry, and doing well, inspired me.
When I applied for Devmountain, I was nervous about doing something so intensive in a remote environment. However, not only are the programs well-equipped to support all levels of learners remotely, I gained valuable skills in remote development that have helped me at my current job.
What Were You Doing Before Attending Devmountain?
I have an undergraduate degree in psychology. Before attending Devmountain, I was working as a wilderness therapy guide for Red Cliff Ascent. I spent every other week backpacking with at-risk teens in Utah’s beautiful desert. The transition to sleeping indoors all the time (and showering regularly) was a lot of change. I found support through talking with the other members of my cohort who were also making complete career shifts.
Did You Ever Think You’d Be Interested in Software Engineering?
I had an interest in software engineering a few years before starting Devmountain. It took me a while because I never truly believed that it was something that I could do. I had an idea of the type of person who is a good fit for software engineering and I couldn’t imagine that being me.
My biggest hurdle was getting in the mindset that I can do anything if I am willing to work hard enough and have the right resources and support to learn. I loved my previous career but if I could change anything, I would have been brave enough to start at Devmountain sooner!
What Are You Doing Now That You’ve Graduated?
The Outcomes team at Devmountain gave us weekly lectures on how to actually land a job in tech. As a result, I had a LinkedIn profile and resume ready to go before I even graduated. I learned how to talk to recruiters and how to negotiate a salary. Toward the end of the cohort, I reached out to the people at Vasion on LinkedIn and asked for a building tour and told them I wanted to apply when I graduated. They told me to apply, gave me a tour, invited me back for a technical interview, and then gave me a job offer starting the Monday after graduation. Working as a software engineer at Vasion has been a dream come true!
What’s Your Favorite Part of Your New Career?
My favorite part of my new career is being part of developing and maintaining software that real people actually use. After weeks of doing work for learning, it’s awesome to get on actual projects. At Vasion, our software eliminates print servers through delivering a serverless printing infrastructure that alleviates a lot of stress and hassle on IT professionals. We just released digital transformation tools including e-signature, workflow, capture, and storage. All of these came about because ambitious people saw a need and created a solution.
We all have an innate desire to create. Combining that desire with the power of technology makes each day equally challenging and rewarding. As a single mom, I now have the financial freedom to comfortably provide a good life for my son. Vasion offers a flexible lifestyle that allows me to be a mom and an engineer and I am encouraged to excel at both. Also, at our building we have an indoor basketball court, arcade, soda fountain, and free food. It’s awesome.
What Other Hobbies Do You Have Besides Coding?
When I’m not confiding in a rubber duck about my code, I can be found playing in Southern Utah’s red dirt; sleeping under the stars and climbing on rocks. This area is a desert playground and I love it! I also recently discovered Star Wars, as I was informed, it’s as important to my stack as React and Node.
Was the Uncertainty Worth the Effort?
Absolutely, yes. 100%. At one point, I was too far in the program to turn around but not far enough to see the light at the end. I really doubted whether I would be able to succeed. It’s uncomfortable to be learning something new every day and not being good at it right away. My instructor always told me to trust the process. Trust that if you put in the time, the concepts will click. Trust that if you follow the career advice from Outcomes, you can get a job. Trust that you are capable of succeeding in this field.
If you can embrace that uncertainty and let it motivate you, you’ll do great. Fun fact, that feeling carries into the workplace! You will always be learning something new under pressure. Devmountain taught me how to manage that feeling instead of being paralyzed by it. It’s been a huge asset in my ability to succeed in my current role.
Do You Have Any Advice for Future Bootcamp Students?
Start before you think you are ready! Devmountain is a great program for learning how to code and land a job in the tech industry. The most important thing you will get from Devmountain will be the relationships.
At Devmountain, you instantly gain a network of hundreds of people who are doing what you want to be doing. Prioritize building those relationships! Reach out to alumni. Spend time getting to know the people in your cohort. Talk to each other about how hard it is, celebrate successes together, cheer each other on, be real about how much time you spent crying last night and how scary it is to take the leap into a new career. They will understand you in a way that no one else does! Get help early and often. Most importantly, enjoy the ride!
How Can a Coding Bootcamp Change Your Life?
Hundreds have already changed their lives. Thinking of changing your career? Check out Devmountain’s full-time, 16-week courses in Web Development, Java, Python, or Data Analytics. You might be surprised to discover you can fit learning a new skill into your busy life.
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Does Devmountain Offer Scholarships? Yes!