From waiting tables to Army contractor: Fabian’s story

After waiting tables for two years and waiting for a the right career opportunity to present itself, 26 year-old Fabian Murillo found that the inspiration he’d been looking for was almost right in front of him.

“I was living in Charleston and my roommate and I were taking courses at the community college; I was doing Criminal Justice and Communications, and my roommate was doing IT,” Fabian said.  “One evening I just picked up one his textbooks and started flipping through it. It hit me so quickly, ‘I’m on a computer all the time, why have I never looked at computers before?’”

The realization that coding might be a way forward prompted Fabian to dive into research about coding. he was initially dismissive about the advertisements he began to see about The Iron Yard, but decided to investigate our courses after hearing a commercial on the radio.

“I applied to and interviewed at the Charleston campus, but after the interview and realizing how intense the course was, I actually moved back home to Columbia so that I could focus myself and give it my full attention,” he said.

Fabian enrolled in the February 2016 Front-End Engineering course at our Columbia, SC campus, and found that the stories he’d heard from all the graduates  he’d reached out to were true. “I reached out to a couple of graduates to ask what the program was really like. They told me the courses were really intense,  I wouldn’t be able to have a job, and that I’d have to work day and night. They were definitely right,” he said. 
“For the first 6 weeks I  did nothing but go to class, come home and work on my projects that I needed to get done,” Fabian continued. “I’d work late into the night, wake up, eat, do it all again the next day. Sometimes I would sleep during my lunch break just to make sure that I was learning as much as I could. I worked harder at The Iron Yard than I did most semesters of college. It sounds crazy, but I was also having a good time at the same time. It was fun trying to learn as much as I could.”

All of Fabian’s hard work paid off. While presenting his final project at Demo Day, Fabian’s app caught the attention of Logistics Systems Incorporated, a company that was attending Demo Day to look for new talent. “I’d done my final project with my friend Sarah, who was a student in the UI Design course. My now-boss came up to our table and started asking questions about our application. They were at Demo Day because they were looking for a developer, but they’d also recently started looking for a designer. Sarah actually ended up getting hired before me, but we more or less got hired within a week of each other.”  

Now working as a developer for Logistic Systems, Fabian (and Sarah) are both working full-time on a database storage application for the Army. “It’s a daily use application that will let them search for documentation.”


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