Before attending The Iron Yard and landing a job as a full stack junior developer at Apex Systems working for AT&T, Josiah DuBose worked in another type of technical role – as a motorcycle technician.
In addition to his work, Josiah was also pursuing a computer science major in a joint program between Wake Tech Community College and North Carolina State University. But after a friend who worked in the tech industry introduced him to The Iron Yard, he decided to change course. “The Iron Yard seemed like a quicker track to get employed as a developer than a traditional four year degree,” Josiah said.
So he began to research The Iron Yard’s reputation online, talking to people he knew in the Durham tech industry and going to the campus to get to know the staff. Ultimately, Josiah decided this was the best option for him to get the education he needed to pursue the career he wanted. In October 2016, Josiah enrolled in the Back-End Engineering with Python course at The Iron Yard’s Durham campus.
“It was a huge learning experience for me on a lot of different levels,” Josiah said. “I learned how to be comfortable in an environment where you don’t know anything; I learned how to learn something totally new; I learned how to teach myself new languages quickly; and I learned how to apply concepts right as I was introduced to them.”
“It was hard, but it was a great experience,” he continued. “My instructor really challenged and pushed me to go above and beyond what I thought I was capable of. The support system on campus was incredible and the staff constantly checked in to see how I was doing.”
And like many of our students, Josiah had ‘a-ha’ moments that helped him break through challenges. “I feel like I had almost daily ‘a-ha’ moments,” Josiah said. “But the biggest hurdle for me was getting over my ‘imposter syndrome’ and not thinking I was smart enough to learn this or smart enough to be considered for developer jobs. I always like to be the expert and the one people go to with questions, but with something as vast as programming, I had to get comfortable with not always knowing the answer.”
“I’m not actually doing Python – the language I learned in school – but I was prepared to learn new things rapidly so that I wasn’t limited to the language I studied.”
While Josiah is just starting his career as a developer, he already has big ambitions for the future, “I would like to be a senior developer in five years. I enjoy my job because I love the coding part of it, so I want to stay on the coding side of things.”