Last Wednesday we celebrated International Women’s Day and the many social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We also celebrated the future of women in tech as one of our recent DC grads, Jess Dembe, signed an offer for her first job as a developer with Blackstone Technology Group! Jess shared her story on her blog, Jess Can Code. Read her post below:
First and foremost, Happy International Women’s Day! This year, I celebrated by signing an offer sheet for my very first tech job!
This is in stark contrast International Women’s Day 2016 when I learned that I didn’t get into graduate school. Funny how life works, right?
I don’t know how it dawned on me about that date. I only remembered that date a few days ago after my 4418383403209 attempt to clean out my e-mail. Then I remembered all the feelings–I remember how I felt that I had no direction. I remember how I thought that not going back to school would set me back two years. At this point, I had started to re-learn basic code and I was hoping that I could use that to distract myself from my most recent failure. Back to today, I worked hard enough at it that now, it is an actual career! One where I didn’t have to go back to school formally, but I made a decision to leave my job with regular (albeit not great) income to learn an entire industry. Who would have thought!?!
Through all the struggle, tears I cried, times when I thought that the decision I made wasn’t the right one, one phone call with “we would love to have you on the team” made it all worth it! I start Monday as an Associate Technical Consultant for a IT consulting firm in the Washington, D.C area. I’m not sure what will be more difficult–coding bootcamp, or my first year in the tech industry.
For all you self-taught, non-traditional software developers and engineers out there. Keep going. The hours you put in will be worth it once you sign that offer sheet for that job that you wanted so bad. For all of those who, like me, are signing that first offer sheet, keep grinding, keep pushing. Set new goals and objectives. You have yet to meet your greatest expectations!
I want to take this time to anyone I have ever ranted to about how hard this journey is/was going to be. I really appreciate people being present in one of the most difficult, challenging periods of my life to date. Thank you for being there when I ranted, said something that wasn’t quite right, questioned myself, and believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I truly appreciate it.
Also, to you reader, thank you for letting me know that you read this. For letting me know that this was inspiring. I don’t really see myself as an inspiration, just someone who is trying to figure out this thing called life. However, if I was able to help someone, it was definitely worth it.
I don’t know why that last paragraph reads as a “goodbye” of sorts. I’m going to still be here writing on the weirdest schedule ever. I just needed to get the thank yous out!
Until next time.
Read more of Jess’ blog here.