Inspired by her brother receiving multiple job offers after graduating with a degree in computer science from Kent State University, Sophia Arnold, 20, began to research the coding industry. She planned to earn the same degree at Kent State, but along with a full-time job, it became too much of a time commitment. Although she had never coded before, she was interested in the expanding industry and the fact that she could grow in the career.

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Sophia first learned of The Software Guild through her father, who works for Open Practice Solutions, a company in The Software Guild network. He met a Guild graduate who had one of the highest ever scores on an employment screening aptitude test and was impressed by the Guild background. Per her father’s recommendation, Sophia decided to enroll in the Software Guild .NET cohort offered in Akron.

Once instruction began, Sophia really enjoyed how supportive everyone in her cohort was. “Everyone was in the same boat,” she said. “There was no intense competition because we all wanted to see each other succeed.”

The supportive and motivating atmosphere proved to be extremely important to Sophia. “There is nothing more distracting than being around someone who doesn’t care,” she said.

Despite being the only female in her class, Sophia says she never felt treated differently. “It was all a feel-good experience. There was never any shortage of people to help me understand.” The front-end HTML and CSS were some of her favorite parts to learn, along with using front-end interaction with the Battleship project. “Altogether, it was cool to be able to take a few sentences of instruction and build a viable product, like we did with our capstone project,” she said.

When asked how she felt about the overall experience, Sophia mentioned, “I appreciated that our instruction extended past coding. We had resume reviews and mock interviews to help us prepare for what would come after graduation.”

Sophia is now preparing for her new career at AmTrust in downtown Cleveland. Her team, which will work on Angular, is also composed of Software Guild graduates, a fact Sophia is pleased about. “I’m excited to use my skills on more than school projects and gaining perspective from more experienced people,” she said.

Sophia says she’d eventually like to expand to other languages and return to college for a mathematics degree, but she’s happy with what’s currently on her plate.

“It was a lot of work to get here,” Sophia said after completing her cohort in October. “I had to save up a good amount of money, but it definitely paid off.”

Coding bootcamps such as The Software Guild offer an outcomes-focused, intensive learning environment for those interested in programming careers.