“I saw web development getting big...but I didn’t have any industry experience.”
Alan Ho, 38, was ready for a change after working in financial services in California for about 10 years. Born in Hong Kong, Alan went to college in Canada and earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science. He also had an MBA.
“I saw web development getting big,” Alan said about his decision to make a career switch. “There were lots of new languages. But I didn’t have any industry experience.”
Discovering The Software Guild
Alan discovered The Software Guild’s Chief Academic Officer, Eric Wise, on Quora. “After reading the questions he was answering, I found him knowledgeable and passionate in teaching,” said Alan.
After learning that The Software Guild helps students get jobs in software development, Alan applied. He was accepted into the coding bootcamp and joined 13 other students in a .NET/C# cohort in Akron, Ohio. They learned from Instructor Dave Balzer, who was friendly, supportive and knowledgeable.
“Dave made sure we all understood what we were learning,” Alan said. “All the students had the opportunity to learn what we were supposed to learn before moving on to the next topic. You get to decide how much effort you’re going to put in.”
Developing a Career
At the employer meet-and-greet event, Alan met a representative from CardinalCommerce. He interviewed and accepted a position at the company. At CardinalCommerce, he used Java and worked with more experienced developers to build his skills.
“While I learned C# at The Software Guild, Java and C# are very similar,” Alan said. “The Software Guild gave me the knowledge and skill set to get my first job in development.”
In January 2017, Alan began working for Amazon, where he is a software development engineer. He develops and updates his team’s product for internal clients and is on call for internal issues. When customers send in tickets, Alan investigates the problems and comes up with a solution for the customer.
“I like creating something that people like to use and that can help them to get their job done more efficiently,” he said.
He’s using skills from the coding bootcamp like agile development, unit testing and Git. And while he’s using different languages, he is still using the object oriented programming he was taught.
At Amazon, there are new products and new people every week. Alan is excited about the internal opportunities for both his career and personal growth.
“I made a career change in my late 30s and put in a lot of time and effort,” Alan said. “I would tell aspiring junior developers to not be afraid of asking questions. My code failed many times, but I didn’t give up. I’m even learning new languages still today. Being a developer is a journey of constant learning.”