“I knew the world a little bit, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
After four years as a registered nurse, Rebecca Broekhuis knew it was time to make a change. Spending 12 hours each day on her feet and working nights and holidays often left her feeling exhausted and uncertain about where she was headed in her chosen profession.
“I didn’t see a future in it and didn’t know where I was going with it,” Rebecca said.
The 26-year-old “wanted a new challenge” and thought a career in coding might provide just the change she was looking for. She dabbled with a couple of programming courses in college, and it is even a bit of a Broekhuis tradition.
“A lot of people in my family are software developers,” Rebecca said. “I knew the world a little bit, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Challenges and Rewards
Rebecca discovered The Software Guild through exceptional online reviews from current and former apprentices. She said her brother even worked with several Software Guild graduates who had nothing but positive things to say about their experiences.
That was enough to convince Rebecca. She enrolled in The Software Guild’s 12-week Java coding bootcamp at the Minneapolis campus. As a coding amateur, Rebecca said grasping all of the unfamiliar material was indeed a challenge, but “it was also really rewarding.”
“Everything was brand new and came at you really quickly,” she recalled. “The only thing you could do was keep going and take it as it comes.”
With the help of her Software Guild instructors, Rebecca endured, completing the Java bootcamp and landing a job as a software developer with Best Buy. And she’s not the only Guildie there.
“I work with three other [Software Guild] grads in my department,” Rebecca said. “It’s been really helpful to have other Software Guild grads around to help get me where I need to be.” They often get lunch together to discuss their new jobs, she added.
Not only does she have other former apprentices to rely on for help when she needs it, Rebecca also has access to her Software Guild instructors. “They are open to helping Guildies even after we are gone from there,” she said.
Rebecca’s new role as a software developer has benefited her professional life and her personal life as well. The move from working long 12-hour days to a more traditional 9-to-5 job has allowed Rebecca to add a long-awaited family member.
“I got a puppy,” she said. “My fiance and I had been wanting one for a long time, but my job prevented it.”
As for her professional future, Rebecca said she would like to one day incorporate her old career with her new one.
“I want to bring it back to health care and apply my prior knowledge to software development,” she said.
Looking back at her coding bootcamp experience, Rebecca said the most critical takeaway was learning how to persevere and not get discouraged when faced with difficult new material. “Overall, I know how to deal with challenging situations,” she said.
And she encouraged all prospective Software Guild students to “keep an open mind” going into a bootcamp.
“It definitely was a challenge, but it was also really rewarding,” Rebecca said. “I learned so much.”