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From Industrial R&D To Python Developer

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Before becoming a python developer at Comcast, Hackbrighter Tora Srikka worked in industrial R&D on optical sensors and materials. She then quit her job to prioritize programming. Here’s how her journey went and advice she had for future software engineers.

What were you doing before Hackbright?

I worked in industrial R&D on optical sensors and materials. I planned, led, and executed research, which included software engineering adjacent tasks like designing databases, and building data gathering and analysis pipelines. Eventually, this opened an opportunity to work part-time for an internal agile software engineering team as a python developer.

Why’d you decide to join a coding bootcamp and what was your experience like?

My goal was to learn software engineering to increase the impact of my work by solving problems that require an understanding of multiple engineering and scientific disciplines. I decided to devote my full attention to learning software engineering so I quit my job and found a way to take my programming skills to the next level, with the help of Hackbright’s awesome curriculum, supportive environment, and knowledgeable mentors! It was an intense, interesting, frustrating, and overall amazing experience. Being surrounded by incredible women who all believe in themselves and were taking charge of their careers was inspiring and empowering!

How’d you land your new role and do you have any tips?

I divided my time between interview prep, applying for jobs, and interviewing. For interview prep, I completed Leetcode Learn modules and problems, wrote down answers to interview questions, worked on “my story,” and managed to get a couple of mock interviews from friends and mentors in the field. After graduating, it took me two months of intense job hunting to find the right fit. All in all I applied to 100+ jobs, completed 5 take home challenges, did 30+ tech screens, made it to 7 on-site interviews, and got two offers, of which I accepted one.

The job I am at now was brought to me by a recruiter after we had built a relationship with each other over a couple of weeks. They first reached out to me on LinkedIn regarding a job that wasn’t a good fit but gave me the chance to talk about what I am interested in. My tip is to take calls also regarding positions that might not be the right fit.

What’s your advice for current and future software engineering students?

If you are curious about making a career switch to programming, I highly encourage you to explore it. There are paths there for everyone, regardless of whether or not you have tech experience.

A bootcamp goes by quickly. I would encourage everyone to learn as much as possible about data structures, algorithms, and/or a programming language before attending one. That way you can focus more of your time there on learning how to apply those skills to solve larger problems, something that is harder to learn online.

Want to learn more?

Want to transition into tech like Tora? We can help you prepare in 12-26 weeks in our part-time or full-time Software Engineering Course.

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