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From Consulting to Coding: Making a Career Change & Finding Your Creative Side

December 18, 2019

2 min read

Written by Melissa Carter

Today we're catching up with Miguel on how he found Juno, why he decided to dive into tech, and his advice for those looking to make a career change.

Miguel Bautista graduated from Juno’s Web Development Immersive Bootcamp in the Summer of 2015. At the time, Juno was known as HackerYou, and Miguel was part of Cohort 7 - a dedicated group of students all looking to make a career change into web development.

Before Juno, Miguel was an Enterprise Resource Planning Software Consultant. That’s quite a mouthful, but ultimately Miguel spent his days managing Fixed Assets and Accounts Receivable, and checking in with clients to ensure their software was being customized to fit their specific needs.

“This was quite the slog, and was very unrewarding for someone who knew that they could be more creative - working within the strictures of an established solution felt very stifling. The hours were also very demanding and we were expected to come in on weekends and holidays if the client's timing was critical. Don't get me wrong, the people I met during those years of work are still some of my closest friends - but it really was the work that I found unfulfilling.”

After five and a half years in Software Consulting, Miguel decided that he needed to make a change. He was feeling quite down, lost, and confused after some unfortunate circumstances in his personal life, and was struggling to find something that would give him a new set of experiences and allow him to be creative - but wouldn’t cause burn out like his consulting career had.

I decided to change careers due to the fact that I was constantly taking home work, and finding it stressful to suppress my own creative freedoms to align myself with a large, corporate tool that made me feel very small. I wasn’t a talented musician, artist, writer, or poet - so I thought development would be a great way to express some of my own creativity and problem solving.

Miguel had worked with developers before - even managing a small team of them at one point, and had been told that he had a natural affinity for speaking developer jargon and reading code - even without understanding it. He realized that Web Development might be exactly what he was looking for. Instead of writing or creating music, he could get creative by writing code.

Miguel knew Web Development was the path he wanted to pursue - next he just had to figure out how. It was then that Miguel’s sister, a graduate of Cohort 3 of Juno’s Bootcamp, told him about Juno. He was excited about the inclusive space, the acceptance of different working styles, and the promise of a successful career.

After a little consideration Miguel took the plunge, enrolling in Cohort 7 of Juno’s Bootcamp. He fell in love with Web Development, and with Juno, and was grateful for the Juno instructors, who he says have always been patient, empathetic and open-minded people.

Student Stories

About Miguel’s Journey

  • Before Juno

    Enterprise Resource Planning Software Consultant

  • After Juno

    Front-End Developer at Spongelab

  • Currently

    Manager of Web Development

    ecobee

After graduation, Miguel got a job as a Front-End Developer at a company called Spongelab. This company focused on creating educational videogames and interactive experiences that inspired young people to get into STEM. He enjoyed development more than consulting because when he had full control over his output, was able to problem solve, and was able to manage his own schedule.

Five years later, Miguel is now happy to carry the title of Manager, Web Development at ecobee - a Canadian startup focused on creating smart thermostats. Miguel is one of three managers there working under the Director of Web, and though he codes less today than he did in his previous roles, he’s happy to be co-leading a team.

As a Manager, I am able to engage the part of me that loves to help and to listen to people. That's why I am enjoying management a bit more than pure development. But, to be clear - I would not be a Manager of developers if I didn't become a developer myself, first.

Since graduation, Miguel hasn’t only excelled in his career, but has returned to Juno to give back to the Bootcamp program on an ongoing basis, becoming one of our most active Alumni. Over the years, Miguel has done it all: participated in mentoring sessions on specific topics known, at Juno, as fishbowls; been a regular Bootcamp Buddy, partnering with students to provide support throughout the Bootcamp process; providing online support and troubleshooting to students on Slack; participating in career panels focused on preparing students for their job search; and even creating and running Lunch-and-Learns focused on giving students additional learning outside of class hours.

Juno was there for me during an extremely tough and low point in my life. It was the supportive community and the structured, yet very progressive learning environment that allowed me to rediscover myself and keep myself going, instead of continuing down a destructive spiral.

"The least that I can do is to share my experiences and build an empathetic bridge to help others feel safe, secure, and supported. Selfishly, helping others makes me feel fulfilled and improves my mood quite a bit so there's that positive feedback loop there too.”

Today, Miguel continues to give back, and has learned some valuable lessons from his experience at Juno and his career as a developer. His advice for those considering a career change into tech, or those about to graduate from Juno’s Bootcamp is this:

“Tech is a large universe bounded inside a small word; Take an inventory of what it is you want to find in a job, stick to that list and be honest to yourself about it. Use that knowledge of yourself bluntly and ruthlessly - if a job has too many things you dislike - just keep looking - never subsume or suppress your true self to justify a job. Tech can be a bit scary, but with places like Juno and communities like the Juno alum community - you need not self-discover alone.”

Ready to make a career change into tech like Miguel?

We’ve doubled the number of Bootcamp sessions in 2020, so we’ll be helping more people than ever break into the tech industry. Book a call with a Student Success Consultant now to talk about your goals and how Juno can help you reach them.

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