Meet Caillie West, a Bootcamp Grad from Cohort 12. We had the opportunity to chat with Caillie about her experience when she joined Juno (HackerYou as we were known at the time) to learn coding in Fall of 2016. If you’re thinking about taking our Web Development Immersive Bootcamp, Caillie’s story can help shed a little light on how learning programming can change your career trajectory!
Juno: What was your job Before Juno?
Before Juno, I worked as a Master Control Operator at a cable TV station. My job was to make sure television shows went to air at the proper times and to ensure quality control.
Juno: So interesting! We appreciate you ensuring our favourite shows were beamed to us! What was your first job after graduation?
After graduating from Juno, I worked as a Freelance WordPress Developer for a little under a year and a half. During that time, I took on some of my own clients and built WordPress themes from scratch. I also did a couple contracts for companies in various roles.
Juno: What do you do today?
Today I work as a Marketing Assistant at Delicious Brains Inc. and I love it. The company builds plugins for WordPress including WP Migrate DB Pro, WP Offload Media and WP Offload SES. Recently, we also launched a web app called SpinupWP, which allows WordPress developers to spin up a server to host their sites.
I love the variety that comes with the position. As you can imagine, with a few different products and a small company, there’s always something new to work on.
I do some customer support, some work in the WordPress admin, some SEO work and many other marketing related duties whether it’s improvements, working towards a new release or launching a new product. I really appreciate that the company is fully remote (which seems to be becoming more and more common, especially in the tech world) which allows for more flexibility than an office job.
Juno: We love that the Canadian tech industry is on the forefront of employee benefits. Another good reason to consider joining the industry! What were you doing before you decided to apply to our Immersive Web Development course?
Before I decided to apply to Juno, I had been working at a cable station for about five years.
Juno: What problem were you trying to solve by coming to Juno?
I actually loved my job before Bootcamp. I found the broadcasting world fascinating and exciting. Through my position before Juno, I had to learn some basic HTML which piqued my interest. That coupled with more and more of the position becoming automated by machines, led me to the decision to pursue coding.
Juno: Why did you choose Juno? We’re so happy you did!
I had a friend who was in one of the very early cohorts of Juno (HackerYou as it was known at the time). Before that, I didn’t even know these coding bootcamps existed.
The fact you could get such a good introduction in just nine weeks was a big motivator too. It meant I wouldn’t have to take too much time off work and I could get back to the working world sooner and continue to build my career.
I contacted my friend to get the lowdown on Juno and she couldn’t have spoken more highly about it. I still did some research on other Bootcamps in Ontario but the reviews really set Juno apart. I kept hearing that Juno was great for not only learning to code but also providing a supportive, friendly community. The community part sounded great but I was really just there to learn to code. After a couple weeks, I found myself raving to others about the community.
Juno: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone contemplating a career change and thinking about getting into tech?
First off, I’d say to, of course, do your research. There’s mounds of information out there so you can really make an informed decision. It’s a huge decision to pivot from your area of comfort to this new world so you want to be sure. From my experience, it’s been an extremely friendly industry to break into. There certainly isn’t a shortage of jobs, so you can find relief in that.
While I didn’t take advantage of it because I worked as a freelancer right out of Juno, they have great resources and are really there for you after you graduate. It isn’t just nine weeks and you’re done. It’s nine weeks for the Bootcamp but they’re there for you for the long haul.
Another important point is while a coding career is one incredible option, going to Juno can also open many other doors. Coding can be handy knowledge to have even if it isn’t your day-to-day duties. Take my position for example - I don’t have to code pages from scratch but having coding knowledge is helpful. I don’t believe I’d be in the position I’m in today if I hadn’t gone to Juno. Taking a bootcamp can help you with any position related to coding eg. marketing, customer support and many more. Keep an open mind!
Juno: What was your favourite part of Juno?
I think many Juno grads would say this but - the people. Both the students and the staff. I made some friends in my class who I still see on a regular basis. The staff were all very friendly and create an atmosphere where you always feel welcome and are excited to be a part of. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a dog-friendly office right?