Back to Student Stories

Student Stories: From Writing Copy to Writing Code

April 29, 2020

3 min read

Written by Sennah Yee

This month, Noel Matta is celebrating two years at Jonas Software. He landed a six-month contract role as a Content Designer only one month after graduating from Juno College’s nine-week Web Development Immersive Bootcamp in 2018. Once his contract ended, he was signed on as a full-time Web Designer.

Before becoming a Web Designer, Noel was busy working as a copywriter for a marketing agency, and juggling many side hustles: Wordpress admin for various companies, graphic design for a printing business, even making and selling custom T-shirts!

While he enjoyed copywriting, he couldn’t see himself in the advertising industry long-term. He didn’t feel like he fit in with the culture, and was struggling to find a good work-life balance.

Noel had some experience with websites and graphic design while receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in New Media at University of Toronto and his Advertising Certificate from Seneca College - this led to one of his side jobs of providing occasional Wordpress support for companies.

“After landing a few of those jobs, it made me want to explore the tech world in full force,” Noel explains.

He started looking up job postings, but found that the tools and skills required in web development had changed drastically since what he had learned at UofT 10 years ago.

“I was now seeing so many acronyms and frameworks that I didn't know where to even start learning.”

Noel began watching free coding tutorials in between work and his side jobs. While these resources helped refresh some of his HTML and CSS knowledge, he still found himself needing more structure and focus if he ever hoped to dive into development as a career path.

“For things like Git, React, and APIs, I just couldn't study on a frequent basis to absorb it all, and couldn’t put it into practice with a portfolio.”

Noel knew it was time to make a big change! He had heard about Juno (known as HackerYou at the time) through Facebook and an acquaintance who was a Bootcamp Alum.

One weekend I visited Juno's website and saw that the syllabus for their full-time Bootcamp program covered everything that I felt I needed to learn, and more."

"I also liked how it was structured so that you would have a great entry-level portfolio by the end of the program, which was something I really needed guidance with,” he adds.

Noel researched other bootcamp options, but found that Juno stood out to him the most - particularly the selective admissions process that allows each cohort to be rounded out with a diverse group of highly motivated and skilled students.

“I didn't want to be in a program where just anyone could just get in. I had already been to school twice by this point, and didn't want to waste time in a classroom where everyone was on a different level, to say the least. Also, the 2-3 month duration was a draw, and Juno’s website had all their grads listed with the jobs they landed after graduation - so I knew it worked!”

After browsing Juno Alumni portfolios and LinkedIn profiles to see everyone’s career paths and successes, Noel decided to take the plunge and apply.

I was determined to get myself out of my current position and change my life.

Student Stories

About Noel’s Journey

  • Previous Education

    University of Toronto, Honours Bachelor of Arts, English and New Media Studies

  • Before Juno

    Copywriter

  • After Juno

    Web Content Designer at Jonas Software

  • Currently

    Web Content Designer

    Jonas Software

Noel was thrilled to be accepted, and after lots of hard work, he graduated from Juno’s Bootcamp in April 2018 with new skills, new projects, and a new portfolio to show them all off!

And he really did change his life: only one month after graduation, Noel began a 6-month contract role at Jonas Software as a Content Designer. Using his HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills, he helped the Web Design team migrate content from their previous platform to their new Content Management System.

After Noel’s contract ended, Jonas Software signed him on to a full-time position as a Web Designer. He now spends his days building and deploying new websites from scratch, designing prototypes for apps, and consulting with clients to make their website’s styling and information architecture align with their marketing objectives.

“Overall, I love what I'm doing now because I'm working in tech and applying the skills I learned from Juno, and it's a hybrid developer/design role - so I still get to be creative and use the art direction skills I learned at Seneca and the Adobe Suite fundamentals from UofT.”

Noel’s advice for those looking to make a career change into tech? Learn the basics, and find your focus.

“The tech field has a lot of different avenues you can follow, whether it's UX, front-end development, back-end, graphic design, and so on - and even those avenues have their own sub-categories. A lot of them overlap, so it's good to get a basic understanding or solid foundation of everything, but once you do that, then figure out where you want to focus.”

Noel knows that sometimes this isn’t a conscious decision - for instance, the first job you get might steer you in a specific direction.

“Once you feel yourself going that way, ask yourself if this is something you want to continue with, and if not, then speak with someone at your company so you can figure out how they can help steer you there. Either way, once you know your lane, follow it. It's good to be a jack of all trades, but at the same time, you want to avoid becoming a master of none. That was my problem after UofT. While I learned the basics of everything there, I didn't have any idea of where I wanted to focus and it took me some time to align my strengths with my passions.”

What’s next on the docket for Noel?

“My current responsibilities are preparing me for a future that combines development with UX and UI, and I would love to be in a role where my marketing and design experience can help mentor others. Through it all, and maybe this is the advertiser in me talking, but whether copywriting or coding, every line is the bottom line.”

Noel’s also keeping his skills sharp by continuing his learning journey at Juno!

“Ultimately, I learned the hard way before Juno that it’s important to keep your skill set up-to-date and relevant, and I don’t want to make the same mistake again.”

Noel will be taking Juno’s UX Design, React, and Custom Theme Development courses that will help him excel at his job even more than before. When asked why he’s excited to continue learning at Juno, Noel shared:

The overall atmosphere of Juno: there’s no judgement, everyone is helpful, and there’s a very positive culture that makes learning fun. In the past two years since graduating, I’ve always been welcome back, and the staff have been proactive in extending a support system, advice, and resources to alumni. So it was a no-brainer to continue my path as a designer and developer in the Juno network!

Ready to make a change like Noel?

Our Web Development Immersive Bootcamp does more than help people change careers, it changes lives. Plus our Bootcamp is also now available in a Live Online format, so you can apply no matter where you’re located.

Book a call today with one of our Student Success Consultants to learn how you can launch your own journey into tech:

Book a Call with a Student Success Consultant

Find out more about our Bootcamp and why so many students choose to make a career change through Juno.

Learn about the Bootcamp

Juno’s got your back

At Juno, we craft custom learning journeys that accelerate careers. We’ll tailor a learning path for you based on your interests, talents, resources and goals – and that training continues until you land a job making $50K a year or more. It doesn’t matter whether that takes weeks, months or years, we’re with you until you’re employed. And until we make good on our promise, you’ll pay us as little as $1 upfront. We know, we know – finally, a school that gets it. How it works

What’s the average starting salary of our Bootcamp grads?

Find out now