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#MomsWhoCode: Elly Pham's Tech Journey

May 10, 2020

4 min read

Written by Sennah Yee

Happy Mother’s Day! To celebrate, we chatted with Elly Pham, who graduated Juno’s Web Development Immersive Bootcamp in 2015, and is currently on maternity leave from her role as Software Engineer at Glossier.

Before Juno, Elly was Practice Marketing Manager for Dental Corp, spending her days developing marketing strategies, managing web content, and evaluating finances. While she had managed hundreds of projects from start to finish, Elly was finding that she wasn’t feeling fulfilled.

“I felt like my work wasn’t tangible,” Elly says. “I wanted to be the person building the project, not managing it.”

After a decade of working in Digital Marketing and Project Management, it was time to make a change. Elly’s interest in coding was first sparked when her sister Sylvia Nguyen graduated from Juno’s Web Development Immersive Bootcamp (at the time known as HackerYou).

“My younger sister had recently finished Juno’s Bootcamp and raved about how amazing her experience was. I attended her demo day and was impressed by their projects and the amount of skills gained during a 9-week period," Elly says.

When my sister landed a job as a developer shortly after graduating Juno, I knew attending Juno was my next move.

Student Stories

About Elly’s Journey

  • Previous Education

    Brock University, Bachelor of Sport Management/Business Minor

  • Before Juno

    Practice Marketing Manager

  • After Juno

    Project Manager & Jr. Front-End Developer at Sandbox Advertising

  • Currently

    Software Engineer


Elly followed her sister’s footsteps and joined Cohort 8 of Juno's Bootcamp in the Fall of 2015. After 9 weeks of hard work covering concepts from jQuery to React and building an impressive portfolio of projects, Elly landed her first web development job only a few months after graduating. The gig was a hybrid contract role as a Project Manager/Web Developer at Sandbox, an advertising agency.

But Elly’s journey into tech still had its twists and turns - once her contract ended, she was offered a job as Digital Project Manager with an impressive salary.

“I fell back into Digital Project Management, the career that I was trying to leave and my reason for attending Juno in the first place!” Elly says. “After a year and a half working there, I said to myself, “I didn’t attend Juno for this… I want to be a developer and I’m going to be one!””

Determined to get back on track, Elly started sharpening up her coding skills and looking for jobs. A posting caught her eye: a 3-month internship at the popular beauty company Glossier's first international office in Montreal. She applied, interviewed, and landed the job.

“In the period of 3 months at Glossier, I had contributed a lot and I was offered a full-time position as a Software Engineer. Now I’m back in Toronto, working as a remote employee.”

Some of Elly’s work at Glossier includes developing landing pages for new product launches and marketing campaigns, resolving bugs and issues, and working closely with product, design, UX, and stakeholders on programs that support customer experience by adding new site features.

And while she’s glad to be in a role where she can use her skills she gained at Juno, Elly’s still grateful for her project management background.

“It has definitely helped. I’m able to better manage myself when working on a new project, feature, or fixing a bug. Hitting timelines and providing estimates to stakeholders are not a problem, and I’m able to manage their expectations pretty well when it comes to deliverables.”

There’s lots coming up next for Elly, both at work and at home as a new mother!

“Right now I’m currently on maternity leave looking after my beautiful baby boy who is now 5 months old! But eventually I’d like to be in a more Senior role, maybe even in a management position so that I can help guide Junior Developers and even new moms in their career as a developer,” Elly says. “I’m a people person who loves to give advice based on my own experiences.”

We’re excited to share some of Elly’s advice here for those looking to start their own journeys into tech - particularly moms:

If you’re thinking about it, do it! Tech is a growing industry and there are a lot of job opportunities out there. I know there are a lot of moms out there looking to get into tech for a remote job and more flexible work hours. There are tons, and many companies are accommodating.

While finding time to code can be tricky, Elly makes the most of her son’s nap times:

“As soon as my son was on a better nap schedule, I knew that was the time for me to find time to code. In order for me to hold myself accountable, I decided to do a #100daysofcode challenge. I would do something code-related every day for 100 days, whether it’s listening to a podcast, watching a tutorial, writing a line of code for a project, reading a blog post, or solving a coding challenge, it was something.”

Over 30 days into the challenge, and Elly’s still at it.

“There are days where my son doesn’t nap well and that’s okay; I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get much done. As long as I get something code-related done. It’s great mental stimulation, especially when your day is full of breastfeeding/bottle feeding, goo goos ga gas and dirty diapers.”

"Oh, also... there’s this thing called mom brain," Elly adds. "It’s okay to forget and relearn things again. I’m always brushing up on my skills. If you don’t use it, you lose it! You’d be surprised by the number of Senior Developers who need to Google the simplest functions."

Elly recently mentored one of Juno’s Career Lab sessions, helping Bootcamp students with exercises and providing tips and feedback on pair programming. Her son even made a guest appearance!

"For someone who’s only been working as a developer for 2 years and having to put my new career on hold to look after a tiny human, it’s tough, stressful, and there’s a lot of worry. I’m on maternity leave for 12-18 months and I worry about falling behind in tech every day and becoming rusty again," Elly admits. "But you know what? You can stop worrying and just do!”

After noticing that there weren’t many resources for developer moms, Elly decided to document her entire journey and her 100 Days of Code Challenge on her Twitter to give more visibility. When we asked Elly what she’d like people to know about #MomsWhoCode, her reply was honest, vulnerable, and inspiring:

Don’t be scared of change, don’t be scared of failing, and don’t worry about what others think.

Ready to make a change like Elly?

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:

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