By Jordana GustafsonNovember 8, 2016

"Every technical interview I have had in the last two months has led to a job offer"  — Code Fellows graduate Yvonne Hayes

Yvonne Hayes had been living in Mexico, where she and her husband own a bar and grill. They moved to Portland to be nearer to family and so that Yvonne could go to code school.

When she enrolled at Code Fellows in March 2016, she had never touched a line of code in her life.

What were you working on before Code Fellows?

I’m originally from Vienna, Austria, and I was in an MBA program there. Towards the end of my studies I spent a summer in Mexico as a volunteer in an orphanage, and during my time there met my future husband, an American expat running a bar and grill. So after finishing my studies, I moved to Mexico and have been running that restaurant for the last six years.

What made you consider a career change to tech?

I have always been interested in tech and gadgets and have been a gamer all my life. While I loved running a bar in paradise, I also knew it was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The thought of turning what I loved doing as a hobby into a job was just too good to resist.

What made you choose Code Fellows?

When I decided to go to a code school, I did extensive research on a lot of them. I finally decided on the Portland area because my in-laws live nearby. I emailed and phoned all schools to get more information and finally met Code Fellows’ campus director in person. After talking to her for 30 minutes, I knew I had found the right place for me.

What was challenging about attending Code Fellows?

It is without a doubt a very intensive course. I started Code Fellows with absolutely no prior programming knowledge at all. Only 18 weeks later, I graduated as a full-stack JavaScript developer. For those 18 weeks, I did nothing but eat, sleep, and code. This was one of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting things I have ever done.

When you started your job search, did you feel prepared?

Yes. Code Fellows did a fantastic job preparing us for the job search. We had various speakers come in and talk to us about subjects like salary negotiation and self-branding, got plenty of help with our resumes and got a crash-course on networking. The staff helped us connect with recruiters and hiring managers in the Portland tech scene.

You’ve received multiple job offers since graduating two months ago. What have hiring managers told you about your knowledge / skill level / training?

During my interviews I got the feeling that a lot of people in the tech scene still don’t really know what to think of code schools. Each and every one of the people interviewing me mentioned how impressed they were with my technical knowledge. I’m especially proud that, in my last interview, the director of engineering mentioned after looking over some of my code that it was the cleanest code he had seen in years. Every technical interview I had in the last two months led to a job offer.

What would you tell someone who is considering attending Code Fellows?

Do it! Just a year ago I would never have thought that not just one but multiple companies would be willing to pay me to do something I love. It’s one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Code Fellows has a fantastic program with a superb curriculum that is taught by awesome people. Go learn to code. You’ll thank yourself later!


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