Written By Jess Feldman
After college, Moshood Adeyemo had a solid career in advertising, but ultimately didn’t enjoy the work. He spent time self-teaching to figure out which tech path he wanted to pursue and then enrolled in the Software Engineering Bootcamp at Springboard. Now Moshood is a full-time Software Engineer through LinkedIn’s Reach apprenticeship program, and credits the flexible learning style and mentorship for helping him make the leap into tech!
What inspired you to pivot from advertising to software engineering?
I’ve always been interested in tech — I used to play computer games on my dad's old PC and try to figure out how people were hacking into them. This got me into learning about source code, how the games operated, and how to manipulate the code.
I tried to do computer science at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, but I couldn’t get into the computer science program. I ended up getting my degree in communication and worked in advertising for about four years. It was a career path that I stumbled into and that I had a good skill set for, but I was unhappy and didn’t feel like it was a good fit for me.
I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to be a software engineer, so when I graduated from college, I started learning from YouTube Academy, Codecademy, and Udemy. I explored different paths like data analysis and aspects of software engineering, like front end and back end.
There are so many online coding bootcamps now — why did you choose Springboard?
I’d been researching bootcamps for years, but I wasn’t willing to pay for it. Springboard was the best bootcamp for me because they had the deferred payment plan and tons of resources within the curriculum.
I also liked that the bootcamp was video-based and I liked the instructor, Colt Steele. They offered extensive career services,with mentors and mock interviews. I decided to quit my job and go full-time into learning at Springboard! It was definitely a leap of faith.
Since you graduated from the bootcamp, are you happy with your decision to do the deferred tuition?
I'm still happy with my decision. It was an investment, but I spend money on less valuable things all the time! If I can spend some money advancing my future and getting me to where I want to be, it’s worth it. I’m happy to now have my foot in the door and I'm confident that I could be a software engineer anywhere. The trajectory of my career has changed completely for the rest of my life, so I definitely think it was a worthy investment.
In your experience, did you feel like you had to know basic coding in order to apply to Springboard’s Software Engineering Bootcamp?
I was pretty knowledgeable in coding when I enrolled, so I understood what was going on, but I think for somebody who has never coded before and looking for this to be their first introduction, it will be tougher. I think Springboard expects people to have done some of their own self-teaching before enrolling in the bootcamp.
What was a typical day like in the Software Engineering Bootcamp?
I spent a lot of time coding by myself, but I had a mentor who helped me if I got stuck with anything, had any questions, or needed any resources. The last portion of the bootcamp was a Capstone project and Career Services.
Did the teaching style at Springboard match how you learn?
Springboard’s curriculum is video-based modules of instructors demonstrating how to do things followed by an assessment. The way I learn, though, I like to first get a top-down overview of everything to understand how it’s all connected. My plan was to watch all the videos and then go back and take the assessments and reinforce weak areas. Since it was a full stack engineering course, we learned front end and back end, which included how to design a website, as well as how to build a server. I hadn't learned much back end on my own, so I was excited to see how that connected. I appreciated that Springboard let me tailor the process to my learning style.
Who was your Springboard mentor? How often did you connect?
My mentor used to be a software engineer but now he’s in the teaching and coaching space, mentoring and hosting his own online bootcamp. I always had access to him via Slack and I could set up more meetings if I needed to, but we were required to check in every week. I was on such a grind that I didn’t find myself needing to reach out to him beyond that weekly check-in. It was nice to share my progress with him and when I figured something out. He shared a lot of extra resources on specific topics.
Since this is an online bootcamp, how did you connect with the larger Springboard community?
My mentor connected me with some of his other mentees and we formed a group so we could discuss challenges we were facing or if anybody found some nifty tips or tricks we could share with the rest of the group. We also met up and shared how we did certain things.
Springboard has their own Slack channel where we could communicate with other people. Since I was already so deep into self-teaching, I was trying to fast track my experience and I wasn’t as communicative with the group.
What kinds of projects did you work on in the bootcamp?
I didn’t end up doing any of the projects because by the time I went back to do them, I had gotten a job!
Which roles did you feel qualified to apply for after graduating?
I was looking for front end software engineer, software developer, software development engineer — there are so many different names for the same role that makes it hard to apply. I was definitely looking for junior-level positions coming out of the bootcamp.
I was done with advertising and I knew I definitely wanted to work in big tech. My dream company was Google at the time and I was actually interviewing with Google when I got my job with LinkedIn!
How did you get the job at LinkedIn?
I updated my LinkedIn, included Springboard, and made posts about how I was pivoting from advertising to software engineering. I met with a Springboard career counselor who reviewed my resume, looked at my LinkedIn profile, and showed me areas to strengthen.
Up until that point, even though I was applying for developer jobs, recruiters were still reaching out to me for account executive roles because of my work experience. Once I posted about how I went to Springboard and was pivoting careers, recruiters finally started contacting me for entry-level software engineering positions. I found out about both Google and LinkedIn jobs from recruiters!
What was the LinkedIn interview process like for you?
I got into LinkedIn’s apprenticeship program, Reach, which is aimed at people who are pivoting careers or who have taught themselves how to code. The application was in essay form, answering three questions on my background, why I’m interested in tech, and what I plan to do with it. They also wanted to know how I taught myself, what I’ve already done in tech and how I know that this is what I want to do.
The second portion of the interview was to design a game, called Mastermind, which is kind of like Wordle with numbers. After I submitted the code, I had an interview to review my design and why I chose the framework I did. The next part of the interview was behavioral to determine if I’d be a good fit for the team.
How long is the Reach apprenticeship?
Reach is a full-time apprenticeship with no end date. After reviewing my work and educational experience, LinkedIn determined the minimum length I could be in Reach. Compared to other apprenticeships that are only six months and then require another interview to get hired, I'm already a full-time LinkedIn employee and I work with a real engineering team every day.
What kinds of projects are you working on now at LinkedIn?
I work on the infrastructure side, not on the product side at LinkedIn, so my job is to help make other engineers' jobs easier. I love where I got placed and the team I'm on! My team maintains a library of components (which can be buttons, inputs, dropdown lists), and we design and maintain those components. If they need to be upgraded, if we need to add a new feature or fix a bug, my team does that. We also migrated from an old design system to a new one so my team assists in helping teams migrate.
Are you using what you learned at Springboard now on the job?
Have you found any transferable skills between working in advertising and working in tech?
There are definitely transferable skills. A lot of what I was doing at advertising agencies was communicating with other people and that's definitely still valuable here. I don't have to communicate with people as much, but knowing how to communicate with people is always a plus — people like working with you more!
At this point in your tech career, was Springboard worth it for you?
Springboard was more valuable than I expected it to be. I came into Springboard with a lot of knowledge and self-teaching already, but once I had Springboard’s backing on my resume I got more interviews. I also learned a lot from the courses. There's just so much to learn! The bootcamp went deeper into topics that I had only touched upon in my self-teaching.
Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps.
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