Haley Stamp worked as a writer and editor before pivoting into tech. Now as a graduate of Sabio, Haley has joined the team as an instructor and web developer. Haley shares how the Sabio community is making space for women in tech and helping formerly incarcerated individuals launch a tech career through RebootLA. Plus, find out Haley’s advice for making the most of the bootcamp experience and her favorite learning resource for total coding beginners.
What inspired you to pivot from writing into tech?
I have college degrees in writing and business, and writing is one of my passions. I would say I’m split between logical and creative thinking which is why software engineering appeals to me. My first real job was at Playboy as an assistant and then a research editor for the magazine. Then I worked at a startup as a copywriter and content manager so my skills in those companies were split between creativity and logic.
My girlfriend went through Sabio about five years ago and absolutely loved it. I saw her passion for it and was at a point in my career where I had become a jack-of-all-trades. I wanted a skill that would afford me independence with a more structured career path. Sabio appealed to me so I decided to give it a try.
Where did you work after Sabio and what motivated you to teach software engineering at Sabio?
I had such a positive experience with Sabio when I was a bootcamp student, and the idea of being able to help incoming students with their pre-work was appealing. Sabio offered me an interesting position where I would work as a Software Engineer for Sabio part-time and part-time as a Curriculum Developer with the RebootLA program. I had just gone through the bootcamp so I had a good idea of what students needed to succeed in the bootcamp. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to enhance my learning since one of the best ways to learn is to teach.
Tell us about the RebootLA program at Sabio – how did you work with students?
Sabio partnered with the city of Los Angeles to help returning citizens get into tech and start a new career. My role at Reboot was to assist these students as they went through the pre-work leading up to the bootcamp. I would have office hours during the week, at nights, and on Saturdays, and I would get on video calls to help them with anything they needed throughout that process.
What sets Sabio apart from other coding bootcamps?
In my research as an applicant, I found that Sabio cohorts are much smaller so you get more individualized attention and more real-world experience. During the bootcamp, we did stand-ups every day and we got to work on an actual website for a startup. A lot of other bootcamps do projects that aren’t necessarily applicable to real-world exercises you’ll have to do on the job. Working on real world projects at the bootcamp also helps students later when they’re looking for their first tech job.
In the beginning, we built small projects using jQuery before transitioning into React. At Sabio, even when you are starting out, you work on projects that you would work on at a company. For my cohort’s final project, we worked on a website for the startup Host a Fan. It was a booking service similar to Airbnb, and it linked a user to hosts near events you want to attend. For example, if there’s a tailgate or event a user wants to attend, it would connect them with hosts that are involved or nearby. My job for this project was building out the log-in and registration pages for the website.
Sabio puts a lot of emphasis on building up your resume and LinkedIn from the beginning, they want you to get a job so they help you out with the whole process.
Working in Southern California, what do you see as the most relevant technologies right now?
React seems to be the most widespread programming language. Learning it has been a step up for me so I think it’s good for a developer to know.
In your time at Sabio, have you found there’s an ideal student for the bootcamp?
It’s important to be dedicated and willing to learn. You also need to be okay with frustration; you’re not going to understand everything right away. Personally, I had to overcome the fact that things weren’t going to click after an hour, day, or even a week sometimes. You have to be patient, keep moving through the curriculum, and trust the process. It’s important to check your ego at the door and know that things will make sense over time. The ideal person will be able to dedicate themselves and have patience.
What is your advice to other women considering a tech career by enrolling in a bootcamp like Sabio?
Women need to know that tech is a viable career path. If I had known about this in college, I probably would have gotten into the field earlier! I’m sure a lot of women don’t think they can get into the field because they believe it’s a boy’s club and there may be some intimidation there.
I’m lucky at Sabio because we have a small engineering team building Sabio’s website features to support students going through the remote bootcamp. There are three women that are full-time engineers and we have plenty of other women on the team. My girlfriend has worked at three different companies and she hasn’t worked with a single female engineer! It's different at every company, but my experience as a woman in software engineering has been welcoming and reassuring. It can still be a boy’s club, but that’s hopefully starting to change.
A lot of people also think you need to be good at math to be an engineer, which isn’t the case.
How does Sabio support women like you who are pivoting their careers into tech?
Sabio offers a Women in Tech scholarship for women who want to enroll in the bootcamp. There’s a dedicated Slack channel at Sabio for women where we can share with each other, and oftentimes jobs are posted to it. We also have video meetups and Sabio’s founder, Liliana Monge is always posting resources on Sabio’s website for women in tech.
Tell us about your biggest Sabio student success story so far!
We had a student who had to pull out of the bootcamp for a bit to catch up after falling behind. She rejoined the program, and she stayed dedicated to it. I’ve kept up with her and now she has her own website. She’s focused on her career path and I think that’s really inspiring.
What resources or meetups do you recommend for complete beginners who want to start their career in software engineering?
Codecademy is a great resource for total beginners — the UI is welcoming, it’s easy to navigate, and it’s free! A lot of people love Udemy, and I think it’s a pretty good resource. You can also use YouTube to learn about specific topics.
Why is tech a good career path for career changers in 2022?
No one is ever 100% safe, but I think tech is recession-proof for the most part. If you look back at COVID, business went online and there was a race to automate. Behind that automation are software engineers and things are only going to become more automated as we progress technologically. We’re always going to need engineers and every company needs software engineering in some regard. Whether it’s a website or an app, an engineer has a hand in almost every single business.
Find out more and read Sabio reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Sabio.
Jess is the Content Manager for Course Report as well as a writer and poet. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education, and loves learning and sharing content about tech bootcamps. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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