Software Engineer/Community Manager • Graduate • Full-Time Web Development • San Francisco
Jan 26, 2022
When I first started thinking about switching careers to become a software engineer, I looked around for resources to start learning, and stumbled across Rithm’s free courses. I loved that the entire curriculum was available and free, and that I could see where it was going and why they were teaching things. I didn’t understand what any of it was, but as someone with a Masters in Education, I really appreciated that the thought was clearly put into it and that it was all available. I sen...
When I first started thinking about switching careers to become a software engineer, I looked around for resources to start learning, and stumbled across Rithm’s free courses. I loved that the entire curriculum was available and free, and that I could see where it was going and why they were teaching things. I didn’t understand what any of it was, but as someone with a Masters in Education, I really appreciated that the thought was clearly put into it and that it was all available. I sent a couple of friends who did know a few things about software engineering to check it out, and they confirmed that it was good. So, in January of 2021, I started putting in a few hours a day on the material.
I wasn’t completely sold on the bootcamp route, but as I continued through the free curriculum, I felt like I could feel how funny and down-to-earth these people were, and authenticity and human connection is really important to me. The fact that I could feel it seeping out of the webpage was a really cool thing. So, I started considering bootcamps seriously, with an eye toward Rithm, and I started reading all these Switchup and Course Report reviews that you’re now desperately reading, too, trying to see if all the nice things people say about Rithm could possibly be true.
Well, they are.
Elie, the co-founder, and Joel, the VP of Education taught most of the courses I attended, and they were incredible. It was very clear to me that the personalities that I sensed behind the free course material were just as friendly and hilarious in-person as they were in print. Both were very encouraging and helpful, and I thought - if these are the people teaching at Rithm, I have no reason not to go.
So, I continued studying 3ish hours a day, and interviewed in April. And failed. I got the right answers, but I was s l o w. So much slower than I thought. So, I studied for three more weeks, got an extra help session from Nate, and then got through a ton of questions at my next interview and passed.
The class itself was the most intense thing I’ve ever done, and as someone who’s used to excelling at pretty much everything, I got my butt handed to me over and over again. There were points that I felt like I should drop out, but Joel assured me repeatedly that I was doing great, and that I had nothing to worry about and to trust the process. That’s a phrase you’ll hear a lot at Rithm. It’s so hard to do, but they are 100% correct. Trust them, they know what they’re doing and if you’re in trouble, they’ll let you know and help you. I’ve never been in a learning environment that supportive, and it was the thing that got me through.
Speaking of supportive, another magical thing about Rithm is the people they let in - my cohort was full of smart, curious, driven, folks from a wide variety of backgrounds and we cheered each other on and encouraged each other. Three months later, we have a standing meeting to get together once a week and check in, and it’s great to still be able to support each other and catch up even though our time at Rithm is over.
So here’s the part where I drop the other shoe…I believe in the quality and mission of Rithm so much, that when they offered me a job on graduation day, I took it without hesitation. Having worked with them every day, all day, for four solid months, I knew that these were humans that would make me happy to be around. And it’s true. Working here is the first job I’ve ever had where I truly look forward to what I’m going to accomplish every day, and get excited to go to work. The behind-the-scenes is just as good as what’s presented to the students, and that’s a rare thing for a workplace to be. As a Software Engineer/Community & Partnerships Manager, I get to do engineering work on Rithm’s websites and systems, and I get to connect with other people and organizations to help get the word out about Rithm and make our student and alum experience even better. Attending Rithm is literally one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Feel free to find me online and ask questions - I’m always happy to chat!