Before embarking on her career transition, Kaylah Malillos worked at Wish of a Lifetime—a nonprofit that grants life-enriching wishes to senior citizens. It was a small organization, and Kaylah had moved up the ranks in no time. She had started as a college intern and became operations manager in five years.
“I felt like I’d learned everything I could. I knew I wanted to pivot into the tech industry. I just wasn’t sure how,” she said.
Kaylah was excited to jump into a field that is constantly changing and evolving. She had heard about coding boot camps powered by Trilogy Education through a friend, and she decided to enroll in the University of Denver Women’s Coding Boot Camp.
A New Student in a New Program
The University of Denver Women’s Coding Boot Camp was a new program the year that Kaylah enrolled, and she would be part of its first graduating class. She was excited to experience an all-women learning environment.
“The class was great,” said Kaylah. “I loved the supportive environment, and our instructor and TAs were all very engaging. Being part of a class where everyone was in the same boat—whether they just wanted to learn something new or go through a career change—was great. Being able to help each other out made the experience even more fun.”
While it was difficult to juggle her managerial position at Wish of a Lifetime with boot camp work, Kaylah pushed through. She knew the value of the skills she was learning, and she understood how impressive her ability to master them in a short timeframe would be to employers.
Real-life inspired projects
Around the time that she enrolled in boot camp, Kaylah got a puppy. The dog inspired the first of her three major projects.
Kaylah and her group designed an app to store and track information about a dog, including age, weight, and vaccinations, and schedules for eating, walking, grooming, and toilet activities. The app was designed for dog-owning single people as well as for individuals who shared their pets with a roommate or partner, for whom it provided an easy way to coordinate dog care. Dog-loving Denver was an ideal market.
Kaylah’s final project was inspired by Wish of a Lifetime. Kaylah realized that Wish—and other nonprofits—lacked an internal database for in-kind donations. In the case of Wish, this internal database would house information on each wish grantee and the associated logistics, i.e. travel information, accommodation specifics, total costs, and other operations-related information. After Kaylah developed the software, she presented her creation to her then-employer, and the organization gladly approved it.
“I was really proud of it,” said Kaylah. “It was a real-world project that would be useful for a lot of different people in the nonprofit sector—people who really needed a tool like this to centralize their project information, organize and track each step, and support their targets more efficiently.”
Launching a career in tech
While Kaylah relied mostly on her network throughout her job search, she was empowered by Trilogy’s resources.
“The milestones throughout the program—things like resume updates and other workshops—were very helpful. Career services really helped me position myself as a new developer in the industry, and I felt more comfortable making this career change than I otherwise would have been,” she said.
In June 2019, Kaylah started her new full-time position as a web and digital communications developer in the corporate marketing department at EVO Payments, Inc. The company culture—particularly her team’s energy—is what drew her to the position. Coincidentally, it too is all women—and she loves it.
Kaylah has kept in touch with her fellow boot campers. They go to meet-ups and networking events together, and she plans to stay connected and continue to make the most out of her classes. She knows that as long as she can stay motivated and keep coding, the benefits will continue to last.
Looking for a new place to grow? Explore the many Trilogy-powered boot camps and courses offered nationwide.