Chidinma Nze studied journalism in college, then digital media at Specs Howard School of Media Arts. After graduation, she began working in PR and digital marketing.
After a few years, Chidinma developed an appetite to grow beyond her role. Then, one day in early 2020, Chidinma remembers finding the MSU Coding Boot Camp powered by Trilogy Education Services, a 2U Inc. brand. She enrolled, and embarked on a new and exciting career in tech.
Enhancing old skills and developing new ones
With some technology experience under her belt, Chidinma wanted to further her career and make the transition from marketing and communications to technology — an industry with higher earning potential.
“I wanted to develop skills I didn’t have so I could become an entry-level developer or programmer,” she said. “I already knew HTML and CSS, but I knew I hadn’t learned everything I needed to know.”
Before the start of the boot camp, classes switched from in-person to virtual, due to COVID-19. While Chidinma was initially hesitant about online learning, she ultimately loved how convenient and beneficial it turned out to be.
“I was having a hard time figuring out how to structure my days around my commute to and from the boot camp, so it was nice to not have to worry about that,” she said. “It was very practical as an online course, because we were all on our laptops following along with the instructors and completing coding exercises.”
“I took extra time to search the internet and reach out to the learning assistants on Slack for help with specific issues I was having. I would show them the exact point that one of my codes stopped working, and they walked me through how to fix it,” she said.
In addition to the technical skills in coding that she gained, Chidinma found a new way to learn. The boot camp was her first real online schooling experience, and she gained useful skills in self-teaching and collaborating online that have proved to be beneficial in her professional life.
“I learned how to find the most credible information, and how to ask the right questions to get the answers I need,” she said. “Through our projects, I gained experience working with a diverse range of people.”
Deepening her skills on the job
The boot camp hosted several career sessions in which influencers came to speak; sharing their experiences in the field and discussing different career opportunities. During one of these sessions, Chidinma learned of an opportunity where recruiters were bringing in new developers with little experience.
She had a few interviews, then landed a job as an associate at Infosys, a multinational information technology company providing business consulting, information technology, and outsourcing services.
“I really love my position, and the company invests a lot in training employees, so there’s a huge opportunity for continued learning here. I’m basically a student right now, while also being fully into my role,” she said.
She’s currently working towards a certification for one of Infosys’ software programs, and she hopes to develop a better grasp on Java.
“I want to continue learning and growing in software development and engineering so I can expand my career to the point where I’m so confident in my skills that I have the flexibility to work almost anywhere,” she said.
For prospective developers, Chidinma’s biggest piece of advice is to really prepare yourself. The course is difficult and requires a lot of focus, and interested students should be aware of just how much time and effort goes into this course. If you’re willing to put in the work, the benefits will outweigh the challenges.
“The boot camp is a really good option for people who need guided learning,” she said. “There are so many opportunities to make connections with people who can help you break into the industry, and that’s incredibly valuable.”
Interested in kickstarting a career in technology? Explore MSU Coding Boot Camps and find out how attending a boot camp can shape your future.