Veterans of the Military, Now Leading the Charge of Their Own Tech Journeys

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Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

U.S. veterans form a strong backbone of loyalty, perseverance, and professionalism for the country. They have sacrificed time with their families, put on hold their careers, and set aside their own needs to serve our nation with pride and courage. When they return home from their tours of service, they deserve the same fundamental necessities that many citizens may take for granted: a good home, a good job, and good opportunities. 

One avenue that some veterans are taking to transition from military to civilian life is the tech industry. Tech work often requires the same dedication, hard work, resolve, discipline, and collaboration that veterans cultivated during their service. The actual technical skills of the industry can be learned in a variety of ways, one of which is through a boot camp. 

Much like a military boot camp that veterans would be familiar with, tech boot camps are focused, fast-paced, and intensive. They are designed precisely so that the learner, following completion, is ready to hit the ground running in the tech world.

And these market-ready tech professionals are exactly what Trilogy-powered boot camps are producing. Read about three veterans who made the leap into the tech world.

A Navy Veteran Goes from Push-Ups to Start-Ups

Geoff Valera, who co-founded Data Consumed, first learned how to work with data for a fairly demanding client—his commanding officer in the US Navy.

“As part of my unit, I created databases for my CO to help with his reports,” said Geoff. “I literally fell into working with information systems out of necessity.”

After the military, Geoff continued working as a consultant and data engineer for six years, doing Power BI, ETL, report writing, and “bleeding-edge stuff” like data visualization. But he wanted more.

As Data Consumed started to take off, Geoff realized that if he wanted to run his own company, he’d have to go back to boot camp. Only this time, there’d be fewer push-ups involved.

Read more about Geoff’s journey into tech.

An Abiding Interest in Our Security

Between 2015 and 2018, Damita Zweiback was on active duty at the Pentagon working with the Navy Surgeon General’s office in medicine. While there, she completed an executive MBA program at the Naval Postgraduate School. Her thesis revolved around cybersecurity.

In the process of researching her thesis, Damita discovered the huge gap that exists in the cybersecurity field—that there are not enough qualified candidates to fill all the positions in such a new and increasingly important industry. She recognized this as an opportunity for her to grow. 

A mentor familiar with Damita’s cybersecurity interests encouraged her to look into a data science program. She was intrigued at the prospect of going back to school yet again; her thesis work had reignited her long-dormant passions for computers, data science, and analytics.

Read on to find out where Damita went next

A Talent for Coding

Matthew Carpenter decided a few years ago to seriously pursue the web developer career he had always wanted. The decision wasn’t made overnight. To get there, it took an almost eight-year stint in the Army, 12 years working in electronics at Verizon, and a great deal of motivation. 

“For three years, I tried to make a career change,” he said. “It was too rocky and hard finding time to make advancements while working full-time.”

Matt ventured out in search of an opportunity to level up his learning and came across a coding boot camp. The curriculum included all the applications and languages that were missing from his skill set, and he was drawn to the course’s intensive nature and flexible hours. 

Almost a decade after leaving the army, Matt enrolled in the program and prepared to take on a very different kind of boot camp. 

He ended up gaining more skills than he could have imagined. “Of course, you have the skills they teach you,” he said. “But I learned so much more that I hadn’t even signed up for.” 

Learn what skills Matt picked up.

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