Alumni Wisdom Series: Dispelling Tech Industry Misconceptions

Breaking into tech: it’s no small thing. Bootcamp is a great way to prepare for that first job as a developer, but as the saying goes, the more you know, the more you don’t know. In other words—there’s always more to learn!

Our most successful coding bootcamp students are those who do their research about the industry before joining the program. Even with such research, though, there can be things you think you know about the industry that are simply not true or can be misleading. It’s important to hear from those throughout the industry to truly understand their experiences. As such, here are some tasty tidbits of insight from Grand Circus alumni on what life is really like working in the tech industry.

Did you have any misconceptions about working in tech? Now that you work in the industry, what’s the reality?


“I was afraid that being a woman in tech would be so scary, but I have an amazing network in Girl Develop It and with other women in the Grand Circus community that I feel much more supported than I thought I would.”

– Megan Boczar, Java Detroit April 2017

 

My only misconception was that I would be kicking down the door at Google and getting hired on the spot. That’s true for some, but not most. I am enjoying being at an entry level position with a company that cares about my career. I am still learning every day. In doing so, I am finding what I am good at and what I will enjoy further into my career.

-Christopher Namyst, Core Java & Facebook Front-end 2017, Detroit

 

I didn’t realize how much my eyes would hurt from staring at screens all day. Otherwise, the highs are great, but you’ll have some very frustrating days. Deal with the frustrations quickly and move on.”

-Josh Buteyn, C#.NET 2017, Grand Rapids

 

I had misconceptions about the training process; for me, there wasn’t really a process that showed me how to do my job. Training was more of a ‘you have to take it upon yourself to do what you need to do to learn about your position.’ I shadowed people constantly, even following them to meetings just so I could get exposed to the different type of responsibilities that my position consisted of. Although this way of training was rough for me for the first couple of months, I ended up finding out that this way of learning actually helped me to retain the information I was learning better.”

– Michelle Williams, Front-end 2017, Detroit

 

I didn’t realize how many types of positions there actually are in tech, and how they all can cater to different types of people/goals. There’s something for everyone.”

– Tori Boone, C#.NET 2017, Grand Rapids

 

The reality is that being in tech can be a challenge for people of color. How ever I find the tech industry becomes more of even playing field once I get limitations out of my head and showcase my technical talent. Unfortunately the downside is because of being a person of color and female, a lot of people I encounter have a wrong misconception of my level of technical knowledge.”

– Ariana Waller, C#.NET 2017, Grand Rapids

 

I was worried about what I heard about the industry, and while that might remain true in other places, at my job,  the field does not feel hostile to women or people of color. I’ve felt very welcomed and found a home where I feel my talents are valued.”

– Karina López, DEVELOP(her) 2017, Grand Rapids


I thought the tech-industry would be one big ‘boy’s club’ but at my current job, the majority of the women here are VPs, Directors or Leads.”

– Christina Lee, Front-end 2017, Detroit

 


I was unaware of the new reality of code development: highly collaborative and “agile”.  Developers now encompass a wide variety of roles.”

-Sloth I, Facebook Front-end 2017, Grand Rapids

 

A thousand thanks to our alumni for sharing their experiences! What misconceptions did  you have about working in tech? Do any of them resonate with you? Remembering that you’re not alone in your fears and assumptions is important to dispelling them. We got your back!

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Amy Hinman

Hey there! I'm the Marketing Assistant and former program manager of the Grand Rapids DEVELOP(her) cohort. With a background in nonprofits, writing and editing, I'm here to tell Grand Circus stories, and invite others in along the way. I can also be found dreaming of bikes with internal gears, making homemade ice cream, or creating something useless out of yarn.

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