Posts about Meet Our Alumni

From Customer Service Specialist to Developer, Meet Tori

June 2, 2018

Meet Tori, a graduate of our C# .NET BootcampA single mom looking for ways to make life for her family better, Tori was drawn to tech by notoriously flexible schedules and the lack of need for formal computer science training.

Tori graduated from the C# .NET Bootcamp in June of 2017, and has since landed an internship that lead to a full-time position at BrainGu. In this position, she has helped the company accomplish two “firsts:” the hire of a junior-level developer and a woman. Tori has also supported the Grand Circus Grand Rapids campus as the Teaching Assistant for the previous C# .NET bootcamp, and we love that she’s now coworking so close to our classroom. Keep reading for more tidbits on her bootcamp and employment experiences, and how Grand Circus can help you make a career change, too! (more…)

From Acquisition Manager to Java Developer, Meet Michael

May 14, 2018

Working as an acquisition manager, Michael Riley saw firsthand the rapid growth the tech industry has to offer. Michael worked closely with technical teams to recruit developers, and got a behind-the-scenes view at what companies look for when hiring new tech talent. After nearly a decade on the recruitment side of the industry, Michael was ready to transition his career and become a developer himself.

Michael knew there were great opportunities for software developers, but at first – he wasn’t confident that he had it what it takes to be a programmer. “I took the Intro to Coding workshop to break my fear of learning to code.  I found that it was vital to convince myself that I could be successful in coding and overcoming something I thought I couldn’t understand,” Michael explained.  Nowadays, you can find Michael volunteering at our Intro to Coding Workshops, offering support to coding newbies and sharing stories about the development projects he’s working on.

Meet Michael, A Java Bootcamp Graduate

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Meet Lanna, Technical Support Specialist turned Software Engineer

April 2, 2018

Finding a path into tech that is right for YOU is so important to your long-term success in the industry. One of the most popular questions we get asked is “Is a college degree necessary to become a software developer?” In short – no, a college degree is not necessary. For Lanna, a graduate of our C# .NET coding bootcamp,  she knew that earning a college degree was important to her but to earn a career in tech – she wanted the hands-on experience a coding bootcamp could provide.

Lanna’s joined our C# .NET coding bootcamp in June 2017. Since then, she’s become an empowering member of the GC community – providing support to new students as they begin exploring code, offering guidance as grads start the job hunt and volunteering her time at various tech events. Let’s hear her story! (more…)

Meet Naomi, Marketing Coordinator turned Software Engineer

February 28, 2018

Update: Naomi is still loving her job as a Junior Software Engineer at Meridian

At GC, we get the privilege to watch our students go from little-to-no coding experience to software engineers. No matter what your educational or professional background – a career in programming is possible! We’re excited to continue growing our partnerships with employers who are actively hiring entry-level programmers.

Working with Meridian Health Plan has given us the opportunity to train students and support them as they earn new careers. Last year we launched our Meridian Bootcamp Powered By Grand Circus. We worked with Detroit at Work to provide full scholarships for eligible Detroiters. Today, we introduce you to Naomi Black, a graduate of our partnership. (more…)

From Tugboat Deckhand to Java Developer, Meet Colton

October 5, 2017

Update: Colton is now an E-Commerce Developer at Moosejaw.

Our students have always come from a diverse set of backgrounds, but this was a first! Colton was a student in our October 2016 Java Bootcamp cohort who changed his career from deckhand in Charlevoix to developer.

Even though Colton graduated back in December 2016, he continues to stay involved with the Grand Circus community and is a great resource for current students or those thinking about joining a coding bootcamp. Continue reading for insights on his bootcamp experience, how Grand Circus can help you make a career change too, and why Colton landed a job before graduation! (more…)

Meet Melanie, Accountant turned Developer

August 14, 2017

Update: Melanie is now an Associate Software Developer at Credit Acceptance.

When Melanie Myers decided to switch careers she made sure that everything added up before taking the plunge. That’s because she was an accountant!

Her attention to detail throughout the Java bootcamp labs made it clear that she has a knack for attention to detail. She always worked hard to figure things out on her own first, but also had the courage to ask for help when necessary. As with any intensive learning environment, Melanie also had a few setbacks along the way but she persevered and now has a fulfilling career as a developer. 

Meet Melanie, Accountant Turned Java Developer

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From Property Manager to Developer, Meet Shug

June 21, 2017

Meet Front-End alum, Shug!

Update:  Shug is now a Developer at LoveBookOnline.com

Students in each coding bootcamp come from an array of backgrounds, professions and life experience. This classroom composition creates a supportive environment for all of our students, and allows the uniqueness of each student really shine. I’m excited to be doing this blog feature on Shugmi Shumunov, a graduate of our Front-End cohort of August 2016. Shug’s outgoing personality and infectious smile shined as he worked through coding exercises, labs and projects. No matter how challenging the coding bootcamp became, Shug always worked hard and had a positive attitude. He was always willing to help, volunteered much of his time to support others, and did it all with passion and excitement. I had the delight of working with him at Detroit Startup Week, and have enjoyed watching his career grow and flourish.  (more…)

From Recruiter to Back-End Developer, Meet Milliza

March 23, 2017

Meet Milliza!

Update: Milliza is now a Database Developer at United Shore.

Milliza joined the Grand Circus family as a Java coding bootcamp student in October 2016. While still in bootcamp, Milliza was offered a position at United Shore as part of their Developer-X program, where she is currently undergoing training in .NET alongside 18 fellow Grand Circus alums, including five of her classmates and graduates from previous Java, DEVELOP(her) and .NET (C#) cohorts. While we miss having Milliza in the space, it’s great to know that she’s surrounded by so many familiar faces!

Read on to learn more about Milliza’s journey from a tech talent recruiter, to a developer herself. (more…)

Meet Landall, Career Advisor turned JavaScript Developer

November 15, 2016

Update: Landall is now an OnSite Software Developer at Detroit Labs.

Here at Grand Circus, our family is constantly growing. We are so fortunate to have students that get so invested in our programs that they continue working with us to support new tech enthusiasts long after their programs have graduated. Meet Landall Proctor, a graduate of our August 2015 Front-End coding bootcamp.

More than a year after his bootcamp ended, Landall continues supporting the Grand Circus community by sharing his insights, wisdom and coding knowledge. He’s contributed in tech Meet Grand Circus Alum Landall!panel discussions, taught our Traveling Circus workshops and is constantly available when we need some alumni expertise. And lucky for us, he works just two doors down the road as a JavaScript developer! It has been great watching him grow his coding skills and seeing him share that with the community. I’m very excited to introduce you to one of our rockstar alumnus! (more…)

From Teacher to Java Developer, Meet Chelsea Gallagher

November 4, 2016

Chelsea Gallagher Grand Circus Front-End Alumnus

Update: Chelsea is now a Client Support Manager at Cirrus Group LLC and goes by Chelsea Kulick.  

What’s more stressful than final projects in a coding bootcamp? Final projects while planning a wedding! That’s right, Chelsea Gallagher planned a wedding all while being a student in our June 2016 Java bootcamp! In addition to this, Chelsea took extra initiative to find a tutor so she could brush up on her skills during the weekends. With this type of drive, she was the first student to secure a full-time position in her bootcamp where she now works as a system developer for PCE Systems. Get to know Chelsea’s complete story in our blog! (more…)