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.
What did you do before the bootcamp?
Before the Grand Circus bootcamp I had recently left my job as a Marketing Coordinator in the public health field. I had, in some form, always worked with or on websites and had recently became more interested in actually building them.
How did you get interested in tech?
Even though I had small sparks of interest in tech before, I didn’t really realize I could turn that interest into a new career until I attended a Grand Circus Demo Day. Seeing the students go from little to no development background to the well-designed final projects inspired me and made me believe, “If they can do it, I can too.”
Why did you decide to take the Meridian Bootcamp?
I decided to join the Meridian Bootcamp because I was initially interested in Grand Circus after attending a Demo Day. However, through my job search I also became interested in a career at Meridian. When I heard about the Meridian Bootcamp Powered by Grand Circus, it was the best of both worlds. I decided to join the bootcamp because I could see myself in thriving and learning in both environments.
What advice do you have for any women looking to get involved in tech?
Don’t be afraid to be the only woman in the room. Once you take that first step, it is you who will inspire the next woman to move outside of her comfort zone. Be confident in yourself and your ability to learn all that you can and contribute something of value to the rest of the world.
Tell me about your position now and what you’re doing?
I am currently a Jr. Software Engineer at Meridian where I work on the Quality IT team. I use Advanced Business Language in Progress Open Edge software on the day to day. The developers on our team are responsible for improving the technology our business uses to deliver quality care to the population we serve.
What do you like most about working at Meridian?
I like Meridian’s culture. Coming from my last position it was important for me to not only like the job I’m doing, but also like the environment I’m doing it in. Meridian has an entire department dedicated to culture activities such as bowling clubs, seasonal activities in and outside of work, and one of my favorites – Bagel Fridays!
How is the team environment at Meridian?
The team environment is very welcoming. Coming into a new place you can often feel like the “new kid,” but I didn’t feel that way at all when I started in IT. The team swept me under their arms and have been so welcoming and have been there to help with any questions or concerns that I have whether it’s about my development work or anything Meridian.
How would you describe your overall Grand Circus experience?
My overall Grand Circus experience was life changing. I went from absolutely no coding background to a full stack developer in the matter of weeks.
The experience challenged me to push myself to continuously learn more, and, because of that experience, I know I’ll never stop learning.