Coming from a background in art and museum management, Beginner Coding Bootcamp graduate Cise Babatasi is looking forward to a long career exploring the creative possibilities of software engineering. In this Q&A, read how Cise’s interest in the intersection of art and technology led her to the bootcamp, what she got out of her time in the beginner program, and what she’s up to now as a Software Developer at Thryv.
How did you become interested in software engineering?
I actually come from a background in art and museum management. However, when I was working as a Project Manager for cultural and artistic projects, I became increasingly curious about content management systems like Wix and WordPress, and I started experimenting with creating websites for exhibitions as a fun side project.
During that time, I also noticed that digital art was becoming increasingly popular, and I became more and more interested in exploring the intersection between art and technology. I realized that I wanted to take my interests to the next level and gain the technical skills to create more sophisticated and interactive digital art projects.
That’s what drew me to software engineering. I’m fascinated by the problem-solving aspect of it and the ability to create functional and efficient software solutions. But more than that, I’m excited about the creative possibilities that software engineering offers and the ways it can be used to bring art and technology together in new and innovative ways.
What led you to the Hack Reactor program, and what did you get out of your time in the program?
I decided to enroll in the Hack Reactor program for several reasons. Firstly, the program has an excellent reputation and is well-known for producing top-notch software engineers. This reputation helped me feel confident in my decision to enroll in the program.
Secondly, I was drawn to the program’s syllabus, which was very well-designed and covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time. I knew that the program would provide me with the technical skills I needed to succeed as a software engineer.
During my time in the program, I learned a lot about how to think like a programmer and how to approach complex problems in a logical and systematic way. I also gained a lot of experience working in a team environment and collaborating with others to solve problems.
Perhaps most importantly, the program helped me to discover the problem-solver inside of me. I became more confident in my ability to tackle difficult challenges and learned to enjoy the process of finding solutions to complex problems.
Overall, my time in the Hack Reactor program was an incredibly valuable experience, and I feel that it has prepared me well for a successful career in software engineering.
Congrats on your new role at Thryv! What kinds of projects are you working on?
I recently started working at Thryv as a Software Developer, and it’s been about 2 months now. It’s my first job in the software engineering field, and I feel incredibly lucky to have landed at Thryv.
Since I started, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a variety of different tasks and with different people, which has been really exciting. I love the dynamic of our team and the collaborative nature of our work. It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off of my colleagues and learn from their experiences.
One of the things that’s been really cool about working at Thryv is the number of Hack Reactor alums on staff. It’s been awesome to connect with them and share our experiences from the program.
Overall, I feel like I’m learning something new every day at Thryv, and I’m excited to continue growing and developing as a software engineer here.
What do you like about your role? And what challenges have you faced so far?
What I really like about my role as a Software Developer at Thryv is that it’s both challenging and rewarding. Every day and every task is a new challenge for me, especially as a new starter, and I always have the opportunity to learn something new and improve my skills.
One of the things that I’m particularly excited about is the chance to work on a lot of front-end tasks. This is an area that I’ve always been interested in, and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work on it and learn more about it.
Of course, with any new job, there are always challenges to face. One of the biggest challenges for me has been learning to navigate the company’s codebase and workflow. There’s a lot to learn, and it can be overwhelming at times, but I’m fortunate to have a supportive team that’s always willing to help and answer my questions. Overall, I’m really enjoying my role at Thryv and I feel like I’m growing and improving as a software developer every day.
What’s your work environment like? On-site, remote?
I work remotely, which has been a great experience for me so far. I’ve been working remotely since my time in the Hack Reactor bootcamp, so I’ve had some experience with it already.
I find that I’m really productive working remotely. I can create a comfortable work environment that suits my needs and allows me to focus on my tasks without distractions. Plus, I don’t have to worry about commuting or getting stuck in traffic, which is a big plus.
Of course, there are some challenges to working remotely as well. Communication can sometimes be a bit more difficult when you’re not working in the same physical space as your colleagues. However, I find that regular check-ins and using tools like Slack and Zoom help to keep everyone on the same page.
Overall, I’m really enjoying working remotely and I feel like I’ve been able to settle into a routine that works well for me.
How was the post-program job search process for you?
The post-program job search process was challenging, but I felt that the training I received from Career Services during my time at Hack Reactor really helped me prepare for it. They provided me with the tools and resources I needed to make all of my materials, including my resume, cover letter, and outreach messages, really stand out.
One of the most helpful things I learned from Career Services was the importance of consistency in applying and reaching out to people. They emphasized the need to be persistent and not to get discouraged by rejections or silence from potential employers. I took this advice to heart and made sure to consistently apply and outreach to people, even when it felt discouraging.
I also found it really helpful to connect with other Hack Reactor alums during the job search process. We were able to share tips and advice with each other and offer support when things got tough. Overall, I can’t say enough about how helpful Career Services was during the job search process. Their advice and guidance were invaluable, and I feel really fortunate to have had their support as I navigated the post-program job market.
Is there anything from your former career or studies that you’ve been able to carry into your new career in software engineering?
Absolutely! I’ve found that my background in art and design has been surprisingly applicable to my new career in software engineering. One of the things that I’ve been able to carry over from my former career is my ability to think creatively and outside the box when it comes to problem-solving. I think this has been especially helpful when it comes to designing user interfaces and thinking about how users will interact with software products.
I’ve also found that my background in design has given me an eye for detail that’s been really useful in my new career. Whether it’s debugging code or building new features, I’m always looking for ways to improve the functionality and user experience of the software products I work on.
Overall, I feel that my background in art and design has given me a unique perspective on software engineering and has helped me to approach problems in a more creative and innovative way. I’m excited to see how I can continue to apply these skills in my new career.
Do you have any advice for incoming students who are about to start the bootcamp?
My advice to incoming students would be to approach the program with an open mind and a willingness to learn. The bootcamp is an intensive experience, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed at times, but it’s important to stay focused and keep pushing forward.
One thing that I found really helpful during my time in the bootcamp was building a strong support network. This could be your fellow classmates, instructors, or alumni of the program. It’s important to have people who you can turn to when you’re struggling or feeling stuck.
Another piece of advice would be to make the most of the resources that are available to you. Whether it’s the instructors, Career Services, or other support staff, there are a lot of people who are there to help you succeed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Finally, I would encourage incoming students to take advantage of every opportunity to practice and apply what they’re learning. The more you can immerse yourself in the material and put it into practice, the better prepared you’ll be for a career in software engineering.
Overall, the bootcamp is an incredible experience, and I have no doubt that incoming students will get a lot out of it if they approach it with the right mindset and take advantage of the resources available to them.
Interested in more Beginner Coding Bootcamp stories? Read about Amanda Kiehm and Jessica Dyer, both of who now work as software engineers in the renewable energy field.