Jackson Pham’s career change from finance to software engineering

Jackson Pham worked in finance for years before making the switch to software engineering. In this Q&A, read what prompted the career change, what he’s up to now as a Software Engineer at Nisum, and what advice he has for others considering our Intermediate Coding Bootcamp.

What drew you to software engineering?

Problem-solving has been a core part of my professional experience. While working in finance with DevOps Engineers to create a dashboard for cloud expenses, I learned that tech folks and non-tech folks don’t speak the same language. Though the first iteration of the tool worked, it was not useful. I realized there was a need to bridge the gap between what was possible from an engineering perspective vs. what was useful as an end user.

I also learned that an engineer’s day-to-day job is to break down large, ambiguous problems into smaller solvable ones. Now, I’m the engineer who bridges that gap using my technical understanding paired with my strong communication skills.

What’s your role at Nisum? What types of projects are you working on?

As a Software Engineer – Web UI / Frontend Developer, I’ve played a direct role in the development, maintenance, technical support, documentation, and administration of the ADA-compliant web Flavor Adventure (Loyalty Game) landing page with a slick carousel.

I’ve liaised with the UI / UX and Accessibility Teams to correct web applications and ensure AA accessibility and compliance.

I’ve worked closely with Product Owners, Analysts, and QA in an Agile environment to ensure quality, security, and maintenance of applications, and to ensure code meets development standards and guidelines.

What do you like about your role? What challenges have you faced so far?

My role allows me to use some of the skills I’ve learned to implement pages that will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people. I was also afforded the opportunity to learn about ADA best practices, which can be challenging but is absolutely necessary. Being inclusive is important, and we should be mindful to ensure our pages are coded with that in mind.

What’s your work environment like? Do you work on-site or remotely?

I’m primarily working remotely and love it. I have gone on-site for product launches and team-building but believe in the remote-first policy.

How was the job search process for you after the bootcamp?

The search was tough, but it all comes down to persistence, timing, and luck. I created a schedule for myself and treated job hunting as a full-time job. The key is to keep chipping at it and incrementally being better every single day.

You worked in finance and real estate previously. Is there anything from those experiences that you’ve been able to carry over into this new career?

While working in finance, I’ve honed my ability to communicate effectively, ask great questions, and contribute regardless of my job description. Those soft skills continue to translate well.

Do you have any advice for incoming bootcamp students?

It’s a long road ahead, but progress comes from small incremental steps. To get the most out of it, make friends with your cohort mates and lean on them because they are really the only ones that understand what you’re struggling through.


Interested in becoming a software engineer? Jackson graduated from our Intermediate Coding Bootcamp. In this blog post, read about all of our program options, including a coding bootcamp for total beginners.