Keli Hansen started classes at Alchemy in the beginning of this year. She came to us with a desire to make a more comfortable living and decided to do it through code. She entered our program after working in yarn stores a long time, and immediately secured a job as an Application Engineer at Nike days after completing our course. Why did she get such a great job so quickly? Because she loves to code. She spent the time in our career track quickly completing projects and continued to code more than required to complete assignments, and created an incredible GitHub profile that got her an interview quickly, even after being told she was too junior on paper. She’s a perfect example of someone who spent the time in our program taking advantage of every opportunity to hone her coding skills, and although it’s a tough program, she came out of it on the other side with a great job...one that will quickly pay off the money she spent on the course. We can’t wait to see how she grows her career. This Woman Can Code. And so can all the other women who go through our program.
In Keli’s own words:
“Learning, untangling problems, and crafting beautiful, useful things – sometimes with code, sometimes with wool.”
Learn more about Keli’s journey in her own words:
What were you doing for work before attending Alchemy?
I've actually been working in yarn stores for the past six years. Helping knitters is delightful enough that I'm still on the staff at Starlight Knitting Society. I especially enjoy "debugging" customers' projects.
What made you decide to take classes at Alchemy?
I was feeling financially insecure following some health issues. One morning last December I had a moment of clarity and thought, "I am capable of solving this. I could go to code school." My husband, Erik, is a developer, so I had a good sense of what the work entailed. I enrolled within a week.
Had you considered other coding schools? What made you choose Alchemy over the others if so?
I never really did. Erik had worked briefly as a TA for Alchemy before getting a job, so it was the first place I investigated. After meeting with Megan, the school director, I didn't feel the need to look elsewhere.
Why are you excited about it, and how is it going to impact your life?
You might have to ask me again in a year! The pay difference between this job and my last few jobs is so astounding, I hardly know what to expect. I do love that I'll be able to pay off my code school debt within a few months. What I'm most excited about is spending my days thinking through coding puzzles and learning from other developers. I'm also happy to be adding a little more diversity to the field. Plus, I get to wear comfortable shoes working for a company that's been a cultural force for my entire life.
You got a job quickly after graduation. What did you do to make yourself so attractive to prospective employers?
Yes, much more quickly than I expected. I think that partly I must have been in the right place at the right time, but I did put an immense amount of work into the program. My diligence and curiosity kept me coding late into many nights. I also followed the advice of our career services director, preparing my resume well in advance of graduating and making my code presentable on GitHub.
What will you miss most about being at Alchemy every day?
The first thing that comes to mind is honestly Megan's plants. The bright, airy space is so soothing. But truly, I'll miss how supportive and positive the people are.
If there’s anything you would tell someone considering an education to be a software developer, what would it be?
Was career services helpful for you after graduation?
Oh my goodness, I owe so much to career services. Our director went above and beyond to get my resume in front of the right people and then coached me when it came time to negotiate pay. Her support was one of the most valuable parts of my experience at Alchemy.
If you are interested in learning more about our program or applying, we start a new session every quarter. Read about our course descriptions here, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. You can also apply today if you fill out our online application (will not commit you to attend, but it starts the process to do so!) We also have an open house every Thursday at 12:30PM & a social hour on the last Friday of each month. Join us! Everyone is welcome!