Q: What was your career background? 

“Well, in terms of my background, I have an educational background in English literature. I have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English Lit. I am also certified to teach English as a second language, and I taught abroad. I also had a part-time career in social media. I have a very different background from most web developers who come in with a traditional computer science degree.”  

Q: When did you become interested in learning how to code? 

“I want to say four and a half years ago, I happened to be talking to a friend of mine, who’s a software engineer, and he was telling me about his day-to-day activities, and about his journey. And the more he talked to me about the tech environment, the more I became intrigued and curious about building websites. It just sounded like something really fun. So, I started looking into web development on my own; I started doing tutorials, code-along videos on YouTube, and learned more about the field. It was something I liked to do as a hobby, on the weekends, and in my spare time. I also started building websites and messing around with HTML and CSS.”  

 

Q: What about tech kept you intrigued and what led you to Interapt?  

“It was a great creative outlet for me. I had already started learning HTML and CSS, but wanted to learn more about functionality. Like, if a user were to interact with my website, could they click a link, and would it take them somewhere? At that point, I didn’t  know how to do that. So, I started learning JavaScript. At this point, I was still doing self-guided tutorials, and learning on my own. The more time I spent coding, the more I fell in love with it. I felt like this was something I wanted to do professionally. Although I was still working, I took some web-development and object-oriented classes at an online college, which were a little bit challenging, but served as great foundation for more advanced topics. I was also able to learn more about theoretical principles that I could apply to coding. After taking quite a few online courses, I felt like what can I do next? So, I started to apply for apprenticeships, and that was at the start of the pandemic when things were really uncertain and companies were quickly shifting from in-person to remote.  Unfortunately, the apprenticeship I was accepted into was cancelled because of the pandemic. I struggled with that but continued to work full-time job while coding on the side. Finally, I happened to do a Google search for remote, immersive apprenticeships–something that I could do online, and not have to worry about commuting.  That’s when I came across Interapt’s Java Immersive program, which  pretty much changed my life in such a great way.” 

 

Q: Tell me in one word or phrase how you would describe the experience of changing careers to tech? 

“Exhilarating! It’s exciting. Everything is moving so quickly but it’s so exciting at the same time. And yeah, it’s exhilarating. It’s an awesome feeling–a special feeling that I’ve never felt before. It’s amazing.”

 

Q: What do you love most about your new field of technology? 

“I really love the fact that technology is ever-changing. It is always evolving, it’s very cutting edge and nothing stays the same. I love the fact that there’s always something new, there are always improvements, and it’s such a fast-paced, exciting field. In terms of web development, I love how we as developers can build something that can impact someone’s life and make their life and everyday tasks easier– we can also be creative with it. So, I love the fact that for me, it gives me a creative outlet and I’m always learning something new.”

 

Q: What are your ultimate goals? 

“I definitely want to continue down this path of becoming a software engineer. Currently, I’m a junior web developer but can definitely see myself in five years being a senior software engineer. That is definitely my goal, to continue in this field, sharpen my skills and keep on pushing through.”

 

Q: What has been your greatest achievement? 

“Well, I would say, just transitioning into this field without having the traditional computer science degree. I’m most proud of that and it’s such a huge accomplishment for me and many others who are in my shoes. I think another huge achievement is graduating from the Java Immersive program, putting in the work, and having success in the end. I’m so excited to move on and see what happens next.”

 

Q: Did you experience any setbacks or challenges? 

“There were moments when I experienced or grappled with what we call ‘imposter syndrome,’ where I felt like: ‘Am I really cut out for this? Can I really do this? Am I good enough?’ I’ve definitely had those moments of questioning what I’m doing. But I had to force myself to stay focused and to stay positive and push past those negative thoughts and be around people who were supportive of what I was doing. All in all, I’m glad that I continued to believe in myself and push forward.”

 

Q: What has helped you stay motivated? 

“I joined a few meetup groups that were based on web development in my city. A lot of them are now remote due to the pandemic, but prior to the pandemic, I was able to go out in-person. The best thing I did was join those meetup groups where I was able to meet other people from diverse educational backgrounds. Collaborating with other programmers helped me to sharpen my skills and gain new insight which kept me motivated. In terms of my cohort, sharing my experiences with them, challenges with them, and accomplishments has also kept me motivated. In addition, reading articles on web development and new advance in technology help me stay motivated and  knowledgeable.

 

Q: What project were you most excited about sharing with your family and friends? 

“Definitely the capstone project. That project was the culmination of everything we had learned in the Java Immersive class. We did a project where we built a full-stack application–something we had never done before in class, and I was really excited to share that with others. It was a great moment, and a lot of hard work went into it. I felt like I really achieved what I set out to do. So, that was something I’m most proud of.”

Q: Why is it important that there are opportunities for more women in technology roles? 

“I will start by saying that there are so few women in tech, and that to me is really sad. I remember taking a computer science class back in college and being one of two women, out of 25 students. It was rare to see women in computer science courses. So, as a woman, we don’t feel encouraged to become a software engineer or a web developer because we don’t typically see people like us in the field. So, I think that we need to really change that and make sure we start motivating women, especially young women and girls at an early age. This is something we need to make sure we ingrain into children at a young age. This needs to be something that we work on in this country as a whole and ensure that middle schools and high schools offer coding courses and that everyone is encouraged to take them. In addition, I would encourage women by telling them: ‘you can do this, you may have people tell you that you won’t make it in such a technical field or that you can’t transition from one field into the tech sector; but don’t listen to any negativity, and just keep pressing forward.’ I would also tell them: ‘make sure you’re really passionate about coding and technology and to first learn about the field–take some courses and figure out if this is something you really want to do. If you are passionate about it, you can do it! Remember to work hard, stay determined, and stay focused. In the end, you will make it and success will follow!’ I’ve done it. I’ve seen other people, women and men transition into this field from other careers so it can be done. I would continue to motivate them to do it, and keep the faith-believe in themselves. It’s possible.” 

 

“… don’t listen to any negativity, and just keep pressing forward.’ I would also tell them: ‘make sure you’re really passionate about coding and technology and to first learn about the field–take some courses and figure out if this is something you really want to do. If you are passionate about it, you can do it! Remember to work hard, stay determined, and stay focused. In the end, you will make it, and success will follow!”

-Antonique Tyler, recent Interapt Skills Graduate

 

 

Q: Any final thoughts about the Interapt Program to share? 

“I’m honestly so grateful for Interapt, and the work that Interapt is doing, and how they really care about inclusivity and diversity. I love that and I’m just so happy that I had the opportunity to be a part of this program. I learned so much along the way. And I’ve met so many incredible friends who I plan on keeping in touch with. The program was immersive and challenging at times, but so fulfilling and worthwhile. I’m just really honored that I had the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful experience.”

 

 

If you’re interested in learning more about our program or working with Interapt for your next project and hiring great talent like Antonique, you can contact us through our website or reach out via email (info@interapt.com) or phone (502-251-1511). 

 

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