Alumni Spotlight Series: A Career-Changing Journey from Politics to Software Development

Tech Elevator’s alumni network continues to grow year after year. Alumni Spotlight - Abby CleryWe currently have more than 3,500 graduates from our remote and physical bootcamps across the country. With each graduate of our program comes the opportunity to share and learn from some incredible alumni experiences.

This is a continuation of the Tech Elevator Alumni Spotlight series, in which we highlight some of the exceptional career-changing journeys of our graduates. We hope that these stories will inspire and empower more individuals to make the change they’ve been dreaming about and start their journey into a tech career.

You can also sign up for one of our virtual Student Spotlight events to hear directly from one of our alumni about their experience with Tech Elevator.

For this post, we sat down with Abigail(Abby) Clery, a 2021 graduate from Tech Elevator’s National Live Remote program to ask her about her journey into software development. Keep reading to see how she transformed from an elections organizer to a full-time software developer.

Before: Craving Challenge and Excitement In a Career

Before Tech Elevator, Abby spent five years in the insurance industry and found that she had a passion for problem-solving and implementing solutions. She then shifted into a political science career as an elections organizer in 2020, which was a short-term position.

After her time in politics was over, she decided that her next career would be something both challenging and exciting. This is when she made the choice to pivot into tech and become a software developer.

She said: Tech wasn’t necessarily the logical next step for me. So when my elections organizer role concluded, I was trying to take a good look at where I wanted to go next, how I could invest in my career, and find something that really challenged me and also excited me.

My friend suggested another coding bootcamp, but through that process, I found Tech Elevator. Some things about the program really caught my eye. Specifically the emphasis on career building through the Pathway Program and data transparency through auditing placement and graduation statistics.”

Abby recalls her admissions interview with the National Live Remote Campus Director, Peggy Kachevas, and discussing how every company is now a technology company in some capacity. This highlighted the versatility of a career in software development and made her feel that it was a good fit.

During: Supportive Staff, Instructors and Classmates

Abby came into Tech Elevator with no prior coding experience and remembers starting the prework, preliminary course material, and wondering what she got herself into. However, she quickly felt reassured that she belonged in the program.

Abby felt supported throughout her time at Tech Elevator, whether it was by the staff, instructors or her fellow classmates. The structure of the program was also beneficial for her as she was able to join a student study group to help complete assignments.

“The instructors were so supportive and reassuring. Everyone at Tech Elevator was there for our cohort and encouraged us along the way.” 

Job Search Guidance

The support from her instructors, staff and classmates became even more important as she started her job search toward the end of the program.

She said: “The job search was challenging. We were working on building up our LinkedIn, resumes and networking all while still going through the program. Though difficult, the challenge was made much easier with the Pathway Program and its directors. The support was there and there was ample guidance. The Pathway directors knew the students individually and how to help them highlight their skills from their past to get the job. It was a little discouraging at times, but doing it with peers and a support system was super helpful. It was all worth it in the end.

After: Working as an Associate Software Developer

Today, Abby is an associate software developer at Dart Container. She enjoys working with her team and is even working alongside another Tech Elevator graduate.

In her role, she works with users to help fix issues they encounter and implements new technologies into existing applications. She is in a unique position, where she gets to not only help and interact with users, but also focus on big-picture implementations as they present themselves.

Abby’s Advice for Those Considering Tech Elevator

When asked if she had any advice for people wanting to attend Tech Elevator, Abby said, “I don’t think it hurts to explore coding before you get into a program like Tech Elevator. Even though you don’t need prior coding experience, it certainly helps if you have seen terms before. It will also help you narrow down where you want to go next if you have explored a bit beforehand.” 

She continues: “It’s going to feel like a very long time before you feel comfortable and before you know what you should know. I still learn new things every day and still have to ask questions. I can’t stress enough how important it is to work on a team where you feel supported and can ask questions when you need to.”

Catch up on what you missed and watch the Alumni Spotlight event below.

Ready to Kickstart Your Own Career Transformation? 

Your new future could be yours in as little as 14 weeks or 30 weeks. If you’re looking to take the next step in your career and think being a software developer is the path for you, then take our 25-minute Aptitude Test to get started.

Alumni - Madey Khurma

Alumni Spotlight Written by Madey Khurma, Tech Elevator’s Former Director of Alumni Relations