Alumni Spotlight Series: A Career-Changing Journey from Welder to Software Developer

With more than 3,000 graduates from our remote and physical bootcamps Alumni Spotlight - Daniel Schnelzer across the country, there are so many incredible alumni stories to share. This post is a continuation of the Tech Elevator Alumni Spotlight series highlighting 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.

For this post, we sat down with Dan Schnelzer, a 2022 graduate from Tech Elevator’s National Live Remote program to ask him about his journey to software development. Keep reading to see how he transformed from a welder and electrician to a full-time software developer.

Before: Feeling Depleted from Over-Time

Before Tech Elevator, Dan spent his entire career in skilled trade professions. He realized that the trajectory of his roles was limiting and the physical labor was becoming increasingly more difficult on his body. After speaking to a coworker whose son went through Tech Elevator’s program, he decided to make a career change into tech.

During: A Rewarding Experience 

Dan attended Tech Elevator’s National Live Remote program that started in October of 2021. He decided to apply after doing some research and discussing the program with the admissions team.

He said: “The program was both challenging and awesome! There was so much information to learn, but also so much support from my classmates and instructors. No one wants to see you fail. Even with the challenges and workload, it was still very rewarding to build things and see them come to life. I felt a great sense of accomplishment at the end of each week with how much we achieved.”

After: A Software Developer with a Passion for Building Apps 

Today, Dan works remotely as a Technology Development Program Associate at UnitedHealth Group. One thing he noticed regarding his career change is the potential for growth. With his previous jobs, he always felt limited and that there wasn’t much room, if any, for growth. Now, he feels there is limitless potential.

“I am working remotely now and it has made a world of difference in my life. The company I’m working for is so different from what I was familiar with from my previous roles. They are very accommodating, understanding and the culture is great. The managers and supervisors care about their employees, which isn’t something I felt as much from my previous roles.”

Dan’s goals for the future are to continue creating and building new things. He would love to build more apps in the future and is currently working with other Tech Elevator alumni to make this dream a reality.

Advice for Those Considering Tech Elevator

Dan says: “I would absolutely recommend people to Tech Elevator. It is a lot of work and takes as much effort as everyone says it does, but in the end it is beyond rewarding. Tech Elevator taught me what I needed to know to start my career and how to continue to teach myself as I progress. There were some moments of imposter syndrome, given how much there is to learn in tech, but I didn’t panic and wasn’t too affected by it. I learned how to ask the right questions, how to learn and appreciate all the things that I did know. I’ve recommended people to Tech Elevator that I know will take the time needed to complete the program and are driven to succeed in their careers.” 

Ready to Kickstart Your Own Career Transformation? 

Your new future is waiting. 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 Aptitude Test to get started.

Alumni Spotlight - Madey Khurma

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