Instructor Spotlight: Meet Cleveland Campus Instructor Tori Brenneison

Tech Elevator has been transforming lives since 2015; it all started with eight ambitious students ready to make a career change into tech as software developers.Tech Elevator Instructor With more than 3,000 graduates from our remote and physical bootcamps across the country, Tech Elevator helps people change their career trajectories more than ever before.

Through all the growth and transformation, one thing has remained constant–our incredible instructional staff. For our first Tech Elevator Instructor Spotlight, we sat down with Tori Brenneison, one of our Cleveland Campus instructors, to hear about her journey to becoming a Tech Elevator Instructor.

Keep reading to see how she took a leap in her career and is now developing the next generation of tech talent.

From Art History to Software Development

Tori began creating and developing text-based games after her father introduced her to coding and computer technology at a young age. This introduction led her to develop web pages from Microsoft Frontpage and place first in her high school’s web-design contest. After high school, however, she pursued other passions outside of web development and received her History of Art MA.

She admits that it took her a while to find her way back into tech, but her passion for building websites never faded. One day, after a stretch of unemployment and some personal hardships, a friend suggested that she use her web development skills to find a job in tech.

“I went to a programming bootcamp back when the idea of bootcamp was pretty new. I knew my JavaScript skills from 2004 wouldn’t get me as far as I wanted.  I started by learning C# and thought I’d get a job in web development, but my first job was writing software integrations. And it turns out, I love working with integrations!  The rest, as they say, is history.”

Tori was an integration developer for a healthcare startup and a content-management company. Before joining Tech Elevator, she developed software at Harley-Davidson Dealer systems for several years.

Becoming a Tech Elevator Instructor 

Tori has been interested in coding bootcamps since she attended one. She first heard about Tech Elevator when she was on a committee that hosted a Women in Technology conference. She met a lot of women who either attended Tech Elevator’s coding bootcamp or were planning on attending. When it was time for her to make her next career move, she knew where she wanted to go next: Tech Elevator.

Tori said: “The company is so student-focused that the only metric of success is, ‘Did the students get jobs?’ There are no shifting goalposts, no corporate money grabs or deceptive marketing. I’m proud that we report to CIRR and stand by our audited results. 

Everyone here believes in the mission and they want students to succeed. It’s a bunch of great people working together to help students change their lives, and we have a lot of fun while doing it.

I’ve never felt disrespected or like my ideas didn’t matter, and I have a lot of freedom in my job–I can make my own decisions about how to teach, what happens in my classroom, when to assign weekend work, when to have more review or move ahead, etc. All that matters is that my students are job-ready at the end, and Tech Elevator trusts me to prepare them well.“

Tori’s Advice for Those Considering Tech Elevator–Students and Instructors 

For Instructors:Tech Elevator Instructor

  1. The position is extraordinary for building experience in coaching, mentoring, content development, and training delivery–it puts a great edge on your soft skills.
  1. You’ll become a better developer by re-visiting and teaching the basics. Besides solidifying your knowledge, coaching students through some of the more challenging parts of their code is fun.
  1. The technology industry isn’t going anywhere; it will still be there when you want to return to development full-time.
  1. Tech Elevator is, without a doubt, one of the best jobs you’ll have. It’s difficult to find as much personal fulfillment anywhere else. I cry non-stop at graduation because I’m incredibly proud of my students, and I cry again when they get their first job. I’m grateful to be on this journey with my students.

For Students:

Congratulations on taking the first step toward a new career! Programming bootcamps are a big step and you’re signing yourself up for a very intense, life-changing experience. It can be really tough to get full-stack development into your brain in just fourteen (or thirty) weeks, but you won’t just be doing that–you’ll also be preparing yourself for the workplace via our Pathway Program, building connections with other students and tech professionals, and trying to keep just enough of a handle on your personal life to pull through. It’s a lot!

I always tell students that they’re the ones who need to put in the work (I can’t do it for them), but if you put in the effort, follow the program and trust the process, in the end you’ll have a certificate of completion, a ton of new skills, new connections and a mentor to coach you through the job search. All of that is a great start to launching your career.

Take the Next Step in Your Software Development Career

Tori’s journey into tech and becoming an instructor at Tech Elevator is inspirational and we hope that you found her insights helpful as you determine your next step in tech. Coding bootcamps are both challenging and extremely rewarding.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your software development career and become a Tech Elevator Instructor, then look at our open positions and apply.

If you’re exploring a career in tech, then take our Aptitude Test to get started.

Tech Elevator Instructor Written by Josh Tucholski, Tech Elevator’s Director of Curriculum & Instruction