In 2020, Matthew Marchand was a barista and professional musician in Los Angeles. How did he make a career switch into coding? We got a chance to speak to him about his journey through discovering Codesmith, enrolling in a coding bootcamp, and ultimately finding himself in a new career he’s passionate about. Learn more about Matthew’s story below!
It was actually while working as a barista that he first came across his coding bootcamp.
“One of my regular customers was a Codesmith graduate, and he talked to me about the program and what it entailed — and more generally, just about career switching. It was through him that I discovered their free workshops, and once I was home for a little while due to COVID-19 I really got to dive into some of their online stuff. That really convinced me.”
Now with some background knowledge and a growing desire to learn more, Matthew was faced with one more question: how to pay for coding school.
“I couldn’t afford the tuition on my own, and I was looking at different ways of financing it outside of the ones that were provided by Codesmith, but I just thought Climb was a great product … I really like the way they only work with programs that they’ve researched or have more knowledge about, and that made me feel a lot more comfortable. Then, once I got into the process, it was really easy and very transparent. It’s kind of hard to work with financial stuff sometimes, but this was very easy.”
It was the availability of financing options that helped open the door for him to continue on this new education and career path.
“I’m from a non-traditional background obviously, and I’m a minority as well, so I think there is some stuff in play where I didn’t have that kind of financial ability to pay for this out of my own pocket. I think having a good product like Climb and not having to go through a bank or something like that was super helpful, and I was really thankful for that.”
Then, once in the program, Matthew found he was taking in more than just the technical knowledge.
“Codesmith was really hard, and I imagine most coding bootcamps are challenging and time-intensive, so I think what I learned is how to take care of myself even though I’m working really hard at something. I learned how to take walks, I learned how to revisit a problem later on, and I learned how to relax with my cohort mates. That was really a big part of Codesmith’s success, I think — the social aspect on top of the coding aspect, because it prepares you for so much stuff and being able to stay calm in an often stressful field.”
And though he only plays music for fun now, rather than professionally, he was able to apply his passion for it to his coding work!
“I think I would say [the biggest standout experience] was our reinforcement project, where we go back and do another project just to hammer home all the things we’ve learned from the four projects beforehand. And for that one we really got to dive into our own personal interests. My friends and I got to make a music tool, which was really awesome to be able to use so many of my new skills on something that we were really proud of from our pre–career switch paths. I was also really proud of it technically … I guess you’d say it’s like a full circle moment.”
After the program, it was time for a job search — though it looked a bit different for Matthew than it does for many other job hunters.
“My story was a little different because I stayed on with Codesmith as a fellow. So it was an easier transition because I still had some stability from gaining those skills and working with Codesmith, and then I had time to do the job search while I was with them. I didn’t actually get full-time employment until I think about five or six months after I finished the program, but it was a pretty easy process. Once I was done with the fellowship, I had a job lined up.”
He then moved on to his first full-time coding job, and is excited to begin work at a new job soon!
“I’m actually finishing up with my first position that I got out of Codesmith this week, and I’m starting a new position with Intuit next week … I’m currently a more front-end user interface engineer, and I’ll be continuing that at Intuit, but I’ll be working with more of the technologies we learned at Codesmith (react and node and the really fundamental technologies we worked on there), so that’s what I’m really excited about.”
If Matthew could go back and give himself any advice, it would just be to dive in and do this sooner.
“I’d say ‘just do it,’ you know? I thought about it for a long time — I met my friend at my coffee shop maybe two years before COVID, and it really took some time to gain the confidence to jump into it and go to the free classes they gave, because I’m a little bit more shy sometimes. But I would just go back and say ‘you know you can do this; it’s gonna be a great time.’”
Matthew is a client of Climb’s. However, he was not paid or otherwise compensated for this testimonial. This testimonial reflects the real-life experiences and opinions of Matthew; however, it should not be assumed that all users will have the same experiences. Individual results may vary.
The quoted statements appear verbatim as given by the user, except for the correction of grammar and typing errors. Some testimonials may have been shortened or rearranged for the sake of clarity.