Name & hometown?
My name is Bridgid Hurley and I grew up in Sioux Falls. I went to Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. I majored in Accounting and minored in Computer Science. After college, I started working for a large public accounting firm, KPMG, LLP in Chicago. My work there primarily involved auditing the IT systems for annual financial statement audits for a variety of clients.
Did you choose this program to continuing your education in your current work or to change careers?
Both. I was working crazy hours in Chicago and discovered that if I was going to be working that hard, I wanted to find work that provided a more flexible schedule. While working in IT audit I had been exposed to application software and development. Over time, it became something I was interested in learning more about. Further, creativity, as you would imagine, is looked down upon in the world of auditing and accounting – and that was something I wanted to incorporate into my day-to-day work.
Why did you first become interested in learning coding?
During college, I took a few computer science classes, but it simply started out as a way to increase my credit hours to 150 to be eligible for the CPA exam. I found to my surprise, however, that it was a field I was interested in, and wanted to expand upon in the future.
While at KPMG, a major part of my job was to regularly interview the system administrators and developers who managed the IT systems for the various audit clients. So, over and over again I was talking to these individuals on the source code side of the equation, learning more about their day-to-day functions, and became more and more curious about development and programming.
Why did you decide Code Bootcamp of SD was a good fit for you?
The number one reason was that it was located in Sioux Falls. This is where I wanted to be long-term, so it just made sense to make this transition all at once. Additionally, Josh and Will had structured the program with a strong emphasis on networking and in turn provided introductions to the Sioux Falls business community and the industry leaders. As someone who has been away from the Sioux Falls area for six years, having an opportunity to make these connections was extremely valuable and just as important as learning the technical skills.
What are you doing now after finishing Code Bootcamp?
I finished the summer Bootcamp at the end of July. In September I started working with Josh at Code Bootcamp as a 24/7 resource for the current students. I try to assist them with problems or answer questions, all the while continuing to learn and experience real life application of the skills I learned over the summer.
I also have created a new freelance business with one of the Bootcamp students I met over the summer, Davida Gaffney. We are currently working on several exciting web design and development projects together.
What direction do you hope to take in the future?
My primary goal was to create a more flexible schedule for myself and working with Code Bootcamp has provided that opportunity. I could get a full-time job with a company at any time, but I realized that I could learn from Josh and Will about how to manage projects and a freelance business and I want to maximize that opportunity now. It seems common for developers to have a freelance business running in the background, such as on nights and weekends, even if he or she has a full-time job. So, to me, now is a good time to get my freelance work figured out, and see what happens!
What are two examples of things you learned at Code Bootcamp that will be beneficial going forward in your career?
The main thing I learned from Josh and Will was how to interact with clients, how to know what questions to ask to understand fully what their needs are and how to bridge the gap between my skills and their vision – combining development work and functionality with design.
Networking (again). While I’ve always enjoyed networking in my previous position, it usually felt on behalf of a company or a client. It’s much different when it’s yourself you are promoting as a contractor or a freelancer. Code Bootcamp provides memberships to the Bakery, a co-working space and more! It’s a great place to network in Sioux Falls, and since so much happens by word of mouth and referrals, it’s a great place to get started! We know relationships are vital to most things, and being able to communicate your goals, ask effective questions, and offer your services to the community are essential to succeeding.
What advice would you have for future Code Bootcamp students as they prepare or decide to join?
I would say that if you’re considering joining, don’t be intimidated by the amount of time needed. Josh and Will have a flexible approach towards teaching the material and creating a schedule. So, don’t just say: I can’t do this without quitting my job or it won’t fit into my schedule. There might be a way to make it work! These are very valuable skills to have even if you aren’t hoping to wind up in a dedicated developer or programming position. Every business has a website, everyone uses software and applications; it’s great knowledge to have. It might be what sets you apart from your peers!
What is the most rewarding part of learning to code?
Coding, I think, is as equally frustrating as it is rewarding. Sometimes you can’t get your links to work, it’s cluttered with errors, or something doesn’t show up the way you want after spending hours working on it without any success. But, then, the clouds eventually part and it finally works! Everything has come together and it’s like, “Yahtzee!”
Are you ready for a career change like Bridgid?
The entire twelve weeks costs only $4,997 and is limited to 10 students. Class is starting in May 2017, don’t wait until it is too late to apply.
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