From (Valet) Driver to Developer
For Jonathan Gonzalez, coding is creation: "I love the process of creation, and coding lets me have the chance to create something wonderful. I get to see the final product that is functional and working – it’s amazing.”
Jonathan has always been curious about how things work. Growing up in Mexico, he developed an early interest in technology by playing around with computers. He was astonished by how quickly and easily he was able to find information using a computer.
"Coding lets me have the chance to create something wonderful."
When Jonathan first came to the US, he was working as a valet by day and studying engineering by night. For 11 years his work as a valet paid the bills while he focused on learning more about technology.
It was a CS50x introduction to programming class by LaunchCode and the Idea Center at Miami Dade College that finally inspired Jonathan to learn computer programming. "I was learning engineering but I always thought I would love to program,” he explains. "CS50x was great for me! I met a lot of people and learned a lot. As I went through the course, I learned more and more about LaunchCode and the jobs available.”
"LaunchCode was my way in."
After finishing CS50x, Jonathan applied for an apprenticeship through LaunchCode with the hope of finding his first job in computer programming. "Sometimes I’m not very good with words and it's difficult for me to get my point across. Figuring out how to interview was something that I needed help with.”
LaunchCode coached Jonathan on his interview skills and started pairing him with companies around Miami. He was offered an apprenticeship at How to Manage a Small Law Firm, and three months later was offered a full-time position.
"My job is perfect for me, it’s so much fun,” he says. "LaunchCode was my way in–they helped teach me how to code and found me a place where I can both continue to learn and get paid! I'm now on my way to a great career in tech.”