Sunmi Finds Programming In Portland

Trying Something New, Finding Something Great

   Sunmi, LaunchCode LC101 Alumni

Tell us a bit about your background.

I earned a B.A. in Multi-Media and later had an internship with a VOIP software/hardware company. It was cutting edge 20 years ago. I spent a lot of time traveling after graduating and ended up later working in Sales/Marketing for a Natural gas company for 8 and half years. Sales was one of the most dynamic departments in the company, however, after that time, I knew it was time for a change and to find a field where I could learn and grow more.

In 2016 I quit my job, sold our house, cars and most of our STUFF and traveled across the country and abroad. Portland ended up being the new home and I’ve been getting settled in. Outside of work/study, I like yoga and water sports. I like Scuba diving and my recent favorite is Stand Up Paddle.

What led you to sign up for LaunchCode’s LC101 course?

My good friend in Seattle recommended LaunchCode to me. She started the program a couple of weeks ahead of me. Honestly, at first was to get out of the house. The first class began when I was 5 weeks postpartum. New city, new baby, no network, I needed an excuse to go out. My reasons changed soon after getting into the program.

How did the reality of class differ from your expectations?

I remember I went home after the first class saying ‘This is a legitimate course!” I had been skeptical going into it and didn’t expect much, but it had a nice and solid curriculum and those assignments… they kept me up many nights.

It was a great community that I didn’t know even existed. A Bunch of smart people who try to help each other, can’t get better than that!

Can you tell us about a highlight or two from class?

We had guest speakers occasionally. They provided great insights into what it’s REALLY like being a software engineer, developer, product manager, or data management person. They were a great tie in with what we had learned and very useful and insightful guidance toward our future careers.

As for the Teaching Fellows and instructor — they were great! They were helpful, accountable, and motivational. It was a great community that I didn’t know even existed. A Bunch of smart people who try to help each other, can’t get better than that!

This course teaches necessary logic technique and patterns, also opening doors for students to find opportunities for a better tomorrow.

Do you feel the course prepared you well for the type of role you’re seeking?

Ultimately, I would like to work as a developer and I am looking forward to gaining any experience along the way there. Getting ready for a job is not only having certain levels of a skill. This course teaches necessary logic technique and patterns, also opening doors for students to find opportunities for a better tomorrow. I have had fun in this course and I’m glad I found where I can constantly learn new things. It totally got me motivated to get a job in the tech industry.

What have you learned about yourself by taking this course?

I’ve learned new problem-solving skills and I can implement them even in my personal life. By dividing problems to a manageable size and working them out one at a time, like debugging, is well suited to my new mommy life.

What would be your advice to someone interested in signing up for LaunchCode’s next class cohort?

This is pretty fast-paced course, For someone who has no experience in coding it could easily lead to frustration — but don’t give up! The reward and satisfaction are great.

///  To add Sunmi’s talents to your tech team, email Kari in our Portland office, before she’s snapped up by another lucky company. Not in the Portland area? Sign up to meet your next great tech hire at launchcode.org/hire.

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