Success Stories – Maeghan Provencher, Boston 31
Maeghan needed a change after spending six years as a math teacher. In the span of a few months, she left her job, enrolled in Launch Academy, and landed a job as a Full Stack Developer.
What were you doing before realizing you became interested in a software development career/ coding bootcamp? How were you feeling during this point in your life? Did you enjoy what you were doing or was something missing?
I was a 7th grade math teacher in the Boston Public School District and had been teaching for 6 years. I really loved teaching and found the work intellectually stimulating and very fulfilling. However, I began to find teaching an impossible job due to the combination of limited resources, lack of respect, and incredibly high stakes and expectations.
What happened that made you realize you needed to make a career change?
I began to feel burnt out. I was giving too much of myself daily and it was not sustainable, so I knew I needed to make a change.
What was it that sparked your interest in learning to code? Was it a hobby or something you always had an interest in? If so, what held you back from pursuing it earlier?
I have always loved problem solving and logic puzzles, which is why I studied mathematics and became a math teacher initially. My partner is a software engineer and he was the one who encouraged me to try an online Python course because he believed that I would enjoy programming. He was absolutely right, it was a great fit for me.
What were the first steps you took in finding the right coding bootcamp? Did someone suggest a school to you? Did you look online?
Once I had decided to take the leap and make a career change, I knew I would attend Launch Academy. My partner and many of our friends had completed Launch Academy, found software engineering jobs they loved, and spoke very highly of their experiences in the program.
What were the biggest factors you were looking for in a bootcamp? At any point did you feel like you were stuck deciding between a few options? How come?
Speaking to alums of the program was really what sold me on Launch Academy. I never even considered other options because I had only heard such positive things about the program.
Did you experience any limiting beliefs about learning to code and pursuing it as a career option?
My biggest concern was leaving a very secure job in the middle of a pandemic. I had been teaching long enough that I had tenure, and it felt like a huge risk to leave and try to break into an industry with no experience and far less job security. In the end, I felt that it was worth the risk because the potential benefits to my overall wellbeing were more important.
What stood out about Launch Academy among the other options available?
Launch Academy stood out to me because I had been told that the program was rigorous and fast paced, but that I would be supported from the start and even beyond the official “end” of the program. The reputation of the program really spoke for itself.
What was your time like during the program?
I absolutely loved my time during the program. It felt so good to be a student again and just focus on learning and absorbing as much as I could. The curriculum was both challenging and engaging. We were constantly putting our learning into practice, which made the experience so much more satisfying and meaningful. I knew it would be impossible to learn everything, but I feel like the knowledge that I gained was just enough to help me get started in the field.
What are your biggest takeaways from Launch Academy?
My biggest takeaway from Launch Academy is that we were really learning how to learn. What I mean by that is we were learning a very specific stack of languages and technologies that would not be used in every position, but in doing so we were gaining the skills needed to learn any technology or programming language. The Launch Academy curriculum is really just the beginning. It was enough to prepare me for the first job and help me to continue my learning independently.
If you’ve landed a new job in software development, how does that job compare to what you were doing before?
I have a new job as a junior full stack developer on a small consulting team. We work on a variety of projects so I am getting a lot of exposure to new languages and technologies. Since the team is so small, I was able to make meaningful contributions to projects from day one. I find the work just as intellectually stimulating as when I was teaching, but way less stressful. I am really happy with my decision to switch careers.