A Career In Coding Gave One Man The Job Of His Dreams And A Renewed Sense Of Commitment To His Community
No matter what’s going on in the world – which let’s face it these days is a lot – so many of us are looking for a fresh start. Whether you’re just out of college and struggling to figure out what your next steps are or you’re one of the millions of Americans left out of work by the Coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are needing a bit of inspiration to make their next move.
It’s hard out there. There’s no denying that. And with so much pressure from family, your boss, and even from within ourselves, many of you may be asking “Well, what’s next?”
Ok, so maybe a job in coding isn’t the first thing that pops into our heads when we’re contemplating our future. But here’s why maybe it should be.
A career in coding gave one man the job of his dreams and a renewed sense of commitment to his community.
Like so many of us growing up, Alberto Avalos-Cervantes has a passion for learning. Growing up in Los Angeles during the 1990s, Cervantes told mitú that although he didn’t exactly expect to end up with a career in tech, he was always fascinated by the technology taking shape all around him.
“When I was a kid, technology was a common thread in my life. I was breaking down and rebuilding computers, always looking for opportunities to build things. I’d even work with my dad building things outside,” he told mitú.
But like so many other Latinos, he didn’t see himself in the tech world. That representation and support just wasn’t there. And to be honest, coding and the tech world can be an extremely intimidating industry to join.
Even before he knew he wanted to work in tech, he was using technology to help the Latinx community.
“Two of my biggest motivations in life are community and technology and the intersection of those two important passions. So I constantly asked myself ‘How can I help move the Latino community forward using tech?” Cervantes explained to mitú.
While working on political campaigns, Cervantes was involved in bringing tech into the fold to help engage Latino voters. “Tech was always at the forefront of my mind in everything that I did,” he said.
It was around this time that Cervantes really started to consider a path into the world of coding. Between visiting the White House to help advocate for expanding computer science education in communities with less opportunity to launching Code As A Second Language (which has programs in 70 markets across the U.S.), Cervantes was constantly asking himself, “How do I help the next generation get to where they want to be?”
Cervantes joined the Sabio coding program to further his own career, learn something new, and pay it forward to the community.
It’s no secret that Latinos are underrepresented in the tech world. In 2019, Google released its annual diversity report and it showed that nearly 50% of its employees are white, with less than 7% identifying as Hispanic. Microsoft shared similar data from its 2018 diversity report showing 55% white employees and 6% Hispanic employees.
The divide can lead to minority workers and women in tech feeling ignored, and hinder career advancement.
But Cervantes points out that the appetite for learning already exists within the community, the opportunity just isn’t there yet. According to Cervantes, nine out of ten schools still don’t have computer science education. There’s never been a clear path for Latinos into the tech world. He wants leaders to ask tough questions: How do we prepare our youth to learn how to learn? How do we get them into the right mindset?
Representation is also a huge part of it. Cervantes hopes that educators will also consider who is teaching our students. It’s important that kids see themselves in their teachers and mentors so they can imagine themselves taking similar paths.
Cervantes admits that learning to code is tough work and you really need to be committed.
As someone who knows nothing about coding, Cervantes insists there’s nothing to worry about. Sabio offers a program called PreWork, which is kind of like a primer before you go into the actual program. They want to make sure you’re at a basic foundational level, and if you’re able to make it through the PreWork program, then you’ll be in good shape. You can even attend free, online events to learn more about the programs Sabio offers.
He says you’ll “eat, breathe, and sleep code” but that it’s absolutely worth it. He praised the program at Sabio, crediting its founders’ commitment to creating success among program followers. Cervantes said he “felt like the leaders were invested in my success. They teach you not just how to code, but how to learn.”
Cervantes studied Sabio’s Full Stack program which focuses on end to end development, which included everything from database architecture to learning how to use a multitude of APIs. All of which have come in handy in his new job, since he relies so much on what he learned.
After landing his dream job, Cervantes is more focused than ever on helping those who supported him.
After graduating from the Sabio coding program, Cervantes landed what he’s described as his dream job, working on apps for his favorite baseball team. But – as incredible as that is – Cervantes is quick to point out he didn’t do it alone.
“One of the things I’ve learned most about myself on this incredible journey, is that I stand on the shoulders of giants,” he told Mitú. “I owe my success to my community and my family, my partner and having my dream job has really grown my commitment to my community,” he added.
Of course, changing career paths is never easy. And, especially in Latino families, there’s often the pressure to pursue ideal jobs like a lawyer or doctor. But Cervantes – like so many others who have studied coding with Sabio – says he has no regrets for becoming a coder. It’s helped him achieve the life he’s always wanted!
Learning to code with Sabio could be the right path for you too – just make sure you come prepared to learn.
Pretty much everyone knows somebody who’s left their 9-5 office job to study at a coding boot camp. Learning to code and the world it opens up to you can help you level up your skill set, confidence, and so much more.
If you’re considering a career in tech, Cervantes wants you to know that “you really have to commit. It’s a major project. But it’s an investment in yourself and will help you leverage what you already know, teach you how to learn, and will help take you to the next level.”
And with its complete approach to an education in coding, Cervantes isn’t alone in sharing in the program’s success. You can learn more by attending one of Sabio’s events (RSVP HERE) or even start learning to code now, by signing up here, for free!