I worked as a post-production supervisor at a visual effects studio. My mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, had her caretaker quit abruptly. My job was too demanding to care for her. So I left work that day. I took advantage of paid family leave and spent a few months thinking of what I could do to make enough money to care for her and provide for my fiancée and I.
I had an app idea and talked to investors but I had no leverage, technical skills, or money to bring to the table. Once I saw how much the developers were making I said, ‘I'm in the wrong business’ and quickly found out how hard it was by trying to teach myself on the side. But I liked it. I thought it was something I could see myself doing for a long time. That was the spark.
There are a lot of minorities at Lambda school so there's shared experience in terms of that, but there aren’t many minorities within the industry, so we're all trying to break in. I feel like a pioneer of sorts.
The life science research company that hired me is right up the street from my house. I'm not in the medical field, so I didn't even consider looking at them for software jobs. The recruiter was impressed with my story and experience and that turned into technical and in-person interviews and the rest is history.