A Day in the Life of a Full-Time Mom, Wife and Online Software Engineering Student

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It’s never too late to rejoin the workforce. Take it from one of Flatiron School’s Online Software Engineering students, Amy.

After graduating college with an Associate’s degree in Graphic Design, Amy worked for a software engineer, using her knowledge of HTML and Javascript in her day-to-day work. Then, she took time off to raise her two kids over the next eight years. While raising her children, she found herself occasionally returning to code and, each time, noticed how much she enjoyed working with it. This year, feeling that she was at a point in her life where she could focus more on her goals, she started to refamiliarize herself with coding concepts wholeheartedly.

Taking her prior understanding of how HTML, CSS, and Javascript work together to build the web, Amy began to explore how to become a software engineer. Based near Charlotte, North Carolina, Amy first started learning to code through self-study. Now, with Flatiron School’s Full-Time Online Software Engineering program, Amy is learning the skills needed to become a software engineer.

But what exactly does that look like when you’re a mom? Amy explains a day in the life of an online software engineering student.

4am Wake up, make coffee and pack my husband’s lunch. He and I talk about our goals for the day.

5am Review Flatiron School lessons, check emails, and code.

7am Wake up my kids, feed them breakfast, and start their schooling lessons.

9am Code.

12pm Eat lunch, help my kids with their lessons, and clean up around the house.

2pm Code.

5pm Eat dinner and spend time with family. I also tidy up, read the kids a book, give them showers, and put them to bed.

9pm Code.

Her favorite thing about learning online? Being able to have a flexible schedule. Amy explains, “I can take care of my children and home responsibilities without leaving the house for a set period of time.”

For example, every morning Amy prioritizes making the day’s game plan, reviewing her current phase’s lessons and working through new coding lessons – all before her kids wake up. During the afternoons, she’s able to help her kids with their own lessons and schooling while she’s learning to code too.

Amy’s online learning schedule also works well with the important aspects of her life outside of learning to code. “When I am ahead of lessons,” she caveats, “we go kayaking as a family on the weekends. I also like to work out with my daughter in the mornings while we make breakfast.”

While taking breaks are critical to having a fresh mind and staying positive, Amy notes the importance of staying focused too:

“I know that if I focus hard, even for short periods of time while learning online, I know I’m working towards putting my family in a better spot long-term. Sometimes, that translates to studying over doing other things. I’m determined by the rewards and success that will come in the future by focusing and working hard now.”

To stay productive and on-task while learning online, Amy sets a schedule that includes breaks to keep her mind fresh. She accomplishes most of her work before her kids wake up, or after everyone has gone to bed. When interrupted or when she needs to walk away, Amy uses sticky notes to remind herself to study a concept. She also writes different things on index cards to review and study even when not in front of her computer. “I also listen to youtube videos while cooking or other things that help to walk through the process or talk through how to’s.”

Learning to code isn’t a walk in the park, though. “The curriculum is challenging – it challenges you to find answers.” 

Thankfully, Amy has her family and an online community to support her through the challenging parts of learning to become a software engineer. She explains that “the community in the tech world is extremely connected, positive and encouraging, even if you think there's no way that you can do it.” She notes, “there is always someone there that is helping to drive you forward and send a positive word. The community has been wonderful transitioning into.”

Her most important piece of advice for others considering learning to code? “Take the leap and give it your all.”

Interested in studying online like Amy? Apply to our Online Software Engineering program to connect with our Admissions Team and learn more.

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Lindsay Johnson

Marketing Manager, Online

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