Andrew Smit: Band Director to Software Engineer

Andrew Smit

“You have to trust the process. A little bit every day goes a long way, and before you know it, those little instances add up to something big.” 

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Imagine the vibrant hum of a bustling classroom filled with instruments and eager young musicians. Now, picture the quiet focus of a coding desk, lines of code weaving digital symphonies. This is the remarkable journey of a former band director who found his rhythm in the world of software development thanks to Flatiron School.

Andrew Smit, a 2023 Software Engineering graduate from Flatiron School, is a dedicated individual with a passion for teaching music and a commitment to lifelong learning. After nine years as a public school music educator, Andrew embarked on a transformative journey at Flatiron School and successfully transitioned into a fulfilling career in Software Engineering. Let’s dive into Andrew’s story as he reflects on his motivations, challenges, and triumphs.

Before Flatiron: What were you doing and why did you decide to switch gears?

Andrew Smit spent nearly a decade as a dedicated band director, shaping young musical minds. “I was teaching 6-12 graders percussion, directing the high school drumline, and contributing to the team of band directors to help prepare concerts and teach music performance and literacy,” Andrew shared.

While passionate about teaching and music, Andrew sought a career change that could offer “more upward mobility for long-term growth, more time at home with my family, and new challenges.” The desire to leverage his existing skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and working collaboratively with others led Andrew to the world of software development.

During Flatiron: What surprised you most about the learning process during your time at Flatiron School?

“You have to trust the process,” Andrew said, reflecting on his time at Flatiron School. Andrew underscores the significance of consistent effort, stating, “a little bit every day goes a long way, and before you know it, those little instances add up to something big.” 

From a technical standpoint, Andrew recalls being taken aback by the similarities across programming languages. “It’s surprisingly easy to pick up new languages if you focus on building a solid foundation.” The emphasis on foundational knowledge at Flatiron School laid the groundwork for a successful foray into the tech landscape.

Andrew graduated in June 2023, jumping into the job search while maintaining his attitude to hard work – that a little bit each day gets you to where you want to be. This philosophy, paired with the support of his dedicated Career Coach Peggy Osbourn, paid off. He landed his first role as a Web Developer at Square 205 and hasn’t looked back.

After Flatiron: What are you most proud of in your new tech career?

Post-Flatiron School, Andrew is putting his new development skills to use for a good cause, volunteering at Presto Assistant and contributing to a production-level codebase with other skilled developers – an achievement that he is particularly proud of. 

Andrew highlights the impact of this experience: “This not only gave me the ability to look at certain features, landing pages, and functionality and be able to say ‘I did that! I helped build that!,’ but it also gave me the confidence and skills to be more competitive in job interviews.” The tangible contributions made to his community stand as a testament to the practical skills he acquired at Flatiron School.

A Harmonious Future with Flatiron School

Andrew’s journey encapsulates the essence of growth, adaptability, and success. If Andrew’s story resonates with you, if the prospect of transforming your career harmonizes with your aspirations, it’s time to take charge!

Ready to compose your own success story?

Apply now to join other career changers like Andrew Smit at Flatiron School—a program that not only equips you with technical skills but fosters a community of growth, collaboration, and support. Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog, where each narrative is a note in the symphony of possibilities that await you.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of February 6, 2024. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

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