Hannah Kofkin: Design to Software Engineering
“It was scary and difficult to leave a steady job, especially during covid, but I worked hard and it was all worth it in the end!”
Hannah Kofkin, an August 2022 Software Engineering graduate from Flatiron School, began her career in design. But, just a few years in, she decided to pivot to where her true interest lay – tech.
She shares her journey from design to engineering, all while maintaining a focus on creativity.
Hannah Kofkin began her career pursuing her creative interests – first with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, then spending 4 years managing the creative department in an event production company. But, a few years in, the desire “for a new challenge” had her reconsidering the path she was on and returning to an early curiosity in tech.
“I’d always been interested in tech and software engineering in particular because I wanted to understand how sites and apps were built,” she explained. “I wanted to know all about what goes on under the hood and how these platforms are built.”
What’s more, she knew her background in design would transfer well from creating events to coding applications.
“I knew I could use my design experience combined with technical skills to build and develop applications from my unique perspective,” she said. “And once I discovered coding bootcamps, it was just a matter of finding the right opportunity to leave and focus on this career shift.”
Her Bootcamp Experience
Having decided to pursue her career change by way of a coding bootcamp, the next step was for Hannah to pick one to attend. It was a decision she put a lot of thought into, making her choice based on a variety of factors and feedback.
“I talked to several bootcamp grads prior to making any decision to apply and I gathered feedback on many different schools,” she said. “Flatiron School ultimately felt like the best match for me given the full-stack program and the sense of community I felt from the beginning.”
Having made her selection, Hannah enrolled in Flatiron School’s Software Engineering bootcamp. The immersive format of the program required full-time study hours – a time commitment that Hannah initially found challenging.
“There were some very late nights and long hours, especially during the milestone projects throughout the program,” she recalled. “But, the time and effort you put in is directly correlated with what you get out of it.”
Despite the demanding schedule, throughout the program, Hannah found topics and experiences that she enjoyed.
“I loved the variety of languages we learned and the structure of the program as a whole,” she said. “I also loved the collaborative projects so we could gain some real team dynamic experiences to apply in future roles.”
Hannah completed her Flatiron School program in August 2020 – beginning her job search in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, an experience she remembers as “difficult”. Despite the challenge ahead of her, Hannah relied on the support of her dedicated Flatiron School career coach to keep her moving forward.
“My career coach played a huge role! She kept me on a good schedule, gave very constructive feedback on each element of my application materials, and also notified me of any companies (including my current employer) who were looking to hire bootcamp grads.“
Ultimately, Hannah accepted an offer from Datadog, a cloud-scale monitoring and security company. She began working as a Solutions Engineer at the company in March 2021.
Working In The Field
When we spoke with Hannah in August 2023, she’d been with Datadog for 2.5 years and had already received 2 promotions – now working as a Senior Solutions Engineer. Her experiences in the industry, she reported, have been overwhelmingly positive.
“I absolutely love working in this industry at Datadog. I’m a Solutions Engineer so I’m not coding full time, however, having the solid base that I gained from Flatiron School is still helpful as I better understand different technologies and can debug or simply read and understand code as necessary. Reality definitely lives up to the dream for me!”
She reported that she is also particularly proud that she was brave enough to take the leap and change careers – especially during a global pandemic.
“I am honestly proud of the career shift in general. It’s scary and difficult to leave a steady job, especially during covid, but I worked hard and persisted to ensure I found the right fit. It was all worth it in the end!”
Reflecting On Her Journey
Looking back on her Flatiron School experience, Hannah reminisces that the experience was one of difficulty and perseverance.
“You get what you put in. It’s a difficult, tedious, time-consuming program,” she emphasizes, “but it really is worth it in the end to have a great baseline to build from and get a foot in the door to a competitive industry.”
As for her advice to others hoping to pursue the same program, Hannah recommends to lean into the difficulty and just keep moving forward because it’ll be worth it.
“Keep pushing, ask questions, and just do your best. Everyone has a different capacity to learn and everyone has a different learning style. Try to focus on your progress rather than comparing yourself to others. At the end of the program, it’ll feel very rewarding to see how far you’ve come.”
Ready For A Change, Just Like Hannah Kofkin?
Apply Now to join other career changers like Hannah Kofkin in a program that sets you apart from the competition.
Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Software Engineering Prep. Or, review the Software Engineering Course Syllabus that will set you up for success and can help launch you into a new and fulfilling career.
Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 16 November 2023. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ. For up-to-date information visit FlatironSchool.com.
Posted by Anna Johnson / November 16, 2023
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