Victoria LeBel: Registered Nurse to Software Engineer

Victoria LeBel, a September 2022 Software Engineering graduate from Flatiron School, started her career in nursing until a desire for more creativity put her on a path to tech.

She shares her journey from nursing to tech below.

Unhappy In Healthcare

Victoria began her career as a registered nurse. She spent 4 years working on a high-risk labor and delivery unit but felt that she needed to make a change.

“I was missing an element of creativity in my work,” she explained. “[But] I wanted to continue to use my critical thinking and problem-solving skills.”

Combining her acquired skills and her love of continuous learning, she determined that Software Engineering would be a great fit. To make the transition from healthcare to tech though, Victoria knew that she would need to pursue some additional schooling. It was then that she learned about Flatiron School.

“I was doing my research and learned about Flatiron’s reputation and was happy to find how transparent the school was with their jobs report,” she recalled. “I also met a Flatiron school alumni who highly recommended the program.”

Determined to change career paths, Victoria applied and was accepted to Flatiron School’s full-time Software Engineering program.

Flourishing At Flatiron School

Upon starting the Flatiron School program, Victoria Initially found herself daunted by the sheer amount of information covered each week.

“The most challenging part of the program for me was the first week of each phase,” she said. “With all the new content to learn being sent our way, it was often overwhelming.”

But in time, she built processes to make her way through the workload and developed a growth mindset.

“I learned to understand that many concepts take time and practice to grasp,” she recalled. “I learned to break down the content into smaller parts, set goals, and was able to find a way that worked for me to grasp the concepts.”

Committing to the full-time program meant that Victoria was studying on a full-time schedule: 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Despite, or perhaps because of, the grueling schedule she grew to lean on the cohort of students learning alongside her. 

“Beyond technical specifics, my real favorite part of the program was collaborating with my cohort mates,” she said. “Working together through problems, explaining concepts in different ways, and building collaborative projects with the use of GitHub was an invaluable experience.” 

Jumping Into The Job Search

Victoria graduated from Flatiron School in September 2022. Her job search, supported by her career coach, she said was an overall positive experience.

“Initially I felt overwhelmed and uncertain about how I would break into tech,” she recalled. “My career coach was very helpful with keeping me motivated and assured me that I was doing the right things.”

Her coach helped in reviewing Victoria’s LinkedIn profile and resume and performing mock interviews. 

“Practicing interviewing skills was helpful for me to understand ways to describe my background in a way that highlights valuable skills I would be bringing to a position,” she said. “That is key to successful applications and connections.”

Victoria ultimately accepted a Software Engineer position at Econify. While she had yet to begin working at the time of our interview, she was looking forward to stepping into the next phase of her career.

“I am very excited! I have enjoyed meeting my team and look forward to contributing to projects in the work setting. My position is hybrid and I look forward to the flexibility of working from home and in the office.”

Reflecting On Her Journey

Looking back on where she began, Victoria emphasizes the importance of hard work and self-determination.

“If you set your mind and efforts toward something you can accomplish anything. So long as you have the focus and determination, you can achieve anything, no matter where you started.”

Her advice to other students, however, tempers that full speed ahead work ethic to allow for the reality of entering an entirely new field.

“Allow some patience. Patience with yourself and with the process. Give yourself the time to learn and practice concepts,” she cautions. “And the job search takes time, [but] just keep on going! With a little patience, it will happen!”

Ready For A Change, Just Like Victoria LeBel?

Apply Now to join other career changers like Victoria LeBel 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 13 March 2023. For updated information visit

Wendolyne Barrios: Food Industry to Freelance Designer

Wendolyne Barrios, an August 2022 UX / UI Product Design graduate from Flatiron School, spent a decade working in food service before pivoting to tech for a more sustainable career. She recently founded, specializing in brand design, web design, and mobile app design.

She shared her journey from working long shifts in food service to owning her own design agency below.

A Culinary Beginning

Wendolyne spent the first 10 years of her career in the food service industry. She began helping in her family’s business, then pursued her own career in the field.

“I sort of fell into this field because it was something I was familiar with,” she explained. “My mom catered events while I was growing up. When I was legally able to work, I just took the skills I had and followed a path that seemed to be easier at the time.” 

But a decade in, Wendolyne knew she needed a change.

“Working in the food service industry is tough on the mind and body,” she said. “The field took more from me than I got back, so I knew I had to make a change if I wanted to live a healthy, enjoyable, and sustainable life.”

Following Her Heart To Design

Wendolyne ultimately decided to switch careers into a field she was truly passionate about.

“Time kept passing and I kept trying to find a way to live the life I wanted but didn’t know how to find a career in the things I was already passionate about,” she said. “I didn’t want to force something I had no interest in and run with it simply because it felt like I needed to make a move.”

But for her next career path, she didn’t need to look far to settle on UX / UI Product Design. In fact, she found that she’d been doing it all along.

“Throughout my years of working in the food industry, I was also [creating collateral for my band]. I created album artwork, event flyers, and a band website,” she said. “I didn’t know it at the time, but I was already implementing so many of the foundations of product design.”

Spurred on by her desire to live the life she’d imagined, Wendolyne applied and was accepted to Flatiron School’s accelerated 15-week UX / UI Product Design program.

Her Time At Flatiron School

Like many other students, it took time for Wendolyne to adapt to the quick pace of the accelerated Flatiron School program. 

“There is a lot to take in, and everything is presented in a way to reduce that feeling, but anyone switching careers or fields can easily be overwhelmed by how quickly [the program] picks up.”

But, her cohort and mentors were a constant source of support throughout the course.

“Thankfully, I had cohort mates to troubleshoot with [and] a team of mentors I could reach out to and ask for guidance and feedback,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to approach certain situations if it wasn’t for my instructors. It may be hard, but nothing worth having comes easy.”

A key turning point for Wendolyne was when she realized the overlap between the course’s curriculum and previous designs she’d created for her band. 

“When I first found product design I wasn’t aware of how much overlap there would be with the work I was doing before,” she explained. “Once my instructor pointed that out, everything clicked and I stopped questioning myself so much.”

Building A Design Business

Wendolyne graduated from Flatiron School in August of 2022 and began a career as a freelance product designer. In January 2023, she founded, which specializes in brand design, web design, and mobile app design.

“I am not lying when I say that I love my job,” she said. “There was and is so much to learn in terms of freelancing, but after the hours I put in learning product design, I know I can do anything, even if it’s a little tough or feels defeating at times.” 

She acknowledges that while pursuing a freelance career may not always be the easiest path, it’s given her space to grow as a designer.

“The passion and love for the work are absolutely what I wanted, but starting out freelance is always difficult since you’re overseeing much more than a product designer [on a team],” she explained. “However, I have been enjoying the process of learning who I am as a designer and being more willing to take up that space as the designer I see myself as and want others to see me as.”

But just over 6 months after graduating, she’s found her footing as a professional designer. 

“I recently booked a few clients, so I am incredibly excited to be gaining some real-life experience with real clients,” she said. “I have been creating workflows and setting up routines that work for me and my productivity. It has been really fun to allow myself to find my place as a product designer.”

Takeaways From Her Career Change

Looking back at where her journey began, Wendolyne’s takeaway from her experience with Flatiron School is one of personal pride.

“I pushed myself harder than I thought I could,” she said. “I pushed myself mentally and emotionally to come out of the other side of it and feel like I was finally going somewhere. It was worth it, for me to feel the way I do now.”

Her advice for others, however, is to have patience. Patience with themselves, and patience with the process. 

“Just do your best. Don’t overthink it, which is easier said than done,” she conceded. “Stop expecting yourself to be able to do everything immediately and just let yourself be a sponge and soak up as much as you can. Enjoy the process and things will fall into place.”

Above all, she recommends trusting yourself and the path forward.

“Trust your instincts even if seems a little scary at first. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing you have the ability to do exactly what you wanted to do. Being on the other side is worth it.”

Ready For A Change, Just Like Wendolyne Barrios?

Apply Now to join other career changers in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Need more time to be ready to apply? Try out our Free UX / UI Product Design Prep. Or, review the UX / UI Product Design 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 08 March 2023. For updated information visit

Introspection: The Key To Finding Your Dream Job

This article on using introspection to find your dream job is part of the Coaching Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Career Coaches. Every Flatiron School graduate is eligible to receive up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School.

The American Institute of Stress lists career changes as one of the top most stressful events in a person’s lifetime. Job hunting requires a degree of mental stamina and energy most adults are unprepared to navigate. That makes getting off on the right foot all the more important.

Experts on career change such as the authors of “What Color is Your Parachute?”, “Designing your Life” and “Putting Your Dream to the Test” all agree that knowledge of self is vital to making confident decisions about your career and life. 

However, one of the most common first steps that career changers overlook is taking the time to get to know themselves better and identify what they truly want in a new career before launching their job search.   

Doing some upfront work with getting grounded in who you are, where you are going, and what is important to you will help make this endeavor more meaningful, motivating, and less stressful in the long run.  

The Importance of Introspection

In my private practice as a Career Coach, many clients come to me because they don’t know what they want to do with their careers. They’ve never had the opportunity to do an introspection deep dive to understand who they are and how their life view overlaps with their career view. 

Understanding yourself better means unearthing your beliefs or examining your strengths and accomplishments and what makes you unique in the workforce through introspection. To communicate your value to employers you will need to be clear on who you are and what you have to offer. 

Doing things to increase self-awareness such as being curious about your passions and purpose in life and what fulfillment looks like, will help prevent you from going too far down the wrong road. 

For instance, I once had a Flatiron grad I was working with who came into the program thinking she wanted to be a Software Engineer but after diving deeper we discovered that her talents and interests we more conducive to project management. This came across as a big “aha” moment for her and she immediately started looking at jobs in this role. Within a few weeks, she landed a project manager role with Kroger. 

Getting Started With Introspection

Online Career Assessment

At one point or another, you may have taken a career assessment in high school or college. Although they may not provide a complete picture, these exercises offer clues as to what you may enjoy, your interest and skills, or your personality type. 

For those with no idea where to start, they can help to get your brain thinking about options. 

Here is a list of some of my favorite career assessments:  

  1. Identifying interests and potential careers: O*NET Interest Profiler
  2. Determine work values: 123test
  3. Skill Matching: CareerOneStop
  4. Strengths and Talents: CliftonStrengths Online Talent Assessment
  5. Self-awareness and other-awareness PrinciplesYou
  6. Several personality, career, reasoning, and value tests – All online tests available at


Another way to improve your self-awareness is through journaling. Do this by asking yourself key questions in an uninterrupted environment and writing your answers in a journal or word document. 

Think of questions such as:

  • What does meaningful work look like to me?
  • Which activities do I enjoy doing?
  • What types of activities or environments have I enjoyed the most?
  • How would I like my schedule to look?
  • Are there certain problems in the world that I would like to solve?

If you get stuck, try writing a stream of consciousness – you may be surprised what comes out when you’re not searching for the right answer!

Recruit Others For Help

Self-reflection does not have to be a solo activity. Talking to those who love you most about your personality and strengths can reveal strengths that you don’t associate with yourself internally. Perhaps you light up during a certain activity, or smile more in a particular environment – these are signs that others can point out to you.

When To Pause Introspection And Act

Take caution not to go too far down the rabbit hole of introspection and stay paralyzed in the thinking stage. One could spend a lifetime trying to uncover every nook and cranny of their personality, and in fact, many philosophers have. 

Eventually, you must take what you’ve learned about yourself and act!

If you’re not sure if you’re ready to act, here is a list of some helpful indicators that you are on a path to being a more self-aware person:

Indicators that you’ve developed sufficient self-knowledge:

  1. Awareness of some of your core beliefs and values and can write them in a list
  2. Can describe your personality to others and are working on your flaws
  3. Ability to express transferable strengths and skills in scenarios or following the STAR stories methodology
  4. Understanding what motivates you intrinsically and allowing these motivators to be your drivers
  5. Clarity of purpose or mission in life and how you want to positively impact the world
  6. You are accepting of yourself enough to feel comfortable stepping outside your comfort zone
  7. You prioritize your life by aligning your schedule with things that are important to you

Once you start to know yourself better, your confidence in decisions about your career will begin to bring your more internal peace. You will have a calm yet enthusiastic feeling about what you want to be and live an overall healthier life.  

At that point, you are ready – get out there and start heading toward the life you want! 

About Julie Allen

Julie Allen is a career coach with Flatiron School. She also has a private career coach business called The StoryMakers. Julie comes from 20 years as a manager in the tech industry helping corporate America achieve its goals. She is located in the Phoenix area, where she inspires young professionals to go after their dream jobs. Julie holds a BA in English and Psychology from Washington State University and an MBA from Golden Gate University.

Logan Miller: Technical Consulting to Software Engineer

Logan Miller, a July 2022 Software Engineering graduate from Flatiron School, spent 5 years working as a pre-sales engineer for a technical consulting firm and another year in Iceland earning a Master’s degree before deciding to switch career paths into tech.

He shares his journey from consulting to tech – with a stop in Iceland – below.

Early Exposure To Tech

Logan Miller grew up around tech. From his early childhood, it was almost always nearby, either through family or the gadgets themselves, and credits this early exposure with his interest in the field.

“Many of my closest friends are in tech, my mom was in tech, and just growing up around computers and technology had a huge influence on me,” he said. “I was like 11 and started messing around with HTML.”

It wasn’t until he was pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in European History at university that an accidental class enrollment led him to pick up formal programming for the first time. 

“When I was a freshman at Pace University I somehow found my way into a senior-level game design class (don’t ask – I barely even know how it happened),” he explained. “It was pretty daunting when I found out we were going to have to actually program things in C++ considering I didn’t even know what javascript was. I leaned on pretty much everyone I knew to get through it – friends, mom, girlfriend’s dad – anyone who knew anything about coding was sure to hear from me at random hours with random questions.”

Technical Consulting By Way Of Iceland

After graduating, Logan worked as a technical writer and pre-sales engineer for a technical consulting firm in New York. He recalls having the opportunity to work with “impressive people,” but ultimately felt that the work lacked meaning.

“I spent a lot of time working on documents that were ten, twenty, ninety pages in length just skimming for compliance reasons,” he said. “I never really enjoyed what I was doing in a way that would make me, for example, actually want to work all day on a Saturday or something.”

It was the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 that made Logan, like many others, rethink his career and path in life. Unsure of what to do next, he applied to the University of Iceland and was accepted. 

“I didn’t feel like my career was going the way I wanted it to and applied on a whim […] because it was essentially free,” he explained. “My intention with grad school in Iceland was to try a few different classes and see what stuck.”

Logan continued to work remotely for the US-based technical consulting firm while attending the University of Iceland. It was during his time in the land of ice and fire that his interest in computer science reignited. 

“Some of my friends [at the University of Iceland] were in computer science programs so I would see what kind of problems they were working on and languages they were learning. It was a lot of fun just messing around with logic and talking about the kinds of bugs and problems they ran into.”

Committing To Changing Careers

Logan left Iceland and returned to the states in July 2021 with his eye set on a career in software engineering. He highlights the field’s range of opportunities as one of the reasons he decided to pursue the field. 

“There aren’t a ton of career paths out there that allow you to land a job in almost any company or vertical, but you can find a Software Engineer who works for Whole Foods just as easily as one who works for the Department of Defense,” he said. “It allows for so much creativity and opportunity since you get people from all walks of life and interests working at places they enjoy.”

After testing the waters with a short online course in Python, Logan applied to Flatiron School’s Software Engineering program.

“I felt that I should take it seriously and make an investment into changing my career. I knew that I wanted to go all in and see how I compared to my peers in a high-paced environment.”

His Experience At Flatiron School

Logan enrolled in Flatiron School full-time and joined a cohort of other students. His classmates and the community they built together, he recalled, were his favorite part of the program.

“Hands down the best part of the Flatiron School program is the people that you spend each day with and watching them grow as programmers,” he said. “There is a real camaraderie with your cohort and you’ll be surprised at how often you’re spending late nights just talking, working, and hanging out with these people you never knew until a few weeks ago.” 

But, the accelerated course was not without challenges. The speed at which the program covered material was intimidating, Logan recalled, but manageable. 

“As long as you trust in yourself, study, and lean on your teammates and cohort instructor you will be totally fine.”

The Job Search

Logan graduated from Flatiron School’s Software Engineering course in July 2022 and jumped right into the job search. The next six months, he admitted, were difficult at times. 

“My job search [was] a rollercoaster. There will be a lot of ups, downs, hopeful moments, tragic defeats, and everything in between.”

Throughout his tumultuous job search, however, Logan had his Career Coach Tracie Mazzu to support and cheer him on.

“It’s nice to have a career coach on your side that can provide advice and a wealth of experience to help you get through everything,” he said. “I started off doubting how much I would get out of a career coach as it just seemed like an additional chore to do but once my coach helped me redo my resume it became abundantly clear that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.”

Working In Tech

Logan accepted a Lead Developer role with My.Suit in December of 2022. So far, he has only good things to say about his new field. 

“I’m loving it. It’s awesome to be working with something that you enjoy and solving problems that no one else can. There is a ton of freedom and opportunity for you to explore and learn new things each day. The pay doesn’t hurt either.”

His takeaway from his Flatiron School experience is one of self-determination.

“Nothing in life will ever be handed to you. You need to take it and put in the time and effort to make whatever goals you have a reality. Just keep pushing and have fun!”

Inspired By Logan Miller’s Story?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Logan Miller 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 24 February 2023. For updated information visit

7 Reasons To Consider Temporary Work Opportunities

This article on temporary work opportunities is part of the Coaching Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Career Coaches. Every Flatiron School graduate is eligible to receive up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School. 

When job searching, most of us focus on obtaining a full-time role, typically defined as a  40-hour work week that frequently offers benefits like healthcare and retirement plans.  

While full-time employment with benefits is ultimately what most of us strive for, other short-term and temporary opportunities can go overlooked by job seekers – whether because they’re unaware they exist or they don’t think it can enhance their long-term career opportunities.  

The good news is, whether you’re just starting in your career, recently affected by downsizing, re-entering the workforce, are a career changer, or just looking for a new opportunity, temporary work can be an excellent opportunity to gain relevant experience. It can even be a stepping stone in your journey to obtain full-time employment in the future. 

You’d be amazed by how many people, including graduates of Flatiron School, have turned temporary opportunities into regular, full-time employment.

What Is Temporary Work?

First, let’s talk about semantics and categories. 

Work that has a defined duration, whether it’s a few weeks or even a few years, is often referred to as contract, temporary, or freelance work. The work can vary as far as the duration of the work assignment, rate of pay, how wages are paid out (W-2, 1099, etc.), hours worked, and what, if any, benefits are offered. 

For this article, we’ll refer to short-term work as “temporary work”  opportunities, where the work has a defined duration, set rate of pay, and doesn’t offer benefits. 

Advantages Of Temporary Work

Insight Into A Company Or Industry

A temporary work opportunity lets you “test drive” the scope of work, or portions of the work, for a given job. It also gives you a glimpse of a specific company’s culture, work environment, and related logistics. 

You’ll see elements of the environment such as how team members work together and the tone set by management. You’ll also get a better feel for some logistics, such as the commute, daily schedules, and any travel associated with the role.

Just as you can learn about a specific company, temporary work can also expose you to various types of industries. For example, if you’re a Cybersecurity professional who has an interest in the healthcare industry, you can focus on searching for tech-related temporary work in a healthcare setting. On the flip side, if you’re interested in a temporary opportunity that happens to be in an industry you’re not yet familiar with, you may discover new industries that pique your interest.

All of these factors are an advantage to temporary work because it gives you and the employer a chance to see if it’s a good fit for both of you. 

If you ultimately decide the company or industry is not one you’d want to work for long-term, at least you found that out before diving in as a full-time, regular employee. 

On the other hand, if you find you are energized by the work and the company’s mission, products, and services, then you may decide you would consider working there long-term or full-time down the road. 

Gain Experience

Engaging in temporary work in your field can help you gain valuable experience and learn new skills –  all of which can make you a more competitive candidate if and when you’re ready to seek full-time employment. This applies whether you have no work experience at all or have a robust work history. Temporary work can also help keep your skills up-to-date while you’re seeking more full-time employment. 

Fill Employment Gaps

You can add temporary work experience to your resume and LinkedIn profile, which can help fill any resume gaps. Whether you purposely left your last position or were affected by layoffs, temporary employment can hold you over, if needed, until you’ve secured a full-time position.

Networking Opportunities

You will meet new people in a temporary job. Whether it’s co-workers, management, or clients, all of these new contacts expand your network. Even if the role doesn’t turn into a long-term or permanent role, you can still maintain the relationships going forward.

This will help build your network by increasing your valuable connections – some of whom can potentially refer you for future roles, both inside and outside the company or industry.

Flexible Schedule

While temporary work can vary as far as hours and days worked, it often allows for some flexibility. 

If your temporary assignment is approximately 20-25 hours per week, you’ll have more free time in your weekly schedule to focus on other things when compared to the typical 40-hour work week.

Psychological Benefits

Working in a temporary role can have a positive impact on your overall mood and help build your confidence. If you’ve been out of work for a while and haven’t yet found your dream job, chances are your motivation and outlook may need a boost. Having a temporary role can help get you to get back on track both professionally and personally. 

The work you perform can help remind you that you’re a valued contributor that has a lot to offer a company, which in turn can increase your self-confidence again, get you interacting with people, and get your momentum moving in a positive and productive direction. It can also help you financially if money is tight, which can often be the case when one is looking for a job. 

Potential For Permanent Employment

Temporary work allows you to get your “foot in the door” with a particular company. 

Many temporary jobs have the potential to turn into full-time or permanent roles, particularly if you show the key players that you are an effective, reliable worker who is motivated to work with the organization. The hiring managers will be more likely to consider you when an internal position opens up as they would already be familiar with your performance. You’d also have the advantage of already having worked with the company, even if in a short-term role. 

Many people, including graduates of Flatiron School, have turned temporary opportunities into regular, full-time employment. 

Disadvantages of Temporary Jobs

On the other side of the spectrum, some may see a few of the above advantages as disadvantages.  

For example, the rate of pay for temporary employment may not always be as high as it would be for a full-time role, and the lack of benefits can be a disadvantage to some. 

Perhaps the scope of work in a temporary role does not include all aspects of what the full-time role would include. You also may not feel like you’re fully part of the team when you’re a temporary worker. And, while it may increase your chances of landing a full-time position in the future, it is of course not guaranteed. 

These are all valid points and things to weigh when considering taking a temporary work position.

The Bottom Line

When considering temporary employment, it’s important to examine both the pros and cons of the opportunity and think about what your unique needs are at the time. You can then decide what works best for you and if the opportunity is a good fit. 

It’s also important to decide if and how the opportunity can help you long-term. When you consider the long-term advantages over short-term gains, then you may find that the benefits of temporary work far outweigh any potential disadvantages. 

By keeping an open mind and at least being open to temporary work, you’ve just increased your menu of job search options and potential work opportunities!

About Andrea Towe

Andrea Towe is a Career Coach with Flatiron School. She has 20+ years of experience in career coaching and corporate human resources, including employee relations, talent acquisition, career and leadership development, training development, and facilitation.

7 Jobs You Can Get Knowing Python

Learning Python can open the door to many career opportunities in tech. If you’re wondering which jobs you can get knowing Python, the list may surprise you.

Python is one of the most popular languages for those interested in pursuing a career in software development. With its versatility and ease in creating a variety of applications, it is a key skill to have in your developer toolkit. 

For those interested in a career in software development, Python is often a great choice for their first language. The language was designed to use plain English for ease of understanding and supported by an active community. In addition to the almost limitless number of available free resources, tutorials, and accelerated learning courses, Python is easy to learn and use.

Now that you know how easy it can be to learn, here are our top 7 jobs you can get knowing Python:

Python Developer

Python developers are responsible for the coding, designing, deploying, and debugging of development projects, typically on the server side (or back end).

They specialize in Python and its frameworks such as Flask or Django for web development, TensorFlow and NLTK, PySpark for machine learning, and Pandas, NumPy, and SciPy for data science.

How do they use Python?

From building websites and applications to running deep learning algorithms to analyzing data, Python Developers leverage the versatility of Python to solve problems and answer questions. They use Python to crunch data, develop web application back ends, and automate scripts. 

What is the salary?

The national average is $130,052 per year (as of Feb 2023).

Full Stack Developer

Full Stack Developers use their knowledge of both front end and back end programming languages to design, develop, and maintain full-fledged and functioning platforms with databases and servers.

How do they use Python?

For Full Stack Developers, Python is primarily used as a back end language to manage servers and databases. Full Stack Developers typically leverage frameworks like Flask or Django with Python to make it easier to build out fully functional applications by taking development in the front end and combining it with the back end.

What is the salary?

The national average is $104,564 per year (as of Feb 2023).

Data Scientist / Data Analyst

Data Scientists and Data Analysts are big data wranglers, gathering and analyzing large sets of structured and unstructured data. These roles combine computer science, statistics, and mathematics. They analyze, process, and model data and then interpret the results to create actionable, data-driven plans for companies and other organizations.

How do they use Python?

Data Scientists and Data Analysts mainly use Python and its frameworks to create predictive models, use machine learning techniques to improve data quality and find patterns and trends to uncover insights. They also create algorithms and data models to forecast outcomes.

What is the salary?

The national average is $123,821 per year (as of Feb 2023).

Data Engineer

A Data Engineer is an IT worker whose primary job is to prepare data for analytical or operational uses. These engineers are typically responsible for building data pipelines to bring together information from different source systems.

How do they use Python?

Data Engineers use Python to create Data Pipelines, set up Statistical Models, and perform thorough analyses.

Python packages used in Data Engineering often include:

  • Pandas – used in data aggregation and data cleaning
  • NumPy – used in data analysis 
  • (Py) Spark – used to handle big data and leverages Spark ML for machine learning 
  • TensorFlow – used in AI training and inference of deep neural networks
  • Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) – used to make natural human language usable by computer programs

What is the salary?

The national average is $122,672 per year (as of Feb 2023).

Machine Learning Engineer

Machine Learning Engineers build AI systems that use large sets of data to automate predictive models and ensure they work according to requirements.

Projects that Machine Learning Engineers work on include recommended searches, virtual assistants, translation apps, chatbots, and self-driving cars.

How do they use Python?

Machine Learning Engineers use Python and its libraries such as TensorFlow and PySpark to develop predictive modeling.

What is the salary?

The national average is $142,306 per year (as of Feb 2023).

Product Manager

Product Managers are responsible for identifying customer needs and maintaining the business objectives that a product or feature should fulfill.

How do they use Python?

Data plays a crucial role in the work that Product Managers do. They use Python to research new features and products and make the case as to why certain features or products should be built and implemented into an existing product.

Being able to automate reports and analysis makes Product Managers less dependent on the Data Science team and refine processes to leverage data-driven insights to solve problems.

What is the salary?

The national average is $99,120 per year (as of Feb 2023).

Performance Marketer

Performance Marketers are responsible for managing digital accounts such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads to get the right channel mixes and drive key performance indicators for marketing.

How do they use Python?

Performance Marketers use Python for data reporting automation and analysis. These are leveraged to obtain the latest information about trends and markets when making decisions within accounts.

What is the salary?

The national average is $77,353 per year (as of Feb 2023).

Get Started Learning Python

Interested in one of these career paths, but lacking the Python skill to land a job? Get industry-ready in as little as 15 weeks with an accelerated Flatiron School Software Engineering program

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Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 07 February 2023. For updated information visit

Greg Damico: From Academica To Tech

Greg Damico, Technical Faculty Manager at Flatiron School, spent more than twenty years in academia. He accumulated advanced degrees in Physics, Ancient Greek, Philosophy, and Applied Mathematics in that time before ultimately deciding to move into tech. 

Greg shares his journey from academia to tech below.

An Academic Brush With Data

To say that Greg’s background is “academic” is an understatement. Beginning with a Bachelor’s in Physics, he followed it up with a Master’s in Ancient Greek and a Ph.D. in Philosophy. But it wasn’t until he was back in the classroom (again) for another Master’s, this time in Applied Mathematics, that Data Science caught his attention.

“I took a class […] in scientific computing and really started to see the power of combining math and programming,” Greg recalled. “From my philosophy days, I also had an interest in things like the nature of the mind and artificial intelligence, so all of these things were pointing to data science.”

The Appeal Of A Change To Tech

After spending decades of his career in academia, Greg cited a desire for professional stability as his reason for ultimately making his exit from the field. Choosing tech, he said, was easy.

“Lots of things about tech are attractive,” he said. “There is a great diversity of jobs (because everyone needs tech, always a need for tech people, great potential for working remotely, lots of really cool tasks tech is contributing to (medical work, police work, plus all of the “purer” work in developing AI and robotics, etc.). And of course, the money is pretty good too.”

As for growing pains when transitioning, he mentioned that there weren’t many. His eclectic background had well prepared him for this new industry.

“I needed of course to develop my own programming skills, but then it was just a matter of applying them.”

His Experience In Tech

Greg attended an accelerated online bootcamp program to expand his programming knowledge. Afterward, he joined Flatiron School as a Data Science Instructor in 2019. He has since moved into a Technical Faculty Manager role, and – after a brief adjustment period to the faster pace of the industry – enjoys the new field. 

“I like working in tech a lot. The main thing I had to adapt to was the increased speed of the work week. It’s not that there aren’t deadlines in academia, but they just tend to be softer,” he explained. “Since moving into tech I’ve found that I’ve needed to make decisions faster, and often that means reaching out to people on other teams and being able to rely on them.”

As for what he’s been working on at Flatiron School, his projects have focused on student-facing experiences and systems. 

“I am largely responsible for our transition to the CodeGrade platform, which I think should provide a much-improved grading experience on checkpoints and code challenges for our live instructors. I also played a big role in crafting exit tickets that are used after live lectures.”

His interest in data science continues beyond business hours as well. Outside of his work at Flatiron School, he also enjoys “exploring statistical questions that arise in the context of sports.”

As for all of the knowledge he accumulated while in academia, Greg said that it still has a factor in his new career in Data Science. 

“I don’t use my Greek every day,” he admitted. “But my philosophical training has absolutely been useful in the tech world. Philosophy trains you to ask good questions and think about new possibilities. This comes up all the time when asking questions like ‘how do we re-organize curriculum to address a new need?’ or ‘if we design this tool from scratch which features would we want to have as users?’ Philosophy also teaches about ethics, which is ever more relevant to the field of data science.”

Advice For Flatiron School Students

Looking back at his career thus far, Greg is most proud of his impact on learners. 

“Maybe this is a little trite, but I’m very proud of helping to jump-start new careers,” he said.  “Watching students go from zero to hero never gets old.”

His advice for those students, however, is succinct and to the point. 

“Do not be shy about asking for help, especially from your peers! Two heads are better than one, and collaboration will be important wherever you go anyway.”

To learn more about Greg’s work, visit his website and LinkedIn

Ready To Make A Change, Just Like Greg Damico?

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Read more career-change stories like this one on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 11 January 2023. For updated information visit

Carla Stickler: From Broadway Star To Software Engineer

Carla Stickler, a Fall 2019 Software Engineering graduate from Flatiron School, describes herself as a professional multi-hyphenate. After spending more than 10 years performing in Broadway musicals such as Wicked, Mamma Mia!, and The Sound of Music, her desire for stability, a better work-life balance, and a chance encounter with an old friend led her to tech.

She shares her journey from Broadway Star to Software Engineer below.

A Burned Out Broadway Star

By the end of 2018, Carla Stickler had already had what many would consider to be a dream career. She’d found success in the arts – a difficult feat no matter the medium – and performed on Broadway stages in world-famous musicals such as Wicked, Mamma Mia!, and The Sound of Music. 

But, Carla said, the continuous grind needed to reach that level of success had begun wearing on her.

“From the outside, it looked like I was living it up. However, after performing eight shows a week almost non-stop for about a decade, I was burned out,” she said. “I was spending more time managing injuries than having any sort of a life, missing weddings, birthdays, holidays with my family, and weekend BBQs. I struggled to maintain friendships outside of work as I basically lived at the theater.”

 To take a break from the stage (and dancing and four-inch heels), Carla earned a Master’s Degree in Education and worked as a voice teacher while moonlighting at the Wicked Broadway company to fill in for vacancies. The grind, however, didn’t slow down.

“I was hustling to get enough actor weeks to qualify for health insurance through the union and to find enough voice students to pay my bills,” Carla said. “All I wanted was a steady paycheck, a social life, and my body to stop hurting all the time. I couldn’t figure out why that was so hard to achieve in the arts.”

The Inciting Incident

Carla recalls knowing that she needed to make a change for a while, but a chance encounter at her 35th birthday party finally spurred her to act. 

“A friend showed up to my party and announced, ‘I’m a software engineer now and I just got a great job making more money than I’ve ever made with health insurance and a 401k!’ I was confused, since last I checked, he was a composer writing musicals,” she mused. “I held him captive for the next 30 minutes asking him how he did it and what exactly software engineering was. He told me he went to the Flatiron School and learned to code.”

Several weeks and a few google searches later, Carla enrolled in a twice-weekly front-end development course* at Flatiron School.

“I wanted to see if I really enjoyed [Software Engineering],” Carla explained. “I got hooked and decided to attend Flatiron’s Immersive Software Engineering Bootcamp at their [New York City campus] the next summer and to change my life with code!”

Scene Change: Flatiron School

For Carla, Flatiron School’s community was a critical part of the experience.

“Flatiron was reminiscent of my time at performing arts summer camp. It was intense and overwhelming, but we were all in it together, with a common goal to learn a new skill set so we could change our lives,” she explained. “The folks in my cohort quickly became life-long friends. We supported each other by celebrating our wins and providing encouragement for those struggling to keep up.”

Her cohort supported one another throughout their time in the program and participated in a weekly tradition known as “Feelings Friday” to recognize and cheer one another on. 

“We would sit in a circle and everyone would get a chance to talk about what we had struggled through that week, or talk about a win we’d had. We would all snap our fingers when someone was finished as if to say, ‘You are not alone. I am right there with you, feeling the same imposter syndrome, terrified about whether or not I’ve made the right decision. But we can do this crazy thing’”, Carla explained. “Flatiron had a way of building a community that made our struggles seem manageable. We were all going through this journey together and knew that for this thing to succeed, we all needed to succeed.”

Pulled Back By Broadway

When the Wicked production company reached out for an emergency backfill for a sick actor halfway through the JavaScript portion of the course, Carla managed to fulfill both obligations. 

“I spent three weeks coding from 9-5 while also performing on Broadway evenings and weekends. I was so excited about learning to code that I’d spend intermission and the time between scenes, in the dressing room, coding. It was an intense few weeks,” she said. “But if I could pass my javascript tests while also doing Wicked, I could do anything.”

Through the course, Carla learned something about coding that she hadn’t expected – it was creative. 

“No one ever tells you, or at least no one ever told me, that software engineering is creative. It’s complex and requires the ability to imagine something that doesn’t yet exist and create it using code. The similarities between coding and art amazed and inspired me.”

In addition to her enjoyment of the material, the successes of others in the school assured her that she had made the right choice in attending Flatiron School.

“Our teachers were an inspiration, as many of them had gone through the program and already seemed light years ahead of us. When we heard about friends finishing the program and quickly landing a new job, we knew we had chosen the right path.”

Job Searching During The Pandemic

Carla graduated from Flatiron School at the end of 2019, just a few short months before the beginning of the COVID pandemic. She credits Career Services with keeping her moving forward in her job search, even in the face of an unprecedented year like 2020.

“While everyone was on a hiring freeze, I worked with my career coach and continued learning on my own and taking classes online to keep my skills fresh,” she said. “Having a structure for how to proceed helped remove some of the unknowns about getting a job. The weekly blog posts, continued self-learning, and spreadsheet that tracked all the people I was reaching out to could be overwhelming at times, but I look back on all the hard work I did and I see how it paid off.”

Despite all of the hard work Carla put in with her career coach after graduating, the pandemic raged on, severely limiting her prospects as the world shut down and companies did damage control. 

“I had a few interviews that ended with being told how much they wished they could hire me, but unfortunately, they couldn’t take on junior devs at that moment.”

Pursuing A Tech-Adjacent Role

Determined to break into tech one way or another, Carla pivoted into searching for tech-adjacent roles.

“Learning to code proved that I could pick up skills fast and that having a job in tech was better than not having a job in tech,” she said. “I started looking at customer success and solutions engineering roles where I could flex my soft skills and build up my experience in the field.” 

This time, she found success and in mid-2020 took a job as a Customer Success Associate at a startup in NYC. Looking back, she does not lament the fact that her first post-Flatiron job was tech-adjacent and instead highlights that it actually checked most of the boxes that were empty in her previous career field. 

“It’s important for folks getting into a new field to really think about what’s most valuable to them when they finish a bootcamp,” she said. “Spending a year as a Success Associate allowed me the comfort of having a stable income, health insurance, and remote work so my husband and I could leave New York and buy a house in Chicago. This job, while not what I had intended, gave me a lot of what I was looking for.”

Carla also stresses the importance of stepping stones, and not putting too much pressure on finding the perfect first job.

“Your first job does not have to be your forever job. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to love it,” she said. “The first job is to get your foot in the door, start building your resume, have experience working in an agile environment, learn how to communicate over Slack, and just exist in this new industry.”

Landing Her First Engineering Gig

After moving to Chicago, Carla resumed her search for a software engineering position and accepted a position as a Junior Software Engineer at G2. The difference the past years have made, she said, is almost indescribable. 

“I cannot begin to tell you the number of things I’ve learned in the past year and the amount of confidence I’ve gained as a developer. The imposter syndrome never really goes away, but I’m better suited now to quiet the voices that tell me I can’t or I shouldn’t, because I’ve proved that I can and I did.”

Despite the grind it took to get her to her current position and the hurdles along the way, Carla is thriving. 

“It might’ve taken me longer than expected, but I love my job and couldn’t be more grateful for the life that attending Flatiron and learning to code has provided for me.”

Ready For A Change, Just Like Carla Stickler?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Carla Stickler 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 06 January 2023. For updated information visit

*Course no longer offered

Jesse Pisel: From Geology Professor To Data Science Curriculum Manager

Jesse Pisel, Data Science Curriculum Manager at Flatiron School, has a Ph.D. in Geology and spent more than a decade in Academia and earth science-related positions before making the jump to tech. 

He shares his journey from Geology Professor to Data Scientist below.

An Academic Foundation In Earth Sciences

Jesse Pisel began his academic career, as academics do, with a bachelor’s degree in Geology and Earth Sciences. This was followed by a Ph.D. in the same field, during which Jesse began a decades-long love affair with data.

“I got into data science during graduate school while working on spatial statistics and geology,” Jesse said. “Turns out machine learning was a great approach for mitigating human bias at different spatial and temporal scales” 

After receiving his Ph.D., Jesse worked as a data scientist in oil and gas, mining, and governmental industries, followed by several years of teaching and researching at universities. His affinity for data, however, followed him through all of his positions and in each industry. 

“The math part of data science really drew me in from my background in earth surface processes. Machine learning has the potential to make predictions at a much more granular level, allowing me the time to think about the bigger picture of the problem I was trying to solve. Ultimately it was a chance to think of the implications of the solution, and find underlying themes in the data.”

Diving Into Data Science

After spending more than 10 years in geology-related academic and industry positions, Jesse made the decision to pivot his career into tech, citing the desire for a quicker-paced work environment.

“Academia was a lot of fun, but it is very tough teaching a course and then having to wait for the next semester or next year to see how changes I made in the curriculum worked or did not work for the students,” Jess said on the switch. “I was really after a bit faster pace than academia offered.”

Jesse found the faster pace he was looking for in tech. As for what made tech an attractive option, well, the answer is in the data. 

“Tech […] has so much data and has so many unique solutions that we use every day. It is pretty unique to come up with a math-based solution to a problem and be able to implement it with a team so quickly,” Jesse said. “It feels kind of like having super or magic powers. Plus I get to work on really challenging problems with the best and the brightest folks out there.”

In order to make the jump, Jesse had to acquire some new skills in both theoretical and applied applications. 

“Getting a good handle on databases, networking, and algorithms along with machine learning and deep learning theory helped in the transition,” he explained. “Once I understood the theory, the tools were fairly straightforward to pick up.”

His Experience In Tech

As of the end of 2022, Jesse has been working in tech for about a year. The transition, he says, has been smooth and well worth the effort to work in the faster-paced industry he’d wished for. 

“The transition has been great between tech and academia. Things move faster in industry, but the problems are larger and have more data to solve them. But ultimately at the end of the day, it is about working with a great team that is focused on the same goals and figuring out the optimal way to achieve them together.”

He’s worked on some interesting projects too, both of which incorporated his Geology background.

“My favorite projects are both geospatial-based. The first was an applied geospatial analysis of geochemical data. In the study, we investigated potential critical mineral deposits at a state-wide scale from open-source datasets. The second project used reinforcement learning to optimize electric vehicle charging stations. This study used energy consumption, points of interest, and electric vehicle ownership rates to determine where chargers would get the most use.”

Advice For Flatiron School Students

Speaking with Jesse, you get the impression that he is both very good at what he does, and enjoys it. Looking back at his career so far, however, he is most proud of the impact he’s had on others.

“So far I am most proud of all the research and projects my former students have completed. It really is satisfying watching students learn data science skills and then use the skillset to solve real-world problems.”

Jesse’s advice for students interested in pursuing data science is perhaps tailored to his experience moving among different industries in his career.

“There are so many unique areas of data science to pursue. Getting a broad understanding of data science and all the different areas (statistics, machine learning, deep learning, visualizations, etc.) will help you identify what you find the most interesting. Once you know what you are interested in, you can then spend time deep diving into the topic to become an expert.”

To learn more about Jesse Pisel’s work, visit his LinkedIn and Github

Ready To Make A Change, Just Like Jesse Pisel?

Inspired by Jesse’s career pivot story? Apply Today to our Data Science Course to take charge of your future in as little as 15 weeks.

Not quite ready to apply? Book a 10-minute chat with admissions to see if you qualify, or test-drive the material with Data Science Prep

Read more career-change stories like this one on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 19 December 2022. For updated information visit

Seth Blanchard: From Social Worker To Software Engineer

Seth Blanchard, an August 2021 Software Engineering Flatiron School graduate, spent almost two decades as a self-employed social worker before the pandemic put a hold on the industry. 

He shares his journey from social worker to software engineer below.

What is your background and why did you choose to attend Flatiron?

I have a background in Social Work and spent the bulk of the last 15 years working for myself.  

I contracted with various local social services agencies within central VA and the focus of my efforts was working with families to locate employment, housing, benefits, transportation, daycare, etc.  

Being self-employed in this industry while COVID was happening caused many of my large contracts to vanish.  

I have always had an affinity for building things and had gravitated toward software development. When work slowed, it was a great time to make a change.  

I chose Flatiron because it seemed to have a good reputation. I hoped to get the development skills and [the certificate] which I felt would increase my chance of success in a total career switch. 

How do you like working as an engineer?

I am working with mainframes, particularly the IBMz and process automation, which is not something I had anticipated. The work is quite different from current trends in software development, but I have enjoyed the challenges.

How does the reality of working as a software engineer contrast to what you thought it would be like?

I enjoy working at Rocket and value their emphasis on work/life balance as well as advancement. There are so many opportunities.

Walk me through a “day in the life” of your job.

I spend most of my day using customer-side requirements to build process automation “robots” which navigate through the mainframe and accomplish tasks.  

When not directly coding, I am working with the analysts to better understand, and properly implement the requirement logic.

Any advice for current Flatiron School students?

Start the informal job search earlier than you think you should. That part can take a while and having a certification isn’t necessarily an automatic door-opener. You will have to do a great deal of work to differentiate yourself.

Inspired by Seth Blanchard’s career change?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Seth Blanchard 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 in 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 December 2022. For updated information visit