Jenee completed her studies at BrainStation Miami (formerly Wyncode Academy).
Where are you currently working and what is it that you do there?
I currently work at Wix.com, which is a website building platform. It’s an amazing company, helping millions of people with their online presence. I'm currently working as a QA Analyst for the company.
What does a typical day look like for you as a QA Analyst?
As a QA Analyst, my day consists of a lot of debugging and troubleshooting user issues. The role that I'm in is a bridge between support and development, where we triage all of the bugs, run scripts, and debug issues so it's easier for the creator of the actual code to fix the problem.
Can you tell us a bit more about your education and career background? How did you get to where you are?
I first went to college at University of Mobile, where I played on the college basketball team. I eventually transferred to the University of South Alabama and then I ended up dropping out of school actually. The traditional school path wasn't really for me; I didn't feel like I was challenged enough and I honestly became really bored during my time in college.
Instead, I went on to work a job in the service and hospitality industry. I also worked at Starbucks for a couple of years, and then I ended up working at this club called Bardot down in Miami. Unfortunately, it’s closed now, but it was a great experience. I worked there for five years and I really got to work on my interpersonal and customer service skills during that period of time.
What made you want to study web development at BrainStation Miami?
At the time, I was doing a lot of research, and I was noticing a lot of changes in the way we live life – everything was becoming more digital. I began learning how to program, or trying to learn how to program on my own before I applied to BrainStation Miami. I actually came across BrainStation Miami while I was doing my research. I liked that they were local to Miami, provided scholarship opportunities, and had a lot of really great reviews.
What would you say was the highlight of your learning experience?
The highlight of the learning experience for me was achieving that invincible feeling of being able to accomplish anything, such as learning how to actually code. BrainStation Miami’s fully immersive environment really helped me remain interested in the content, we were always being presented something new. BrainStation Miami also taught you about having a growth mindset and neuroplasticity, which I believe are things that you need in life, and not just in coding. The entire experience was really awesome because it was a major personal transformation and it really changed the way I view life as a whole.
The highlight of the learning experience for me was achieving that invincible feeling of being able to accomplish anything, such as learning how to actually code. BrainStation Miami’s fully immersive environment really helped me remain interested in the content, we were always being presented something new.
What would you say was the most challenging part of the learning experience?
The most challenging part was definitely dealing with imposter syndrome. This is something they spend a whole day talking to students about because it is very real; this notion that you can never really be good at coding, especially if you didn't spend your entire educational career learning about it. When they broke it all down and explained that all Developers go through imposter syndrome (even senior ones), it definitely became easier to deal with. It's something that you will always be faced with in the ever changing world of tech.
How would you say the overall experience has impacted your career?
The experience really empowered me and it’s definitely helped me in my role here at Wix. I actually started off as a Customer Service Agent and was able to leverage my coding knowledge from B to be transitioned over to the QA team. With coding, we have the mobility and the flexibility to move to any place we want to and that's what I'm going to continue to do with what I've learned from BrainStation Miami. I’m going to continue forging my own path. From here, the sky is truly the limit.
What was the job search experience like after the bootcamp?
It was interesting to say the least. I had about four or five interviews for Developer positions and then imposter syndrome kicked in. I was scared, I was nervous, I didn't really think that I could actually do the job, and then Wix came around. A Recruiter had actually reached out to me. I found it to be an amazing opportunity as far as entry-level positions go, as I was able to test out my technical skills and use what I've learned in an environment where I can actually feel confident. Overall, the team at BrainStation Miami were amazing during the job search process. They prepped you with your resume, they got your GitHub looking right, and they actually helped set up interviews for you. It was such an empowering experience, because at the end of the day, I never thought I would actually be in any of those positions.
What advice would you give to other professionals out there that are considering going to BrainStation Miami for a course or bootcamp?
I would definitely recommend keeping your mind open at all times. Learning to have a growth mindset is a big thing. I would encourage people to look into that because at the end of the day, tech is the future. I think coding is going to become a prerequisite, the same way you have to learn English and math in school. The expectation to learn, or at the very least understand programming is inevitable. Keeping an open mind, and pushing yourself is also important. There's no such thing as too much knowledge – you should never stop learning. The most important thing that BrainStation Miami will teach you is how to learn, and that is something you can take with you and change your life with it.
What would you say to other women out there who want to get into tech or a digital career, but maybe feel a bit intimidated or unsure of themselves?
We need to start seeing it more as a necessity instead of needing to have a deep burning desire to code. I never had a deep desire for coding, but I do have a deep burning desire for representation, especially in the tech field where literally everyone on the planet is able to participate. Women should have a lot more roles in this industry because we have a lot to offer, and can provide different perspectives. It’s time to even out the playing field.
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