“My name is Rob. I used to work in finance, now I’m a Software Engineer.”
Indianapolis native Rob Spears was selling mutual funds for an investment company but wanted to make a career change. So, he did what all career-changers do in the midst of an exciting life transition — he fired up Google and found Kenzie Academy while searching around for Software Engineering programs.
“I found Kenzie on Google and chose them because they teach real-world technical skills none of the textbooks offered when I got my associate’s degree in Software Development,” Rob said.
As a Kenzie student, Rob enjoyed the collaborative, project-based learning environment. His favorite assignment was his cohort’s first, large-scale group project in which they recreated Twitter.
“It was really satisfying learning a highly marketable framework in React, translating ideas into code and watching code become a viable product,” Rob said.
The Kenzie program provided an opportunity to not only become well-versed in various languages but also taught him how to be a lifelong learner.
“Kenzie gave me the opportunity to learn practical technical skills and, more importantly, the opportunity to develop an effective process for teaching myself new skills,” Rob said. “The most exciting things about the Software Engineering program are the opportunities to challenge yourself every day, take an analytical and logical approach to problem-solving, and future-proof your career.”
Now, Rob’s taking the skills he gained at Kenzie with him into his next adventure as a UI Software Engineer at Driven Data. In his new role, he’s responsible for designing, building, and deploying a data-analytics dashboard with an end goal of helping car dealers improve sales.
To students currently attending Kenzie and anyone interested in a tech career, Rob acknowledges the journey won’t be easy but making a career change and the challenges that come with it are worth it.
“It’s going to be hard and you’re going to have to make sacrifices,” Rob said. “At times you’re going to feel like you’re in way over your head. You’ll have to learn to ignore that voice, admit when you’re stuck and ask questions because that will literally never go away.”
For Rob, transitioning to a career in tech has been an incredibly fulfilling experience.
“If you work hard, go above and beyond in everything you try and keep an open mind, it’ll be (like it has for me) — the best thing you’ve ever done in your life,” Rob said. “Words can’t even begin to explain how fulfilling it is to have a career, not just a job. Waking up and being excited about the challenges awaiting you every day is the best feeling ever. And hey, you can make some good money while you’re at it.”