Love of music ➡️ love of code ➡️ new career

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: October 4th 2023

Love of music ➡️ love of code ➡️ new career

From Music Teacher to Software Engineer Apprentice

"The puzzle-solving, learning, and the new ways to create things felt familiar, but frustrating, yet it was so satisfying when something worked. I thought: people do this all day as a job and make good money doing it, I think this is what I want to do."

This is Megan McDevitt, a Nucamp Bootcamp Alum and now a Software Engineer Apprentice at Blend Labs, Inc.

Having a doctorate in double bass performance, Megan has a deep appreciation for music, music performance, and music education.

Why coding?

Megan loved working with kids, but there were few career opportunities that would allow her to teach at the higher levels she was driven towards and the jobs that did become available were not satisfying to her.

For fun, she took a computer music class and started learning Max/MSP software, which made her fall in love with the programming side of music.

Megan started teaching her self online, but found it challenging to stay focused without structure, which she understood deeply as a teacher herself—she needed something more intense.

She started looking at coding bootcamps, but they were all much more expensive, they weren't remote at the time, and there were none available in Buffalo, NY where she lived.

She found Nucamp, but was met with skepticism because it was so much cheaper, but after doing some research and reading reviews, she was ready.

For Megan, she loved everything that set Nucamp apart from the rest: the socially-driven community, the flexibility of being able to keep her job, and the affordability.

What it was like taking a Nucamp Bootcamp

"With any class you take, you get out of it what you put into it."

The instructors were really helpful and responsive and the break-out discussions with her classmates enabled her to learn from her peers, which she very much appreciated as formal educator herself.

One of her favorite activities during the bootcamp were the javascript challenges.

Describe your job search process.

In order to stay on top of the concepts she learned during the bootcamp, Megan involved herself in coding communities online such as Code for America on Twitter and Bufdfalo Code Group on Slack.

She got more involved on Nucamp's Linkedin group and she also participated in Hack-a-thons to hone her skills, which she said was humbling, but absolutely worthwhile.

The hack-a-thons also gave her projects she could showcase in her portfolio.

Above all, she recommends doing ***100 days of code***, which is a personal challenge that people participate in over Twitter.

Having to code every day and post about it gave her the practice she needed, attracted followers and gave her a little recognition in the community, and provided instant feedback.

Participating in 100 days of code enabled her to quickly answer interview questions.

After 7 months, she landed a job as a Software Engineer Apprentice for Blend Labs Inc.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

"Learn whether you like coding before you take the Full Stack bootcamp. Put in the hours. There are no short cuts."
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Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.