What sparked your love for tech?
When I was in elementary school, I attended a robotics presentation at a science center. The robots were incredible, and the presenter spent time talking about both the process of making the machines and the programming that determined their behaviours. It was a fascinating experience that led me to engage in any tech opportunities I could growing up!
Did you start at a post-secondary school? If so, what school?
I went to the University of Calgary for six years. I was studying for a degree in Astrophysics with a minor in Computer Science.
What would you say your experience at University was like?
My university experience was great for the most part. There were some challenging courses, but I also attended a lot of introduction-level classes in fields outside of my department. I had an amazing time learning about all sorts of things and was fortunate to have many good professors over my time there.
How did you hear about Launchpad? What made you decide to go with LP?
I first heard about LaunchPad through my mother-in-law. She had read an article about the rise of tech in Calgary, and the piece focused on LP as a great resource for aspiring developers. I looked into the program and was interested in a couple of the offered courses. At first, I thought I was under-qualified for what classes were offered, as I had never used the listed programming languages in my time at University. However, after meeting online with the Director of Operations, Christie, I realized LP was the perfect fit for me.
How was the program?
The program was incredible. I learned so much during my time at LaunchPad. I went from no C# experience to building a full project app in just a few months. Even more importantly, there was so much practical knowledge to be gained. Both regarding industry processes like resumes and interview skills, but also by connecting students with professionals within the industry and getting to share in their passion and love for the field.
What were your favourite portions of LP?
I knew I would get a lot of enjoyment out of the development side of the program, but it was such a pleasure to meet so many great people within the tech field. Getting the opportunity to learn about each person’s experiences and perspectives on the industry was truly wonderful.
What did you end up doing within LP?
Most days of the program involved topic lectures, presentations from different team members, or open-ended discussions on technology and web development. Over the 16 weeks, I completed a few code challenges, performed two mock interviews, and built up a main project web application from scratch.
What was the biggest takeaway from LP’s program?
The knowledge that I gained from the program was very beneficial, but the largest takeaway from LaunchPad was the value of soft skills and a learning mindset. LP was the perfect blend of a professional, serious program as well as a safe learning space. If you are willing to put in some effort and not be intimidated by the content, there is so much to get out of the experience.
How was finding a career in tech after your time at LP?
I was fortunate to get an official interview with another tech company I met through the LaunchPad program, as well as an offer to join the Junior Development team at the Vog office. The interview was a good time to put many of the skills I learned in the course into action and joining the development team at Launchpad has been such an incredible learning experience. Being able to use the knowledge I gained from the program to work on a commercial product has been such an amazing time.
What would you recommend to future students, looking to get into tech?
I would recommend future tech students to keep themselves open to different opportunities and be willing to put in the effort to take full advantage of any learning experiences that come their way. It is so easy to be intimidated by the large leap it takes to get started in the industry, and to feel imposter syndrome even after doing so. But it can be such a rewarding process if you are able to get past the initial hurdles.
What does the future of tech look like to you?
Tech is already such an integral piece of our lives. There is room for technology to be used to improve and expand in every field in the world. It is a fast-paced environment that is constantly evolving and growing, making it such an exciting, and important, part of what the future has in store.