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Meet Erik: From Puzzle Master to Software Developer

Meet Erik Enderlein! With his love of puzzles, an escape room seemed like the perfect place to work. But his job there presented him with a different kind of puzzle: creating software for timers and other features that would make the experience better for customers.

He shares how his love of solving puzzles translated to a job as a software developer, how he successfully got a job in the industry, and how others can do the same.

Hi Erik! Thanks for sharing your story with us. What you were doing before Code Fellows, and what prompted you to want to change careers?

That’s quite the process to discovering a new career path! Had you always played around with coding or was that your first time?

Where do you think you got the assumption that you needed to start coding at a young age, and what finally disproved that for you?

The thing that disproved it was me actually finding out what coding is, in that class that I mentioned. And then actually allowing myself to give it a real shot while working at the escape room. It was substantially less mind-boggling than I had imagined it to be, and I ended up having a lot of fun with it!

How did you decide which programming language you wanted to study?

What was your favorite part of the program?

Also project week — it’s really fun to pick your own project to work on. Plus, I found it to be the least stressful period of each class, since I was no longer drowning in homework assignments and could focus in on one single project.

What was your favorite project to build?

After you graduated, you spent some time as a TA. How did helping others learn the material affect your understanding of coding?

For those who have the time and patience to do so, I absolutely recommend applying to be a TA. Even after the fast-paced curriculum where you may feel super lost at times and like you missed entire days of content just catching up on earlier stuff, it is truly astonishing how much you retain, and that is all cemented by being a TA.

Tell us about your new job at Usermind here in Seattle!

What attracted you to the role and company?

What’s been the most surprising thing about your new career?

Any advice for someone who is starting out in software development?

If you are discouraged and don’t understand what’s going on in a codebase, that is normal, and happens to everyone — even in the professional sphere.

Take some extra time to learn how git works. And I mean really learn it more than just add-commit-push. There are so many cool tricks you can do with it that can save you a huge amount of time and stress when (not if, when) something inevitably goes wrong with one of your branches or repos.

If someone was considering attending Code Fellows, what would you tell them?

Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Erik!

If you like solving problems and want to give software development a try, join us in an upcoming one-day Code 101 workshop.

Want more great content as you learn to code? See what’s new on the Code Fellows blog »

Learn to Code. Get a Job. Start Here! Learn more at www.codefellows.org

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