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From High School Graduate to Developer at Progress

Alpha
24/08/2020

Yoanna was 19 years old when she decided to become a developer. She didn’t have any previous experience or formal technical education, but she had a goal and determination to achieve it. So, she decided to join Telerik Academy’s Alpha .NET/C# program. It took her less than two months upon graduation to start her first job in the IT sector, right in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, she is a Software Engineer at Progress. 
 
This is her story.

Picture of a girl (Telerik Academy alumni) in front of a wall in a bright colour

Yoanna, thank you for your time in what we imagine is an exciting moment for you - the beginning of your IT career! Can you share with all of us what happened?

Thank you for being such a significant part of this moment! Well, I must say that it wasn’t easy, but my patience and all of my efforts paid off. I graduated from Telerik Academy Alpha .NET on June 12, and now I’m joining Progress as a software engineer. I accepted the job offer on July 28, so the hiring process, including the preparation, took around a month and a half.

Congratulations! Can you share more about the hiring process - how did the interview go? Did you feel well-prepared for it?

It all started with a CV. After that, before the interview, I had to prepare a small project based on a task they gave me. I had a couple of days to complete it. In 2-3 weeks time after reviewing my work I was invited to an interview. Of course, it was conducted online, and it went for nearly 2 hours!

I enjoyed the technical questions about the project and the skills that I acquired during my education at Telerik Academy. The interviewers were nice and friendly. However, I would be lying if I tell you that there were no challenging questions.

Which lesson from our soft skills trainers helped you the most during the interview process and as you called them the challenging questions?

Occasionally, there would be questions that you are not prepared for, or you just don’t know the answer to. The advice that helped me the most is to always be honest when I am not sure about the answer. And there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you keep learning and growing as a professional.

Let’s take you a little back - what did you find most valuable in the Telerik Academy Alpha .NET/C# program? Which were the key lessons that helped you land your first IT job?

For me, the most valuable part of Telerik Academy Alpha was its intensity, the hands-on projects, and working together with my colleagues as a team. I realized that I learn best, not alone, but during meaningful discussions.

Telerik Academy taught me to be adaptive and to communicate effectively with others. During the program, I developed all the necessary knowledge and skills for a successful career start in the IT industry.

Is there a moment from your education in Telerik Academy that you’ll always remember with a smile?

For me, every single moment I’ve spent as part of the Academy is priceless and unique, but the dearest of all was my first day which also happened to be my birthday! Meeting the trainers and my colleagues was the most precious gift for me. I believe it was an exciting moment for all of us because, despite our different backgrounds, we were all starting something entirely new and exciting.

What were you doing before Telerik Academy? How did you decide that it was time for a change?

I was 19 years old. I knew about Telerik Academy even before I graduated from high school. I wanted to be a developer, so instead of going to college, I decided to apply to the Academy. One month later, I was absolutely sure that this was the best choice for me.

What made you choose Telerik Academy? How did you know that this was the right place for you?

At first, I was attracted by the challenge. Later, during the preparation course for the entrance exam, I was fully convinced that this was the right place for me.

After the first couple of lectures, I felt so motivated to become a developer! I give huge credit for that to the way the program is structured. The learning material is taught in an easy to understand way and the trainers who serve as mentors are always there to help and support us. All of this reassured me how different Telerik Academy’s education is.

During our education, we had additional mentors who were Telerik Academy alumni. I was fascinated by their knowledge and the way they were sharing it with us. They were also guiding us and helping us overcome different challenges. I knew how much work they had invested to do all of this with confidence. I wanted to be just like them.

Thank you for this conversation. We wish you the best of luck, and before we say goodbye, we have one last question - which is the most valuable lesson you learned during the Telerik Academy program?

The most important lesson is to never give up because all the challenges are merely steppingstones to success. Every achievement is a result of hard work. I have learned how to be consistent and patient at what I do, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of Telerik Academy.

Alpha
24/08/2020

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