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Kimiko's Journey From English Teacher To Software Engineer

Graduate Interview with Kimiko Motoyama

Coding bootcamp graduate Kimiko smiling at camera

Today we spoke with Kimiko Motoyama, a graduate of our full-time coding bootcamp's 5th Immersive cohort. Originally from a non-technical background, Kimiko switched careers into IT, and now works as a front-end developer.

In this interview, we discuss her experience at Code Chrysalis.

What are you doing now?

I currently work as a front-end developer at the finance company, TradingScreen. I'm developing an app for investors and others in the field to use as a platform.

Before you joined Code Chrysalis, what were you doing?

Initially, I worked as an English teacher in Osaka. I decided I wanted to become a programmer, and joined a venture startup in Tokyo. When I was there, I did a lot of different things: user interviews, UX and UI design, office work, accounting, pitch contests, and so on. 

But I wanted to be more fully involved in software development.

How did you hear about Code Chrysalis?

I wanted to become a programmer for a while, but my skills weren't improving the way I had hoped. One day, I saw one of Code Chrysalis' Meetup events and attended on my way home from work.

Why did you decide to enroll at Code Chrysalis?

When I spoke with Kani (CEO) and Yan (CTO), they empathized with all of the issues I was facing, and were really kind and helpful when giving advice.

Even though I had never heard of Code Chrysalis before, and was a bit worried about whether or not I could actually improve as a programmer, they had really credible data about student outcomes and a well-crafted curriculum, so I decided it was a good choice.

I wanted to change my life, so I decided to give it my all and join the Immersive.

What was the Immersive course like?

Hahaha, it was really difficult!

Everyone around me seemed to understand what they were doing, but I didn't, and I felt like I wasn't at the same level. But the teachers and my classmates always helped me out when I was in trouble. They didn't just tell me to Google something if I didn't understand it - they'd actually search alongside me! 

Thanks to that, I was able to make it through the course.

What was the most important thing in the Immersive?

It was difficult for me to find answers searching on my own. Even if I read the documentation, I didn't totally understand. So I didn't know what to Google, and if I managed that, then I didn't understand the results.  I'd get so overwhelmed that I would ultimately forget the original problem I was looking to solve. It was really tough, and honestly I still feel that way today sometimes too, hahaha.

However, what I learned at Code Chrysalis was that it's okay if you don't understand 100%. What's important is that you take the first step, and continue until you understand. Realistically, this is harder than it sounds - but I think it's spot on.

What was the most surprisingly fun thing in the Immersive?

Definitely my classmates. We all became really close, and if anyone was in trouble we'd work together to help them. Even after the Immersive ended, we've all stayed in contact. 

And not just my classmates - the teachers and students all became like a family to me. So they didn't just help with classwork, they were also really thoughtful about my life outside of class as well.

How did you change after taking the Immersive?

In a short period of time I gained a lot of knowledge. When talking to other engineers, the topics I understand have increased considerably. Honestly, I still can't say that I feel completely confident in myself, but even so I feel like I've grown a lot in that way as well.

How was the job support you received from Code Chrysalis?

It was amazing! They taught me all sorts of industry "know-how."

Especially because I come from a non-technical background, they gave me so much advice. We did mock interviews and gave me tons of constructive feedback. Thanks to that, I was able to receive a lot of job offers after graduation. Afterward, they also helped me figure out which companies and offers were the best, and I was able to land the fantastic job I have now.

On top of that, Code Chrysalis has lifetime job support, so even though I love my current company and have no intention of leaving, if I were to be in a situation where I need to switch jobs I feel really comfortable asking for assistance.

Do you have any advice for future students?

For me, money was the biggest hurdle for me when it came to participating in the course. In case you're like I was, and are worried about what to do in regard to money, I recommend that you embrace the risk and take the leap regardless. I got results, so even though I had to take out a loan, I feel happy about taking the course.

Not taking risks is in itself a risk, right? So if you want to take the course, do it. Time spent worrying is time wasted in my opinion. You got this!

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