We asked some of our software engineering alumni to share their learning journey going through our bootcamp and their experience since graduating.
We're catching up with 2015 Hack Reactor alum Artur Meyster, who is currently the CTO of Career Karma, co-host of Breaking Into Startups, and a Founder of both organizations. Before enrolling at Hack Reactor, Artur spent three years in investment banking.
Below, we asked Artur a few questions about his experience at Hack Reactor and what he's been up to since graduating.
Before attending Hack Reactor, you worked as an investment banker. What inspired you to change career paths and become a software engineer at Hack Reactor?
I was always interested in problem-solving and saw myself eventually being an entrepreneur. I saw technology and specifically coding as an invaluable skill to understand how to build a startup. I remember reading Hack Reactor reviews and the fast pace of the program really appealed to me because I wanted to switch careers in under a year.
What did you learn at your first software engineering job at Funding Circle? Were you able to use your software engineering skills in tandem with your experience as an investment banker?
In 2016, you started the podcast Breaking Into Startups. What are three factors that made this podcast successful?
From the beginning, we featured stories of people from non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech. Storytelling is very powerful at helping people relate to the stories and believe they can do it too.
You Co-Founded Career Karma in 2018 with your brother and Ruben Harris. What were the most difficult steps of initially starting the business and how did you overcome them?
Knowing to code really gave us superpowers to build the initial prototype of Career Karma. Going from an individual contributor to building and managing a team was really hard at first. But as you get more traction, more people start believing in your mission and join the team. We also got rejected from Ycombinator the first time we applied but we used it as a motivation to keep going and got accepted in the next batch which really propelled our company forward.
How did you all decide on fundraising through a Series A round? And how do you intend to use this funding to grow Career Karma?
We decided to raise $10 million to position us to help 1 billion people to accelerate their careers. We plan on investing that to build our community and we recently rolled out Live Audio rooms on Career Karma where we host nightly events with bootcamp students and alumni to build a community of career switchers who are helping one another level up.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs with software engineering backgrounds?
Learning to code can be a lonely journey. Try to find peers who you can learn from. One of the reasons we started Career Karma is to help people find their squad that will support them and keep them accountable.
More about Career Karma
Career Karma is the easiest way to find a job training program online. They help over 1 million workers navigate their careers every month through advice and coaching. By offering free coaching and peer mentorship, Career Karma has grown to over 150,000 members from every background and profession. Through their directory of 9,000 bootcamps and trade schools, career switchers discover training programs by comparing courses and reading student reviews. They also offer regular events for people learning to code.