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How Hack Reactor Enabled This Alumna to Quickly Switch Careers

Owen Poindexter

How Hack Reactor Enabled This Alumna to Quickly Switch Careers's Image

Krista Moroder didn’t actually decide that she wanted to be a software engineer until she was halfway through the Hack Reactor program.

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Krista Moroder and another Hack Reactor alum are among the few software engineers with under six years experience at Globality Inc.

“I went to Hack Reactor for the education,” she explains. “Once I was doing it I realized how much I loved engineering itself.”

Prior to Hack Reactor, Moroder had spent close to a decade in education, first as a teacher, and then working with teachers to help them integrate technology into the classroom. The spark for learning to code came from participating in a speaker panel about the importance of teaching kids to code. She was the only non-engineer on the panel, and afterward she resolved to at least learn the basics. She spent the next weekend doing the entire JavaScript track on codecademy.

“When I finished that, I thought, ‘okay, now I REALLY want to learn how to do this.’”

Coming from an educational background, her first thought was to get a Master’s degree in Computer Science, but she quickly realized that the bootcamp model was a better fit.

“I wanted to get into a situation where I’m on the fastest learning curve possible,” she recalls. As for why she chose Hack Reactor, “everyone I talked to really liked the curriculum.”

Once she was in the program, she came to realize how much she enjoyed software engineering, and how much social contact it involved.

“I was surprised how much I liked it. I never liked school. I went into education because I did not enjoy it. I wish I could do bootcamps for everything I wanted to learn. I stayed late every day, went in on Sundays, it was a lot of fun. I still hang out with the people from my cohort.”

The Hack Reactor education propelled her into a role where she is already wearing multiple hats and working on all parts of the stack.

“Four months into my job I’m already contributing to full stack features, which is directly related to my time at Hack Reactor.”

Moroder also helped a Hack Reactor graduate get hired at the stealth startup where she works now. They are two of the only engineers there with less than six years experience.

“We have about 25 engineers. Most have 5-10 years experience, and some have as many as 15-20. They come from places like Facebook and Apple. We’re all expected to contribute at the same level--they made that clear when they hired us. I think it was really unusual for them to hire us.”

How did Hack Reactor prepare her for a role like this? Moroder credits three elements of the program.

“[Learning back-end technologies] NodeJS and databases made it far easier to contribute in many more ways than I expected. Second, they do a really good job of giving tools to figure out how to find answers. Every day you get problems you don’t know how to solve. Lastly, you’re always working with other people. In a lot of ways I’m working more closely with people than I ever have, because you are building things in tandem with other people and your code touches their code. It’s a very interpersonal job.”

Want to follow in Moroder’s footsteps? Apply today or sign up for a prep course. You can also download our syllabus on our homepage to learn more about our program.

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