#121: Kesha Lake – How a Mom from Atlanta became a Remote Software Engineer at Stitch Fix

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kesha Lake is a member of the Career Karma community from Atlanta.

She joined Career Karma in the beginning of 2019. Less than a year later, she got a job as a remote software engineer at Stitch Fix.

Today, she talks about her life as a mother, her transition from nursing to tech, her bootcamp journey, and her job search experience.

About:  
Lives In:

Atlanta, GA

 Current Job: Software Engineer at Stitch Fix
Date Recorded 12/17/2019

 

 

Show Notes:

[01:50] Kesha committed to Career Karma’s 21-day challenge that helps people prepare before getting into the tech industry. 

[04:40] She was almost going into the nursing route due mainly for money when she tried doing free coding courses online and just fell in love with it. Her 2019 resolution was Me First! 

[09:32] Kesha applied to four coding schools: Lambda, Thinkful, DigitalCrafts, and Flatiron School. She got preliminary acceptance from all four within 24 hours. She initially wanted to go to DigitaCrafts but ended up with Flatiron School. This is why exploring schools is so valuable. 

[13:45] The crowdfunding campaign: Kesha had to come up with the $1,000-deposit so she did a crowdfunding campaign. She passed her goal and even doubled it. 

[18:17] Career Karma is a growing, collaborative community that helps each other with shared resources. Kesha got herself a laptop for free from folks at Career Karma.

[20:43] Kesha applied for the ISA (income share agreement) and got rejected. But she didn’t let money get in her way and things worked out for her.

[24:44] The power of community: Kesha describes how it feels having an impostor’s syndrome and how having a squad can help you feel that you actually belong.

[34:00] Overcoming the struggles during the bootcamp: Stop the negative self-talk. Get support. Consider what bootcamp you go to. 

[36:30] Bootcamp vs. college: Kesha recalls how she got PTSD from college and how her bootcamp experience has revolutionized her attitude towards school.

[40:33] Taking a break: Being an Adventist, she set a rule not to code on Sabbath day. Although it was painful for her as she went through bootcamp, she got to get the rest that she needed.

[42:17] The job search experience: The job search is a “job.” You have to sort out companies to apply to. Kesha shares some great interview tips!

[49:10] The power of relationships: Kesha narrates how she finally landed a job at Stich Fix. Based on experience, reaching out to people is the best way to get an internal referral. 

[01:05:22] Message to underestimated communities: Support is out there and they want to give it to you – but first, you have to show up!

[01:08:25] Kesha shares what it feels like now that she’s learned how to code. She explains that money doesn’t buy happiness, but it buys options.
[01:12:06] Attitude of gratitude: Kesha started the process of listing the things she’s grateful for. She joined the bootcamp in April, and by Thanksgiving, she found a job!

Contact Info:

Kesha Lake

Twitter: @keshalake

Learning Resources

Career Karma

Join the Breaking Into Startups Facebook Community

Udemy coding courses

Lambda School

Thinkful

DigitalCrafts

Flatiron School

Episode 04 with Iris Nevins

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