As a classically-trained pianist in Nashville, Sarah O’Keefe all the time imagined working within the music trade. After getting a level in music enterprise and enrolling in legislation faculty to turn out to be an leisure lawyer, she found one other ardour: coding.
“All of the occasions once I in all probability ought to have had my nostril in a legislation textbook, I used to be educating myself easy methods to code,” Sarah says. In 2016, Sarah left legislation faculty to pursue coding; and in March 2020, she was employed as a Entrance-Finish Software program Engineer at iHeartRadio in Nashville.
Seems, studying easy methods to code will not be a far cry from mastering a chunk of music. “Having a music background actually helps with studying to code and simply in my day-to-day job,” Sarah says. “If I will try to study a musical composition, it is a very comparable talent set to educating your self a brand new coding language.”
Along with her iHeartRadio job, Sarah began Codecademy’s Nashville Chapter, the place she hosts meetups, examine periods, and Discord occasions for different Music Metropolis tech professionals and code fanatics. (Professional tip: You may be a part of a neighborhood Codecademy Chapter to develop your community and keep motivated all through your coding journey.)
Learn on to study extra about Sarah’s journey to tech (together with her suggestions for networking on LinkedIn) and what it’s wish to be a Entrance-Finish Software program Engineer at iHeartRadio.
What received me within the job
“I initially went to high school for music enterprise with the intention of changing into an leisure lawyer. I went to legislation faculty after which give up after ending my first 12 months. I noticed that was not the trail for me. I discovered coding actually thrilling: I favored fixing all of the puzzles and simply determining options for quirky issues you might have.
How I received within the door
“Round February of 2020 I used to be working as a Junior Full-Stack Developer for a startup that had simply gone underneath. So we have been all in search of jobs, not realizing the pandemic was about to occur.
I had a buddy who labored within the advertising and marketing division at iHeartRadio who had no connection to the digital facet in any respect. I requested him what it was like working for iHeart and how much an organization it was. They’d an entire bunch of openings for Junior Builders, so I utilized on-line after which reached out on LinkedIn to a few totally different individuals on the net group.
Any time I’ve utilized for jobs, often how I get my foot within the door for the interview is by reaching out to individuals on LinkedIn and being like, Hey, can I purchase you a espresso? I might love to speak about your expertise. I assume it’s just like the squeaky wheel principle.
As soon as I received to the interview, it was a 3-step course of: First I talked to a recruiter, and the second was a language-agnostic technical interview, which we did on CoderPad. At the moment, they have been additionally in the course of determining easy methods to do digital interviews. The ultimate interview was like a 5-hour assembly with seven totally different individuals from the group and extra technical questions.”
What I really do every single day
“We’re engaged on some actually cool new options for the iHeartRadio net software. What I am personally engaged on is constructing out a element library for the remainder of the corporate to make use of. I am primarily simply utilizing React at iHeartRadio, with a few totally different frameworks and libraries.
Proper now, all of our code is written otherwise, so we’re attempting to have a single element library that every one the groups can pull from. That method, we are able to all construct issues the identical method; we’ll have fewer bugs; and it’ll be so much simpler for brand new individuals to come back in and be capable of learn the code.
Most of my time is constructing elements, which on the floor may sound boring, nevertheless it’s lots of working backwards and forwards with our UX and product group. It has been actually thrilling attending to work so much nearer with individuals that are not instantly like my co-workers on the net group.
I am presently planning our inner HackWeek 2022 and have rented a home exterior of Nashville for everybody to remain. Everybody will get into groups of as much as 4 individuals, and also you get to work on no matter challenge you provide you with, so long as it is associated to creating iHeartRadio higher.
Working at iHeartRadio is absolutely cool as a result of we’re not essentially a tech-first firm. Earlier than there have been functions, it was a radio firm, so there’s nonetheless such an emphasis on music and leisure within the firm. On the New York workplace, they’ve had tons of artists are available to do little stay reveals, and that is the plan for the Nashville workplace — we’ve received a extremely sick stage setup for native musicians to come back by means of.”
Right here’s what you might want to get began
Sarah’s recommendation for folk who’re in search of methods to interrupt into tech is to acknowledge that the way forward for each trade — from music to sports activities and all the things in between— goes to contain software program. “Your favourite firm that does artsy issues in all probability wants software program builders if they do not have already got them,” she says.
“For those who’re getting your first job as a developer, individuals are in search of a starvation to study and the power to type of mould you right into a Software program Engineer that works nicely on their group,” Sarah says. “Having humility and proving that you simply’re capable of study rapidly are the 2 most necessary suggestions.” (That stated, if you wish to study React, take a look at our beginner-friendly Be taught React course.)
And regardless of the place you’re in your coding journey, “attempt to leap in at Codecademy meetups,” Sarah says. Rookies and seasoned engineers can use these occasions to seek out help, get solutions to widespread questions, and community with different people who find themselves studying with Codecademy. Be taught extra about native Codecademy Chapters on our neighborhood web page.