Talk Techie to me - HomeAway Career Exploration Program

The Career Exploration Program (CEP) is one of the newest concepts created by our Learning & Development team aimed at helping employees navigate and accelerate their career at HomeAway. This program is ideal for employees who are interested in exploring another career path, but lack the skills to join a programming team. Hear from the first CEP group and find out what it takes to succeed in this engineering crash course.

What made you want to apply for the Career Exploration Program?

I already had an interest in pursuing a career change as a developer, so it really was a no brainer since HomeAway was willing to help me along the way. Opportunities like this are almost unheard of. - Sam Soheylee

I’ve always been fascinated with computers; I even attended summer camp for game development when I was younger. Once I could afford it, I went through the Full Stack Program at University of Texas, Austin and now I’m continuing my journey with this program! I really wanted to learn how to bring my ideas and concepts to life, start to finish. - Dylan Rutter

For years now, I have been wanting to pursue the path of development and struggled to balance life commitments with exploring a new endeavor. The CEP provided that opportunity and I immediately knew that this was my chance! I am a lifelong learner and web development is ever-changing; this is what really drew me to this field. Let the adventure begin! - Kristen Fyffe

In high school, I spent long nights reading tutorials on how to change my Myspace theme. I remember coming up with new designs and features that made my page stand out. Ever since then, I saw coding as a career. A few years ago, I noticed coding boot camps were becoming popular, but I was concerned about the time commitment. The CEP has been an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful to be part of. I’ve learned more than I could ever imagine in a short period of time. I’m more confident at problem solving and I’m excited about this career path! - Tatiana Nino

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2. What are your career goals?

My goals at this point are to start an internship and then move on to front-end developer and continue strengthening my tech skills. I hope to continue my journey at HomeAway and guide others who are trying to make similar transitions. - Dylan Rutter

Long-term goal is to be able to call myself a full-stack web development engineer. In the short-term, I want to be useful to my team and continue to learn as much as I can.  - Trent Ingram

My current goal is to learn as much as possible from this experience to improve my skill set in tech and hopefully begin a career as back-end/full stack software developer. - Alfredo Ficcadenti

3. What was your biggest takeaway during the boot camp?

The only thing that can hold me back is myself and I understand more than I thought I did. The scariest part was figuring things out that I didn’t fully understand yet. However, that was arguably the most important part of the bootcamp, learning HOW to learn! - Sam Soheylee

Confidence! I always pride myself on having positive energy and being able to create a positive work environment as well. This time around I really wanted to focus on my technical aspect and it was nice to see in the end that I am making progress and moving closer to my goals every day. - Dylan Rutter

Learning how to be comfortable with constantly not knowing. Quickly learning to work toward the small victories and how the struggles of not knowing were responsible for the amazing feeling of accomplishment. - Jason Jiron

I figured I’d learn a lot about web development, and I did.  But I didn’t expect to learn a lot about myself too. - Trent Ingram

Boot camp opened my eyes to how big web development is and how quickly things are evolving. Every new thing I found interesting and wanted to further explore; it made me realize that you will never be all-knowing. The great thing is, developers are willing to share their knowledge and collaborate. - Kristen Fyffe

There are so many things to learn! Becoming a software developer requires focus to deeply learn new concepts and techniques but to also be flexible to find solutions for a new problem. Sometimes the problems look similar, but it needs a different approach and in general every problem can have different solutions. - Alfredo Ficcadenti

Miguel B transitioned from a Customer Experience role to a full-time position as an Associate Software Engineer.

Miguel B transitioned from a Customer Experience role to a full-time position as an Associate Software Engineer.

4. Any advice for other people trying to make a career transition into tech?

My advice for anyone looking to start a career transition into tech is to take a deep breath and start. It’s a long journey, but if you take it one step after persistent step, you’ll get there. - Miguel Bernal

Don’t feel intimidated. The beauty of this field is you learn new things everyday. Whether you’re new, or a seasoned developer, everyday is an opportunity to improve your skills. - Jason Jiron

Perseverance:  Web development is a big subject, and there’s a lot to learn.  Try to keep momentum by setting small tasks to accomplish every day, or every week.  Over time you’ll start to notice progress. - Trent Ingram

Be passionate. Take the first step and be constant. Invest your free time in learning because if it is something that you like, you will know immediately. - Alfredo Ficcadenti

Start now and don’t wait to be told to learn basic Javascript. It’s the foundation to ALL of the Javascript libraries you will learn and those libraries aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Coding takes patience like you wouldn’t believe and the problems you encounter can be hard, but hang in there. Every problem solved is a new milestone and something learned. - Shell Branch

5. What qualities does someone need to have to be successful in the CEP?

You have to WANT it. It should excite you to discuss the topics and discover new aspects to the technology you use. 12-hour days won’t feel enough and you will always want more. It should make you happy doing it. - Sam Soheylee

Problem solving, problem solving and problem solving. - Alfredo Ficcadenti

I believe that learning to code is something that anyone can do as long as you’re passionate, have an open mind and a positive attitude when something doesn't work out as planned. - Tatiana Nino


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