“That’s one of the things I love about Microverse. They don’t care about your nationality, gender, color or size. They just care about if you have the talent and the passion to follow your career.” - Cecilia Benitez
Microverse students work incredibly hard to become professional software developers and we’re so proud of all our students and the work they put in. Our alumni have landed jobs around the world, earning more than what they made before — without paying Microverse anything until they’re employed.
We are delighted to highlight another alumni, who decided to change her career when she realized her true passion. Cecilia Benitez currently works as a front-end developer for iDo, an agency based in Costa Rica. We asked Ceci about her journey from studying to become a mechatronics engineer to becoming a front-end developer.
Ceci has always liked mechatronics because of her father who was an engineer. Since she was a child, he exposed her to robotics and the mathematics behind it. From that, she expressed her interest to pursue mechatronics. In college, she took mechatronics engineering for two years before dropping out to study software development.
Her desire to change from mechatronics to front-end development sprouted when she started learning how to design and build interfaces in front-end development. These skills greatly interested Ceci and made her consider pursuing a software development career instead.
At first, Ceci’s family didn’t like her decision to drop out of engineering to pursue software development. They were worried about the uncertainty of her career path but Ceci said that she wanted to become a self-taught student, overcome her fears and push herself.
“I didn’t drop out of school because I didn’t like to study. It was the opposite.”
Ceci wanted to learn other things that weren’t taught in college. So, she began learning how to code by taking online courses and reading books. As a practical application of her learning, she repeatedly followed tutorials to perfect her coding skills.
When she announced her decision to become a software developer to her family, her sister helped her find opportunities to study. Her sister worked in a local startup in Paraguay and had programmer friends who suggested Microverse.
Her family soon accepted and supported her dream of becoming a software developer. With some convincing, Ceci joined Microverse in July 2020 and started her career as a software developer in June 2021 after finishing the program.
The biggest challenge during Ceci’s developer journey was the thoughts and fears of not being good enough - imposter syndrome. At first, Ceci was unsure if she could make it through the program. But with the help of the Microverse community, she was able to receive support and make it through.
Another obstacle Ceci faced in the tech community was her position in a male-dominated space. As a woman, Ceci struggled to fight for her place in a man’s world. Despite the lack of women in the field, she encourages more women to dive into tech.
“I would like to encourage more women to be brave and start working in tech fields. They can do as good as men.”
When she completed the program, Ceci began applying for jobs. It took her two months to land the job and she went through several interviews that tested her programming experience and skills.
Currently, Ceci works at iDo, an agency based in Costa Rica as a front-end developer. She noted she’s very grateful for the opportunity to work remotely and that, compared to her former local job in Paraguay, the salary in her current job is almost triple the amount.
This new career as a software developer is also helping Ceci support her family. She is able to help her mother provide treatment for her grandmother and invest in healthcare.
Ceci listed certain characteristics necessary for finding remote jobs. You need to know how to work in a team, have certain English skills, and have strong programming skills.
“There are a lot of people you have to compete with so you have to push yourself if you want to get that job.”
Ceci said that her perseverance was what made her stand out and helped her land a job. She had patience in finishing the curriculum and applying for jobs. “You have to focus on what you want to achieve. Finishing the curriculum and getting a job depends on what you want to achieve.”
The most important thing Ceci learned at Microverse was how to work in a team. Before, she had worked on many problems alone. As a front-end-oriented developer, Ceci had the most difficulty with back-end related softwares - such as Ruby and Ruby on Rails.
But with pair programming at Microverse, Ceci found out that working with others was more beneficial for her skill development. She learned from her coding partner, who helped her with back-end related development.
Ceci also lacked soft skills because she notes she’s very introverted. She improved her communication skills by working with her team and shared how Microverse taught her to communicate with people from different cultures. “You have to learn to talk with everybody and deconstruct your prejudice.”
Ceci’s advice for improving your technical skills is to use resources to practice your problem solving skills. You can also hone your skills by solving math problems and programming problems every day.
When there are doubts, remember that everyone sometimes deals with imposter syndrome, which can make you lose confidence in yourself. The key to overcoming this, and negative thoughts is to not be discouraged and to believe in yourself.
Through a lot of hard work, focus and dedication, Ceci managed to become a front-end developer despite her self-doubts. To date, Microverse has enrolled full-time students from 100+ countries in its full-time online program, and helped students from around the world land life-changing jobs. If you’re ready to change your life by becoming a remote software developer, get started below!