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“Be patient and passionate… Don’t take rejection as a bad thing. It's fine to fail, and eventually, you will receive your first job offer!” - Gabriela Cruz Olivera

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. From making sacrifices to be able to support themselves throughout the program, to spending thousands of hours learning, they’re committed to improving their lives. Our alumni have landed jobs around the world, earning an average of 3x more than what they made before — without paying Microverse anything until they’re employed. 

We are delighted to highlight another one of our alumni, who decided to pursue Microverse in order to step into the global software development job market. Gabriela Viridiana Cruz Olivera is based in Mexico and landed a job as a Frontend Developer at LatAm based Upstart 13 in January 2021. We asked Gabriela about her experience learning to code, her journey at Microverse, and how life has changed since she landed a full-time developer job.

Gabriela’s Life Before Microverse

Before learning about Microverse, Gabriela worked as a remote Full Stack Web Developer for a small company located in a city two hours away from her city. After almost a year of working there, she lost her job so she began to freelance. She said;

“I didn't want to end up with a full-time job locally because where I live is a very small city and there aren't any great software companies there. I also didn't have the money to move to a bigger city.”

At the time, Gabriela wanted to level up her skills and felt the companies in her city were not the ideal place to achieve that. This motivated her to join Microverse to level up her skills and find a better job in the tech industry. She also joined because she was looking for an environment where she could grow as a developer, and Microverse provided that.

Gabriela’s Microverse Experience

For Gabriela, the most memorable part of Microverse by far was the community. “Other students and each member of the Microverse team are there to help. You can be stuck on a project, or it can be something personal that is blocking you, and you just need to reach out for help and someone will answer you.”

Not only the community, but the habits that she developed during the program have been very impactful for Gabriela. 

“The most impactful thing I learned at Microverse are the three habits I developed during the program:

  1. Always be ready to learn. By “be ready” I mean you need to be open to learn every day you are working, every time there is something new that you need to tackle.
  2. Reach out and ask for help from other developers. This is very important to level up your skills!
  3. Use the Pomodoro technique - I use this to focus while I’m working on a task."

Up-Skilling in More Ways Than One

Gabriela also noted that along with improving her technical skills, her professional skills have also improved since joining Microverse.

“Now that I'm working with people from different countries who have different English accents, I can say that my English and communication skills have definitely improved. Also, I’ve improved my skills of working with others, since I now need to report to a Tech Lead, work with QA Engineers, and communicate with the Program Manager and Technical Project Manager of my team.”

How Gabriela’s Life Has Changed Since Starting Microverse

“My life has changed 100% since Microverse. My current salary is 5.6 times more per year than my previous salary. I currently live in Mexico, so having a salary in USD is great if you compare the minimum salary or entry-level software engineer salaries of Mexico.”

Gabriela is also excited about the future potential for her career, and her salary. “I also have an opportunity for greater future earnings. The company who hired me implements bonuses if your performance in the job is great as well as, promotions (and higher salaries with them).”

Landing Her Current Job

Gabriela shared that when she first started applying for jobs, she applied for some Full Stack roles but her goal was really to find a Frontend role. So, halfway through her first month of job searching, she stopped applying for Full Stack roles to focus solely on Frontend roles. 

She applied for nearly 70 roles over the course of three months, across various sites including LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, Angel.co, Ziprecruiter, among others. She also did some networking and joined a few Slack organizations. Gabriela said that throughout her job search, “My career coach and coaching group were always there to support and help me with every question I had before an interview.”

When it came to landing her current role, Gabriela said, “I found the job post on LinkedIn. I remember it had the ‘Easy Apply’ button and I applied even though I was unsure because the job description said ‘5 years of work experience’. When I was given the job offer, I didn’t feel the need to negotiate the salary because their offer was already very good.”

Gabriela’s Day to Day in Her Current Role

Gabriela currently works for Colombia based, Upstart 13, a software engineering consultancy, where she works on various projects for different clients. 

“With the client I’m currently working for, Luxury Presence, my job is bug fixing, client customization, and creating elements for their websites. For example, a gallery of images with properties, a carousel slider, or an opening homepage (here’s a live example). While I work, I need to follow the designs provided in Figma and the standards of the company.

At the company, we use Scrum, and have a daily standup meeting, retrospective, and sprint planning meeting every two weeks. Also, we have another meeting every two weeks to share what other teams of the company were working on in the last sprint and what their goals are. ”

She also meets weekly with Upstart 13, the company that hired her, to discuss internal updates with her team that is working for the same client. Even though Gabriela said her initial interview with Upstart 13 was all about Javascript, React, and Redux, the tech stack she uses daily now is Jquery, Javascript ES6, Sass, Handlebars, and HTML5. She said that she also applies learnings from Microverse daily, including; the Pomodoro technique, time management, team communication, and fast-paced learning.

Gabriela also has support in her current role, so she can continue to grow. "When I first started in the role, I had a coach who was there to help me grow professionally. Now, on my team is a Tech Lead who is a Senior Developer. Every time I have doubts, or when I'm stuck on a task, he helps me, so I would say he is like a mentor for me.”

Advice for Aspiring Software Developers

Gabriela had a lot of advice for aspiring software developers and Microverse students regarding the job searching process.

  1. Be patient and passionate. When you start to apply to jobs, it will take a bit of time to reach your first phone screen interview. 
  1. Prepare before each interview until you feel confident with your answers.
  1. Learn as much as you can in each interview because you will get feedback and can use it for the next interview. 
  1. Don't be afraid to apply for jobs that require more years of experience than you have. The worst thing that can happen is that they won’t reply to you because you have less experience.
  1. Keep trying and studying for each interview. You will start to notice that the more interviews you have, the better prepared you will be for the next interview. And reach out to your career coach anytime you need help.
  1. Finally, don’t take rejection as a bad thing. It's fine to fail, and eventually, you will receive your first job offer! 

Through a lot of hard work, focus and dedication, Gabriela completed Microverse and landed a job as a remote software developer in early 2021. 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!


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