Generation Questions & Answers: Amber Alexander, JFS
In September 2021, Generation USA launched our first Denver cohorts in partnership with the Community College of Denver. Since then, Generation USA has served 215 learners from the area, over 51% of learners gained employment and those employed see an average 4x increase in wages post-graduation .
These learners come from many different backgrounds and walks of life, and their experiences within Generation have helped position them for successful careers. We sat down with Amber Alexander, who completed the Junior Full Stack (JFS) Developer program. Find out where she started, learn about her experience in the Generation classroom and check out where she’s headed now!
1. Describe your life before Generation – Where did you live? What were you doing for work?
Before Generation I lived, and still do, in Denver with my parents. I worked various entry-level jobs like bartending, delivery driver (Doordash, Uber Eats) or working in a grocery store.
2. What prompted you to make a change?
I was tired of not making enough to move out, and not having a skill that leads into a career.
3. There are numerous bootcamps that exist, what made you choose Generation USA?
Choosing Generation was easy because I didn’t have the money for some of the other bootcamps, and especially not college. As I read more into what Generation does, I don’t think I’d want to be in other bootcamps – even if they were free – because of the opportunities and care that’s given here.
4. What was it about the Jr. Full Stack program that prompted you to explore it as a career?
Full Stack seemed extremely interesting to me because it gives you the knowledge to create an entire application/website by yourself. It also seemed like it would lead to more opportunities for getting a job.
5. Did you have any experience in tech prior?
I had no experience in tech prior to Generation.
6. What was your favorite part of the learning experience?
So far, my favorite part of this is that it’s remote and I can learn alongside people from all over the country.
7. What key takeaways, experiences, or connections from Generation’s program have you found to be the most helpful for you in your career path?
The key takeaways are all about perseverance. This course does a phenomenal job of changing the way you think about yourself and your goals. It also does a great job in showing you how to continue to make connections and grow in your career.
8. What was the concrete moment where you felt like you were in the right place with Generation USA? When did you finally feel like “yes, this is the place for me”?
The first time we had a group project, even though it was small and simple, I felt like I had made the right choice. Working with other people who were also new to tech but had a desire to learn was wonderful. I felt comfortable.
9. What was the most unexpected part of the bootcamp experience?
So far, the most unexpected part is how kind and patient the instructors (Robert and Stephanie) are. I had worried that with it being a free course, they might be less so. They are truly amazing.
10. What was your biggest obstacle in the cohort (either professionally or personally) ? How did Generation help you overcome it?
My biggest obstacle was getting a resume together that looked professional and could compete against others who have more experience or education. Generation allowed many opportunities to guide me through, especially my career coach Azariah. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her knowledge and expertise.
11.Tell me about the Generation staff, your instructor, you coach. How did they help you succeed?
The Generation staff are INCREDIBLE! Everyone is unbelievably helpful in their respective areas, and they are willing to go above and beyond to make sure you know the material. My instructor Robert will stay after class to make sure everyone who still has problems or questions gets the answers they need.
12. Talk about the relationships you made at Generation. Are you still friends with your fellow cohort members? Do you keep in touch with the staff? What value has these connections added to your life?
I am connected with everyone I could find on LinkedIn and hope to stay friends with them for a long time to come. These are very valuable connections because right now I don’t have any friends in the tech world, and it’s nice to talk with people who understand what I’m going through.
13. What’s the biggest difference between you now and before Generation?
The biggest difference between me now and before Generation is that I have a growth mindset now, and believe I have the understanding to get to where I want to go in life.
14. What are you most looking forward to in your new career?
I am most looking forward to getting paid and potentially working from home.