“I was simultaneously stoked and freaked out about how much there was to learn,” Kelsey said about the Code School programming courses. “But I also felt like I could create anything I want with these skills.”
Ten years ago, Kelsey Iverson was a professional cheerleader while attending Boise State University. Today, she’s a UX/UI Engineer for Elevation Web Design in Victor, Montana. A lot happened in those 10 years.
Life Before Programming Courses
Kelsey cheered for two years in Boise before moving back to Montana to work in the tourism industry. After a serious car accident, she moved to Florida and worked as a yacht stewardess for a while. She traveled to Norway to compete in a game show. Kelsey also worked in creative spaces, including helping design and execute one of the biggest costume contests in the United States during Halloween in Las Vegas.
Somewhere along the way, Kelsey realized that she wanted to return home to Montana to be closer to her family. She also wanted a job that would give her flexibility in work and location.
Curiosity Created The Coder
Last year, Kelsey tuned into a video from YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober. He challenged his viewers to complete a puzzle game: directing a car through a maze using simple statements. The statements emulated the logical rules behind coding, though participants were not told of the connection until after they’d solved the puzzle.
Upon her own successful completion, Kelsey was encouraged to look into coding. She signed up for the 100 Days of Code challenge through freecodecamp.com with the intention of completing the course with a full stack certification for free. Sixty days into the challenge, she realized that she liked coding enough to apply for full-time programming courses at the Montana Code School.
Kelsey said her experience with the Montana Code School was one of discovery. She thought she would go into the program and come out as a junior developer, but she realized that coding was giving her capabilities to do so much more.
“I was simultaneously stoked and freaked out about how much there was to learn,” Kelsey said. “But I also felt like I could create anything I want with these skills.”
The New Career After Programming Courses
Kelsey said the leaders and teachers at the Montana Code School worked with her through the challenging curriculum, encouraging her to come to office hours and attend events around Missoula. When she felt like she wasn’t quite ready to job hunt after graduation, Kelsey began auditing the subsequent part-time cohort. A few weeks into her audit, she landed a job with Elevation Web Design.
As part of a small team with Elevation, Kelsey works closely with her boss and their clients. She said her boss is excited to have someone fresh out of school on the team who is up on the latest technologies. Right now, Kelsey’s got five projects in the queue, with a big website due to go live any day.
Kelsey said her diverse experiences have made her a more competitive and complete coder.
“My background knowledge helps me know what’s possible in designs while I’m designing,” Kelsey said. “I can adjust and make things smarter and faster, as well as make them work smarter and faster.”
Kelsey said Code School taught her the importance of having a good support system and, above all, determination.
“Don’t give up,” Kelsey said. “Show them your tenacity, and how influential you’re going to be– use all your different facets and experiences.”