Serena Isone - SheCodes Success Story | SheCodes

Serena Isone
SheCodes Graduate


Job Title
Software Developer at Adidas


Location
Rotterdam


Nationality
Italian


Written by Lexi Dillon,
Edited by Lexi Dillon, October, 2021

👩‍💻 SheCodes Success Story

Serena

How Serena got a job as a Software Developer less than 1 year after starting her coding journey with SheCodes

Serena started her SheCodes journey in November 2020 and finished it in April 2021 

🙍‍♀️ Before SheCodes

Serena has gone from a complete coding beginner to a Software Developer in less than one year and we couldn’t be prouder! 🤩 Serena is originally from a small town in Italy but has been living in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. She loves traveling and solving crosswords, puzzles, and Sudoku in her free time.

She received a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Padua in Italy and went on to work in Sales, Event Planning, Tutoring, Project Management, and Product Ownership following her university studies. 

While completing SheCodes, she was working as a Product Owner at Adidas with the main goal of improving the Adidas website. As a Product Owner, she spent most of her time talking with stakeholders, management, and her team (including analysts, designers, and engineers). Since she was working with many engineers, her interest in coding began to grow. 🙌

Her interest had first been sparked when she worked for a tech startup. As a child, she hadn’t had much exposure to technology, so working in tech, especially as a coder, was a very foreign idea to her. 

“I worked with many inspiring engineers that influenced my interest in coding. Growing up I didn't have much exposure to technology. I spent my childhood in a small town close to Napoli, where the internet was perceived as a shady place, full of scams. I studied Political Science at university and bought my first computer at the age of 24, to write my thesis. It wasn't until I started to work in a tech start-up in Berlin that I started to develop an interest for technology. I told myself that just because I wasn't exposed to programming earlier in life it didn't mean I could not learn it now. Ultimately, we live in a world that moves fast, we grow with it. It's only natural that our interests evolve too. After speaking to my engineer friends/colleagues I decided to give it a go!”

…and we’re so happy that she did! 😊 👩‍💻

👩‍💻 Her SheCodes Experience

Serena decided to learn how to code and first tried with a free resource online - Codecademy. She discovered that it was hard to stay motivated and she always procrastinated to complete her coding assignments. Then, she found out about SheCodes from one of her colleagues and decided to give it a try. She found that SheCodes offered just what she was looking for to provide her with a fun way to reach coding success. 😄 Serena also loved the SheCodes community and learning with other women!

“The structure of the syllabus and the deadlines were a unique selling point for me. My learning style is watching videos and putting knowledge into practice. I tried to do it on other platforms without deadlines and I ended up procrastinating. With SheCodes I was able to always prioritize coding, learning, and having fun with it.”

“The learning structure is on point. It’s a 0 BS approach when it comes to learn coding. Videos + homework + deadlines. It was the reason why I chose to learn with SheCodes over other platforms.”

“SheCodes is an incredibly supportive environment with a great mission ❤️ we are all learning, all going through the same phases, asking the same questions. I didn't feel like I was alone in the challenges and the other students encouraged me along the way.”

Check out Serena’s React Weather App here: https://vigorous-mirzakhani-8248d5.netlify.app/
Check out Serena’s Responsive web-development portfolio here: https://www.serena-isone.com/

With SheCodes, Serena was able to discover that coding was more than just a hobby, it was something she wanted to pursue and work in. 🙌 💻 

“When I first started SheCodes I was interested in coding but I didn’t know yet whether it was a hobby or a potential future career. Thanks to the courses (I enthusiastically attended all of them) SheCodes helped me understand what coding meant to me at this point of my life and motivated me to build a career in tech. SheCodes taught me the essential tools to pursue a career in tech.”

🙋 How SheCodes has Helped to Change Her Life

With SheCodes, Serena was able to transition from a Product Owner to a Software Developer, starting as a complete coding beginner! She said that SheCodes set her up for success to transition internally within her company. 😍

“SheCodes supported my progress in a fast and painless way. It helped me demystify the ideas that I had of coding ("too difficult to do it without a university degree”,“I am too old to learn”, etc.) and it gave me confidence that I could do it.”

“SheCodes offered the exact curriculum I needed to learn to be able to apply for a software engineer job position at Adidas: HTML, CSS, Javascript, React, Responsive web-development. After attending SheCodes and learning how to solve algorithms I applied for the position and passed all the technical interviews! I signed my first job as a Software Developer at Adidas! SheCodes helped me to switch careers internally from Product Manager to Software Developer!”

She now works as a Junior Frontend Software Developer specializing in JavaScript, Typescript, and React. She works within a cross-functional team with a Product Owner, a designer, a data analyst and other engineers. Her role is to develop new features on the Adidas website, fix bugs, refactor the site’s code, and maximize return on investment for the product she supports in developing. She spends her days coding to progress on sprint goals, having agile team meetings, partaking in paired programming sessions, and getting individual training. She works from home four days a week but also enjoys some socialization at the office when she’s working there. She’s documented a typical work day at her office on Instagram. 👩‍💼 Check it out here if you’re interested! 

She likes her job now a lot more than her previous job because she has more flexibility in her hours and the ability to work remotely. She also sees this new role as an opportunity to gain an exciting new skill set that will be useful in future roles. Lastly, she enjoys that she can now focus more on doing and seeing the results of her work.

“Definitely I have more flexibility. I have a given amount of tasks to develop during the sprint but I am not bound to office hours to complete them, as long as they are done. Same goes for remote work! I love to see my colleagues to socialize every once in a while but I also find it more productive to save commute time and work from home. It doesn’t matter from where I work as long as the job gets done. I see it as a new exciting set of skills I can transfer to future roles. Moving to software development allowed me to focus more on doing and seeing the results of my work.”

She’s also been documenting her coding journey on Instagram and says that she’s been enjoying receiving support from the development community there.  📷 👩‍💻

“I am documenting my journey on IG and I am impressed with the amount of support the development community provides. People seem always happy to share knowledge and advice on conventions, and morally support each other!”

👩‍💼 Advice to Future SheCodes Students

Serena’s advice is that whether or not you’d like to pursue a career in development, coding knowledge will be useful. And we have to agree. 😉 

“If you have a genuine interest in coding, do it! Not everybody that starts this journey decides to become a Software Developer but by trying you will at least know if this is the right path for you. My thought process was: I will regret it if I don't do it; and even if I realize this is not the path for me there are so many affiliated careers where knowing how to code is an appreciated skill/asset: Product Owner, Business Analyst, Architect, Technical Project Manager, etc...”

“Investing in up-skilling your personal and professional development is always a good investment whether it results in a job or not.”

Serena’s SheCodes Basics Testimonial 
“I LOVED the course! So clear and well organized! It allowed me to learn new skills and at the same time work my 9-5pm job! Thanks SheCodes team! You rock!”

Serena’s SheCodes Plus Testimonial 
“Thank you Matt and the SheCodes team for making the process of learning front-end development interesting and practical. I built and shipped to production my first project and I am more and more motivated to explore Software Engineering further. I will start the React course next week. Greetings from Italy!”

Serena’s SheCodes React Testimonial 
“I started coding as a way to gain a new skill during the long days of lockdown. Coding has now become a passion of mine: I started with intro to coding and I am happy to announce that I just finished the React module! I am more than positive I will continue practising, learning and who knows maybe even turn it into a full time job. Thanks to Matt and the SheCodes team for supporting me in"developing" (😉) this new skill!”

Serena’s SheCodes Responsive Testimonial 
“I enjoyed SheCodes so much I attended all the workshops. I feel pretty confident in my (front-end) coding skills. While I wait for the next course to drop (😉wishful thinking) I will be continuing my learning path that has been already useful in my day to day job as Product Owner. Thanks Matt & team, you rock!”

Want to share your SheCodes story? Please email [email protected] to let us know that you’re interested

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