October 13, 2022

A-team interviews: How did you make the switch from Accountant to Software Engineer?

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Get to know Joy—former Accountant turned Software Engineer. We caught up with her about the defining moments in her career, what inspired her career change, and her proudest achievements at Archlet.

Has there been a defining moment for you regarding your career path?

I previously worked in Accounting and realized that it wasn’t fulfilling. I couldn’t figure out if it was just the role or if it was something bigger. As I started looking for a new job, I asked myself: Is just changing companies really going to make me happier with my career? Is accounting really what I want to being doing in 5 years’ time? After some self-reflection, I realized accounting wasn’t what I wanted to be doing long-term. Since university, I was always interested in engineering. After some research on coding and taking a free online class, I enrolled myself in a 3-month long bootcamp at SIT Learning and here I am now in an engineering role at Archlet.  

Can you walk us through your transition from Accountant to Software Engineer?

So my bachelor’s degree is in Accounting. I decided to major in it because I knew that having a stability in my career was something I really valued, and accounting offered that. But as I was sitting in my accounting courses, I was wishing that I was majoring in Math and Engineering. At that point, it was too late for me to switch majors given the circumstances I was in. So, I finished out my degree in Accounting and ended up working in the field for three years. I enjoyed it, but knew it wasn’t how I wanted to spend the rest of my career.

My brother-in-law had done a coding bootcamp a few years prior and he, along with the rest of my family, was really encouraging me to do the same.  

Naturally, I had some fears at the time about making the switch. Would I be able to keep myself afloat while I did this bootcamp? Would I be able to find something afterwards? There were a lot of unknowns. But today, I don’t regret the switch at all. I’m much happier now.  

What part of your role excites you the most?

What excites me about the role is that there is always something to do. In accounting, there are high and low periods. For example, at the end of a month, I could be in the office until midnight, and then in the middle of the month I was essentially sitting around waiting for the month to end. As an engineer at Archlet, I find that there is always something to do. You’re never bored and you’re never working on the same thing twice.  

Also, maybe this is more company-related, but I love the flexibility I get working in tech. One of my favorite benefits is being able to work remotely. When I was in accounting, it was important for me to be in the office. Having family in the US, it’s great to know that I can still spend quality time with them without having to use all my vacation time to see them.

What is your proudest moment at Archlet so far?

When I started at Archlet, I was an intern. I feel proud that I was able to transition from my internship to a full-time role. It’s something to be proud of—given I didn’t have any university experience in Engineering.  

Describe your team at Archlet in three words.

Supportive, Accepting, Chill.

Why should someone join your team?

Everyone is super supportive on the Engineering team and non-judgemental. People often say, “there is no stupid question,” and don’t mean it. Joining as an intern, with only a 3-month bootcamp coding experience, I am sure I asked a lot of “stupid” questions in the beginning. My team has never made me feel like my questions were invalid or stupid. Everyone is so willing to take time out of their day to help you out or jump on a call with you. I feel incredibly supported. They also want to help you grow. If you voice that you want a new challenge, they’ll give it to you. They not only help you get out of your comfort zone and grow in new ways, but also encourage it. Lastly, you can really make an impact. Even as the most junior engineer on the team, I know my opinion is valued and they listen to what I have to say. From previous work experiences, I know that is not the case for everyone, so I feel very fortunate to be on a team like mine.

What advice would you give to women who are thinking of entering or switching to a career in tech?

It was such a great decision for me. I don’t regret switching at all. I’m so much happier than I was before. But of course, my situation is not everyone’s. Everyone has different factors to consider when making a career switch like this. I suggest taking a free online class to see if you actually enjoy it and/or talking to someone else who has made the switch to really get a taste of what a career in Engineering could look like. Then ask yourself: Is this something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your career? And if the answer is yes, then believe in yourself and go for it!

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