What drove me to Ada

My therapist. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety, and after I sought help, my therapist gave me phenomenal life and career advice. After getting to know me and my strengths over a couple years, and seeing my dissatisfaction with my experience and compensation working in the nonprofit sector, my therapist suggested looking into Ada Developers Academy.

At first, I thought that I could never be a software engineer. I had only ever written some HTML and I otherwise knew practically nothing about the world of computer science. But just the mere existence of Ada – a tuition-free program specifically for people like me – made me think “well maybe programming is something I could learn to do”. Before applying the first time I started taking some online tutorials in Ruby and CS basics and it ignited this fire inside me that I hadn’t felt in a while – the desire to learn and soak up knowledge and demystify this whole coding thing.

What also continues to drive me is knowing that I can use my new technical skills to help others – on a much larger scale. That, along with continuous self-improvement – is what continues to drive me every single day.

What has changed in my life since starting Ada

Some obvious things that have changed:

  • My technical skills
  • My resume
  • My network
  • My exposure to working on real-world tech teams

Some surprising things that have changed:

  • I went through a complete internal transformation in approaching how I learn – I had to totally drop my ego and embrace being a beginner, unafraid to fail, which has made me able to absorb so much more new information.
  • I actually enjoy whiteboarding algorithms now!
  • My self-confidence is through the roof

Thanks to Ada I now feel like I have the right and the ability to learn anything, and now I have the tools and habits I need to teach myself or seek out the resources and information I need.

Ada’s big impact on my life

Being a part of the Ada community and feeling the strength of this community has been by far the biggest impact on my life. As we know, breaking into or advancing in a career isn’t just about what you know, it’s about who you know. After starting my internship, and beginning the search for my first job, I was able to tap into the Ada alumni network and get connected to countless opportunities. Alums are standing ready and willing to help any other Adie in their journey, and having access to this built-in support is incredibly powerful.

Thank you, Ada! – Nora Peters