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Women in Tech Event in Pasadena on Sept. 29

- September 22, 2016 No Comments

There will be another Women in Tech event in Pasadena next week on Thursday, September 29. The evening will feature a panel discussion with women who currently work in technology as well as networking and hors d'oeurves. The speakers at this panel will include:

-Kat Harris, Microsoft 
-Tessa Harp, SABIO 
-Lyrana Hughes, FiveSixTwo
-Nicki Klein, Betagig
-Leticia Solis, Frontier Communications

The event will run from 6:30 to 9:00 PM, and it's FREE! Click here to RSVP.

Thank you to our sponsors Microsoft and AT&T. 

I wake up every morning, and I'm excited to go to Sabio.

- September 21, 2016 No Comments
Joe Stogner had been working as an account representative for a restaurant consulting company, but he had always been interested in computers and technology. After he turned 25, he was faced with the typical ‘quarter-life crisis’ and was thinking about doing more professionally.

“I started to think more about what I enjoy and who I was as an adult. I’m 26 now. I found Sabio because I was looking for coding bootcamps in Orange County,” Joe said.

Joe had studied international business in college and didn’t formally have a technology background. However, since he was about 12 years old, he had been interested in building his own computers and playing with the latest computer technology. He didn’t know any programmers when he was growing up and wasn’t exposed to anyone who could talk to him about breaking into the tech industry so he didn’t think about pursuing programming in college.

“When I met Aaron [the Sabio instructor in Orange County], he gave a pitch about Sabio. Sabio only takes 10 people at the most in a cohort so there is close mentorship. We work on real projects, which is awesome,” Joe said.

Sabio’s rationale for training fellows on the Microsoft stack also made sense to Joe. Sabio teaches C# and .NET because these skills are in high demand in Orange County.

This week Joe is finishing up his bootcamp experience and is in the process of interviewing with local companies. When he described his feelings about Sabio, he enthusiastically said, “I wake up every morning, and I'm excited to go to Sabio. I'm excited to code. It's crazy because I used to hate going to class. I love everyone in our cohort. I have made lifelong friends because of Sabio.”

And this is the Sabio difference. We not only train developers; we cultivate a community.

Nancy was an elementary school teacher, but she decided to #LearnToCode

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Nancy Nguyen had a relatively stable career as a public elementary school teacher for ten years, but she and her husband, Jimmy, who was working in a hospital as an electroencephalography (EEG) technician, wanted a new adventure.

"I was already looking for a career change. My husband and I decided to go live abroad first. We went to Korea and taught for a year there and re-evaluated our lives. Before I had left, I had helped a private school create materials and shared an office with an officer of technology, who suggested that I consider computer programming," Nancy, Sabio Cohort 20 member.

As Nancy and Jimmy were teaching in Korea, they would play around with Python tutorials in their free time. They both enjoyed learning about computer programming with the free resources online. When they returned to the U.S., they started researching coding bootcamps in the area and found Sabio.

Nancy and Jimmy Nguyen are the second couple in the same Sabio cohort, so they live and breathe coding and support each other through the program.

In a typical day at bootcamp, Nancy and Jimmy arrive at Sabio at 9:00 AM and spend the first hour reviewing the code that they worked on the prior day and start to plan what they will accomplish for the new day. At 11:00 AM, there’s a stand up meeting where everyone in the cohort shares what they worked on the previous day and any challenges they encountered and what their goals are for the rest of the day. Nancy and Jimmy will typically break for lunch between 12:30 and 1:00 and then come back and continue working until about 6:00 PM.

Meet Billy Martin, Sabio Fellow, and #VetsHack Hackathon Winner!

- September 13, 2016 No Comments

Billy Martin is an Army veteran, and he recently graduated with Sabio's Cohort 16 back in June 2016. Before learning how to code, he had been going to nursing school and working full-time in the security industry protecting executives and celebrities. Billy decided to leave the nursing path behind because he has an entrepreneurial spirit. Billy started looking for coding bootcamps, and he found Sabio and met with Gregorio Rojas, Sabio's co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. He felt inspired by Sabio's mission to diversify the tech workforce. As a Mexican-American, efforts to bring in people who have a background similar to his own are important. 

Currently, Billy is enrolled in Antioch University Los Angeles. He learned how to code at Sabio through the Certificate in Web Development program, a partnership between Sabio and Antioch. Billy was fortunate to have the college credits that he had earned at two other schools be accepted by Antioch. He plans to finish his Bachelor's of Science in Applied Technology and Business Leadership. 

The Coding bootcamp concept really appealed to Billy because he was interested in programming, but he didn't want to spend the time earning a computer science degree. He came to Sabio with the goal of learning how to code so that he can become an entrepreneur to build his own products to sell. Sabio Cohort 18 is in the process of building a product for Billy that will be used in the security industry. Billy is leading that project with his experience and knowledge of issues that arise in private security.

Last weekend, Billy and his team took first place at VetsHack and won $3,000. The Hackathon was sponsored by Facebook and GitHub. He and his team created VetChat an app for veterans who can reach out to fellow veteran mentors so they can talk through issues that they are having with peer mentors via annonymous SMS. Veterans can use this app anonymously so they can share thoughts, issues they are going through, etc. The idea is that this app can help prevent suicides and help veterans talk through issues they might be facing with mentors who have been screened and selected by VetChat to assist. Billy and his team plan to continue working on the app to make it fully functional.

Congrats Billy!

#VetsHack During Labor Day Weekend 2016

- September 1, 2016 No Comments
Sabio is partnering with Antioch University Los Angeles and Operation Code, a non-profit organization that aims to get veterans coding, this Labor Day weekend (September 2 – 4) to gather technology professionals and veterans to create solutions to address issues that military veterans encounter in daily life in the VetsHack hackathon. The event is being made possible by the generous support of Facebook. Five Thousand Dollars in Cash Prizes will be awarded on Sunday, September 4, 2016.

The objective of VetsHack is to bring civilians and veterans together by providing an opportunity to create software solutions for daily challenges that veterans and their families face. Some of those challenges include: housing, educational opportunities, social and emotional health, employment, and resources for veterans who want to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.

"Our goal is to create tech solutions that will be useful for veterans, which is why we want each team competing at VetsHack to have at least one veteran,” said Liliana Monge, Sabio’s Co-founder & CEO.

Sabio has already been in collaboration with Antioch University Los Angeles. Sabio and Antioch offer a unique and exciting Certificate in Web Development that allows enrolled Antioch students to learn how to code, allowing students who receive federal and state financial aid, including the G.I. Bill, to become Sabio fellows.

“Antioch University Los Angeles is proud to co-sponsor VetsHack. This hackathon, focused on support for military veterans, is Antioch’s way of showing support for military veterans and demonstrating our belief in the power of new technologies to inspire social change,” said Audrey Mandelbaum, administrative director of undergraduate studies at Antioch University Los Angeles.

The panel that judges VetsHack will also have veteran representation.

“We encourage active military members, veterans, and military spouses from throughout the Los Angeles metro area to participate in the first VetsHack hackathon, lead and/or join a team to create veteran-friendly web applications and national security solutions by weekend’s end,” said David Molina, Founder and Executive Director of Operation Code. “The seed for Operation Code was first planted at a hackathon, a place that is akin to drinking out of a fire hose – not just in consuming cutting edge technology, but in building something from scratch in the most thrilling and exciting atmosphere where products and solutions are built to serve a need.”

“As a veteran, the well being of the veteran community is something that is close to my heart, and I’m looking forward to collaborating with this talented and compassionate group of developers to create something that will be valuable and effective for our veterans,” Varr Willis, Producer and Director at Semantic Effect, said.

“Many veterans are having difficulties integrating into mainstream society. They frequently run into problems obtaining the resources available to them because they are not well publicized or are hard to obtain for a variety of reasons. Since graduating from Sabio, I have learned that the tech community can solve many of the issues facing veterans today. Sabio is on the frontline when it comes to empowering disadvantaged people to enter the tech community. Who better to engage this ongoing battle of helping veterans live healthier and prosperous lives than Sabio? VetsHack will allow developers to come up with much needed solutions for veterans. I can’t wait to participate,” Ivan B. Bernal, Sabio Cohort 12 graduate and 1st Lieutenant, Armor, California Army National Guard.

Sabio is the only minority/women-owned and operated web developer training program in the country. The project-based curriculum enables Sabio Fellows to work on real-world projects to develop and refine their skills. Sabio’s mission has always been service oriented; working with veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country aligns with this mission. 

More information about VetsHack can be found here

Kevin & Spencer share their tips for researching and selecting coding bootcamps

- August 29, 2016 No Comments

Kevin Lee is a current Sabio fellow (Cohort 21) and a recent college graduate. He graduated from UCLA with an English degree a year ago, and before coming to Sabio, he was working with a mobile gaming company. He really liked 'all things web related' because he had some some coding experience working for the Daily Bruin. Kevin started to search the internet for bootcamps and found the reviews for Sabio on CourseReport.

"All of these people were posting really good reviews about Sabio, and these reviews made me think hard about Sabio. Sabio's website really resonated with me, but I did check out other bootcamp websites too like MakerSquare so I could compare the program offerings," Kevin said.

Sabio's information session was the only open house that Kevin attended, and he felt comfortable with the environment that he experienced so he decided to study with Sabio. 

Spencer Lee, a Sabio fellow who recently graduated with Cohort 16, said that he would tell anyone who is looking to learn how to code to use Google. "At first, people might not know a lot about bootcamps. They might have heard of General Assembly, but they probably won't know the names of the smaller bootcamps," Spencer said. Spencer said that using Google to narrow in on bootcamps in your local area would be a good first step and added that any aspiring developer should get comfortable with searching online to find solutions and how to guides.

Like Kevin, Spencer found CourseReport and read through the reviews and saw that Sabio had the best reviews in the area. Spencer said that he's good at finding fake reviews and felt that the Sabio reviews were not fake because they were very specific and detailed.

"If you read reviews that are very specific, you can probably trust that feedback, whereas reviews that are very vague are more likely to be fake," Spencer said.

Spencer also had a few friends who went to General Assembly, and his friends who went through the General Assembly bootcamp did not find jobs as developers with salaries that were at market rates. He acknowledged that his friends' experiences might not be reflective of the general population that attends General Assembly, but he took their experiences into consideration when he decided to train at Sabio.

So if you are looking for a coding bootcamp, the internet is your friend! And check out the reviews of any bootcamp that you are considering on CourseReport.

(Photo: Kevin on the left with the ice cream, and Spencer is pictured on the right)

Gilbert used to work around developers when he was a business analyst, then he decided to become one

- August 25, 2016 No Comments
Gilbert Wong used to work for Xytech Systems as a solution consultant, but his role was more of a business analyst. Xytech produces an enterprise based application, MediaPulse, that helps entertainment and media companies. In his role at Xytech, Gilbert worked with both clients and the development team. He would work with programmers to text functionality and that the requests from the client were addressed properly. While he wasn't directly involved in development in this job, he was involved in the software development life cycle. His interest in software development grew out of working with the development team; he enjoyed seeing products come to life.

On the weekends, Gilbert would go online and work through the resources on Code Academy and Kahn Academy to gain skills so he could help out with his job. He started to learn SQL on the job and then would ask developers how to do certain things. The development team started to suggest that he go into web developing. Gilbert started to research bootcamps and attended an info session with Gregorio, Sabio's co-founder and head instructor.

"Sabio seemed really legit, and I liked what Gregorio was saying. He really seemed to know what he was talking about, so I decided to go to Sabio," Gilbert said.

Last week Gilbert received a job offer at AmaWaterways, a luxury based cruise line in Calabasas. This Cohort 17 graduate will be a front-end developer. He will be working on the company's website. He will be earning $21,000 more than he was at his last job.

"My Sabio experience is something I would never trade away. Coming out of bootcamp, I feel confident in my abilities. I feel that I can pick up other programming languages and continue to grow," Gilbert said.

Congrats Gilbert!

Sabio Fellow Builds Web App for United Way

- August 22, 2016 No Comments
I completed my first software consulting contract this year. I graduated from Sabio less than two years ago. Although neither of those things was easy to complete, I’m certainly proud of both — though I couldn’t have done one without the other.

When I decided to attend Sabio’s bootcamp in the summer of 2014 I knew I was going to have to make drastic adjustments to my life and sacrifices in order to be successful. The bootcamp was intense, but I got through it; finding a job took longer than I’d hoped, but I succeeded — and thrived.

Once I’d been at my first software job for a time I thought about one of the original reasons I wanted to attend Sabio: my entrepreneurial spirit.

To that end, I began a search for contract work — I submitted a proposal, had several interviews, and landed the gig. The client was United Way for Greater Austin and the project was to build a responsive payment site that allowed users to give continuously to United Way.

You can see the project here.

I learned a great deal of lessons during the course of completing this project, here’s a short breakdown of them.

- You’re only as good as your team. Make sure you have a stellar team before you take on any project.
- Always be flexible — things will change and you have to be prepared to go with it.
- Be as explicit as you can about everything, especially expectations.
- Do what it takes to deliver. You may have to eat costs, or do things twice to make sure they’re done correctly.

This first contract is hopefully the first of many and as I look forward to projects down the road I hope that I’ll continue to work with awesome people to produce great work. I’m currently looking for more work, and am excited to think of the possibilities.

Being able to run my own business, and act as an entrepreneur — even while I’m working full-time — is a great opportunity that I’m excited to pursue. As a woman, as a Latina, I’m proud that I can work in the tech industry and create opportunities for other “non traditional” developers.

I’m appreciative to Sabio for all of the support and training that helped make this dream come true. It’s worth noting that, while I was working on this project, I was working full-time at my first job, and then transitioned to my second full-time software job. With Sabio you feel like you can do anything!

Check out my work on this project here.