From Army to Java: How Jonathan Made a Career Change to TechMay 8th, 2018 — Revature
Jonathan Tech completed his Java training in April 2016 and is currently contracting with IBM’s government sector in Maryland.
Originally from Oklahoma, Jonathan was hired by Revature to get started in a tech career, after five years in the U.S. Army. He had been stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled in college to pursue a degree in Musical Performance, while also playing in a band.
Eventually the Army knocked on his door and Jonathan started his military service soon after.
Jonathan hadn’t taken any coding classes during college though his interest in it began in high school. During his free time in the Army he started learning development on his own.
After finishing his time in the military and trying to determine what his next steps would be, Jonathan came upon Revature. After speaking with a recruiter, he felt that Revature was providing him with an opportunity too good to pass up.
“There’s a skill deficit in the technology industry. Revature approached me and gave me an opportunity. They opened a door and gave me the chance to walk through it.”
Despite not having formal Java training Jonathan looked at this opportunity with a positive outlook.
“It has more to do with your aptitude and dedication. People are trying to make their way. There’s where Revature comes in – helping people make their way.”
Even with his positive outlook, Jonathan didn’t necessarily make his career change to tech with a ton of confidence.
“In my opinion, fear or intimidation is self-imposed so if you can stomach that you can make some progress and improve. For me, I was coming into the program with the thought of what did I get myself into, this could potentially be a whole lot of effort. I came into it with the mentality of having a blank slate.”
Completing the training had a much larger impact on Jonathan than even he had anticipated.
“I came out of it with self-confidence, but also a humbleness and understanding of people who are more experienced than me. As soon as you start learning something, go into it with a humble expectation. Once you find out how deep the rabbit hole goes, you truly realize how far those people went to get where they are in their field. You have a new understanding and entirely new respect for how people come about even involving themselves in this.
I came out of it with an entirely different perspective. I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. Sometimes, you have to thrust yourself into the unknown to make change.”
Jonathan’s appreciation for and the value he sees in Revature also extended to the non-coding portion of training. Revature believes in equipping our software engineers with both the technical and soft skills needed to be successful.
“It cannot be stressed enough the imperative value of being able to talk to someone on a social level and have something interesting to say.”
“A lot of employers are hiring you to do the technical work. If you’re stuck in this world of technology and can’t detach yourself enough to socialize with some of these employers, then you actually end up not being able to speak with them and speak on their level. You somewhat handicap yourself from how far you can really get.”
“People can become so dedicated and so caught up in trying to learn the technology that they forget the human factor. It’s a very important aspect that Revature has emphasized and I appreciate.”
“Many employers are looking to be more critical on both the technical side and social side because some of the individuals they’re hiring will end up doing more than just writing software. They’ll be involved in talking to a client which, if you’ve ever talked to a client, it’s extremely important that both you and they have a clear understanding of each other and that there’s no awkward tension.”
Advice for New Associates
“Revature is not only a business, It’s unlocking opportunities for those getting ready to embark on this journey, no one is entitled to the outcome, nobody, not even me. You have to believe that for yourself. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get to that point.
It is not expected that you’re going to do it. It’s expected that you’ll have an opportunity because Revature is giving you the opportunity. Now, it’s up to you to follow through.”
“Swallow any entitlements and disregard them at the front door. Expect to have to work, and expect to be rewarded for your efforts if you can pull through. It’s a very rewarding field. There’s a lot of opportunity out there – it is a seller’s market. There’s a lot to gain from this.”
“A door has been opened. It’s an opportunity that otherwise would have been hard to get into, but now a company like Revature has invested in you. Take advantage of the opportunity and don’t let entitlement get in the way. Advance yourself, focus on the technology, and focus on improving yourself as a person.”
“Revature is giving everyone the same opportunity, which cannot be overstated enough, because these opportunities are what’s bridging a gap in the market.
“I would not be here today if it wasn’t for the opportunities afforded to me, from start to finish. If the Army didn’t give me a chance, if Revature didn’t give me a chance, if Patrick and Ankit (Revature trainers) didn’t give me a chance. If they hadn’t given me a chance, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They gave me a chance to prove myself.”