SUNY Albany '17
Felix Abreu, a native of the Bronx, NY, grew up in a large Dominican family with five brothers and five sisters. Felix, a lifelong learner, developed an interest in coding while growing up. He and his older brother were the go-to’s in their family for troubleshooting computers, phones, etc. He would search the internet for ways to solve the issue, which ignited a desire to learn more.
“I eventually wanted to know how all of these things work, why certain issues arise, and how applications are created.”
Because of this interest, Felix decided to pursue a degree in computer science. After completing his first year of college at the St John’s University – Queens College campus he transferred to the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany.
Felix, the first in his immediate family to receive a bachelor’s degree, graduated in the spring of 2017 with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Informatics, Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security & Cyber Security.
During the spring of his senior year, Felix began speaking with Revature about the opportunity to join the organization. While he was intrigued by the opportunity, Felix was also exploring other job opportunities, which had arisen through his involvement with Code2040, a nonprofit that connects minority students with companies in the technology industry. Through this, he spent a week in Silicon Valley, connecting with organizations such as PayPal, Microsoft, Snap, Intel, and more. As a result of this trip he began conversations with recruiters at Snap.
After graduation, Felix continued speaking with both Revature and Snap. He completed and passed the Revature technical screen, but was still hesitant to accept a position until he found out whether or not he would receive an offer from Snap. They had even flown him to San Francisco for an interview and discussed an apprenticeship opportunity, which was a six month program starting in September.
Though the interview went well, Felix was told he was no longer being considered for a software engineering position. He was however, still a candidate for the apprenticeship program. Despite this, more time went on without receiving confirmation and it began to feel like a game. By September Snap was no longer communicating with Felix.
“I successfully finished college, including being president of the student association. I felt like I was on a winning streak, and accepting a position right after graduation at Snap would have been ideal. Instead, fall was quickly approaching and I was still waiting.”
At this point Felix reached back out to Revature to see if he could still join the company, which he could. In early November, Felix flew down to Revature’s training location in Tampa, FL on the campus of the University of South Florida. Despite the long journey, Felix learned a great deal and was looking forward to his training.
“It had been a journey and I’m glad that’s part of my story. It wasn’t a failure to me, not being able to have that position at Snap, but it definitely taught me a lot. You can’t just go by your life. You don’t want to live a what-if. You take those risks. And you never know.”
The opportunity to spend time in Florida was also exciting.
“I didn’t hesitate because I knew this was an opportunity that would help me into take the next step in my career. I knew I would not be able to see my family as often, but with how technology is today, family was just a phone or video call away. They supported my decision and knew that this was something I needed to do in order to keep building myself. It made the transition much easier knowing they supported me.”
Felix successfully completed his training, and finished with a level of confidence he didn’t know he could obtain.
“I was definitely looking forward to joining Revature. I knew that they were going to teach me a lot and I was excited to learn. But wow, I did not expect to learn as much as I did and gain the level of confidence I have now. Thanks to Revature, I have never felt more confident. As far as what I expected from Revature, obviously I got that and more. I feel great. I feel like I’m capable of taking over the world.”
Additionally, Felix was excited to have trained in Tampa and applauds Revature for its partnership with USF.
“I think it’s the greatest idea. For example, as a recent college graduate there’s a transition phase when going from college to entering the workforce. Coming to the USF location, I felt like it was perfect. By being on a university campus, you’re placed in an environment where learning is promoted and you feel welcome. You can take advantage of the resources here at the university. I loved going to the library and doing work. I felt like I belonged there and it definitely helped with the transition.”
Advice for New Associates
Felix encourages anyone considering Revature to apply and to take advantage of all the available resources.
“Be transparent with your recruiter as you go through the process. Let them know if you have any questions or concerns. That’s what they’re there for. Read Glassdoor reviews as well. They were very helpful when I was learning more about Revature. I saw all of the great things people had to say.”
“I also suggest taking advantage of RevaturePro. Before starting training I dedicated a few hours a day to it. Even though I hadn’t started the onsite training yet, from the moment I signed I had the mentality that I was starting work now.”
Advice for Starting a Career in Technology
When it comes to launching a career in technology, Felix offers one key piece of advice: keep learning.
“You must be willing to learn. Just because you graduate doesn’t mean it’s over. You have to be willing to do some searching. What I’ve personally taken advantage of is LinkedIn. Go on LinkedIn and build your network. I’ve met a lot of great individuals and their advice has been amazing.”
“For anyone looking to get into the tech field, I suggest connecting with people. For example, at my university, we have the Office of Career and Professional Development. They offer programs where alumni that work in large companies, including tech companies, host workshops where they share their experiences and offer advice. Thanks to those opportunities I was able to learn a lot about what to expect in the field.”
“Above all, be prepared to learn more than what you have already learned. The learning just continues. And that’s the best part of the whole tech industry, that you never stop learning.”
“Remember, success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. In life you have to be willing to take a leap of faith and invest in something that will build you into the individual you see yourself being. Nothing in life is given so you have to be willing to take risks and learn from all of your experiences. Don’t live your life thinking what if, just try it out, learn from it, and keep pushing to achieving the goals you have set out for yourself.