Tech Candidate Spotlight - Rina Joy Abu - Remote Software Engineer for SEMPRE

Inspired by the pandemic, Rina transitioned from medical coding to software coding, thanks to General Assembly Courses

Candidate Spotlight Rina Joy Abu Software Engineer

Which educational opportunities have made the biggest impact on your tech career?

I come mostly from a self-taught background. To take my career further, I did eventually attend General Assembly’s Software Engineering Immersive Course, which took about 3 months to complete.

I would have to say that attending that bootcamp really gave me the right foundation needed to land my first role through Hired. It gave me the confidence to be able to talk about my projects and explain my code during interviews.

Related: Learn more about educational opportunities through Hired Partners like General Assembly – some offer discounts to candidates on the Hired platform!

What would you like to learn more about?

I’m always looking to learn new things relating to my tech stack, whether it be through reading articles, watching YouTube videos, or going through Udemy courses. The great thing about this field is that there is always something to learn and I’m always looking for opportunities to grow as a developer.

Related: Hired Partners help with workshops and upskilling to help you grow

We understand you started in a different field – what was it? What led you to pursue a career in tech?

I originally have a background in healthcare. I was doing inpatient medical coding for 6 years before I made the decision to transition into software engineering. The covid pandemic was really what pushed me to make a career change.

Being a medical coder wasn’t fulfilling my need to want to bring a positive change in the world. I felt like through becoming a developer, I could help create and build technology that could help make the world an easier place to live in these hard times.

Do you still participate in your previous vocation in any way? If not, how does it help you now, if at all?

No, I don’t participate in any kind of medical coding anymore, but the health-related knowledge I gained over the years still stays with me. I’m grateful for my time spent as a medical coder.

How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

My career as a software engineer is still in its early stages, but I feel like I’ve grown so much from when I started my coding bootcamp, to when I started working as a Junior Web Engineer at SEMPRE, up until now.

When I first started out, I could barely write a function that accomplishes a task, now I am pretty much the sole developer on our team working on building out new features for our web management console. I feel much more confident in my ability to solve problems through code and know how to find the right resources I need to get me to my end goal.

What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role/career?

There are a few things that I am most excited for in my new career, but the main things would have to be that I can always learn something new everyday and that I am on the right road to building something that will help make someone’s life easier one day.

I’ve always loved learning and challenging myself and as a software engineer, I get to do this almost on a daily basis. I’m constantly growing and learning and if through what I’ve learned, I am able to help some people along the way, that’s even better.

What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

It was tedious. I was sending around 10 applications a day. The whole process was very repetitive and time consuming and I only heard back from 2 or 3 of the roles I applied for. I was also continuing to work on my projects and learning new things. Searching for a job was a job within itself. I put a lot of time into it.

Hired has really made the job search process more efficient and pain free. The company, SEMPRE, that reached out to me on Hired was very professional throughout the whole interview process and kept constant communication with me after every step, all the way until I got my offer letter from them. I’m extremely grateful for Hired helping me land my first role in my new career path.

I enjoy working at SEMPRE because I am surrounded by knowledgeable professionals that I constantly learn from every day to further my career and skillset. Also, our Friday company meetings are a fun way to end the week and build our sense of community.

What’s your best advice for job seekers registered on the Hired platform?

Fill out your profile information as in-depth as you can and take those skills assessments. The skills assessments were actually pretty challenging and I learned a lot from taking them. Also, by passing them, it helps your profile stand out more to potential employers.

What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

Whenever I tell people about Hired, my description of it is that it’s a job search platform where instead of us looking for an employer, the employer comes and looks for you. It’s a great resource to help boost your chances of landing a new job without having to actually apply to any jobs.

Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

Just always stay hungry to learn and grow. Be humble and know that no matter how many years of experience you will get, you can always learn something new from somebody else. If you’re trying to land your first software engineering job, be persistent and continue to grow everyday, even if it’s small steps.

Also try to get some real world experience as quickly as you can, while searching for your first full time role. Whether that be building a website for your family and friends or volunteer opportunities. Being able to put some real world experience on your resume will be a big help during your job search process.

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About Sempre

Based in Arlington, Virigina, SEMPRE was created to protect and secure “our most critical resource: data.”

Tech Stack: React, Python, AWS

Benefits: Competitive compensation, comprehensive medical, unlimited paid leave, meaningful equity, perks & bonuses, and employer-paid insurance.