In the modern world of work, career transitions aren’t just common – they’re often necessary steps towards both personal and professional growth.
We either outgrow our roles, develop new passions, or realise that we’re halfway up a ladder that we no longer want to climb.
For other people, it’s something more. A deep realisation, an awakening, a chemical reaction that lights up the part of the brain that tells them, “This is what I want to do.”
And for one former chemical engineer, the chemistry between her and the world of tech was clear to see.
We caught up with TechSwitcher Careena, who graduated from the course back in 2021. We went over her time with the course, her experiences since graduating, and what the future looks like for a career switcher with a passion for tech.
From chemical reactions to career actions
Careena started off her working life as a process engineer in the oil and gas industry, having graduated from university with a master’s in chemical engineering.
After taking a career break and living abroad in New York City, Careena found herself reassessing her career:
“During that time, I started thinking more about my real passion, and where I could bring value to the community. I wanted something that intersected passion, interest, and value to the community around me.”
While looking for new avenues, Careena found herself at a bit of a dead end, especially as this was in the midst of the pandemic. So she did what most people do in this situation – turn to the internet for answers:
“One day I was just browsing the internet, Googling things that I knew I’d be good at or interested in. That was when I thought of tech. I think technology really accelerated during the pandemic. Everyone started working remotely and everything started going digital. And that was when I started having an interest in the digital space. It suddenly felt like the possibilities were endless, but I wasn’t really sure where to start.”
Luckily, that was when Careena stumbled upon TechSwitch:
“I was Googling one day and suddenly found TechSwitch. To begin with, it honestly sounded a little bit too good to be true. This course was saying that they would give you free training and also help you transition into a new job? Yeah, it really sounded amazing.”
Taking a leap of faith
But thanks to TechSwitch’s rigorous bootcamp, that soon changed:
“The amazing thing about TechSwitch is it gives you real-life projects to work on, and so you kind of get thrown right into the deep end. But that’s when you really start learning a lot, and I think that was very transformative. On your own, you wouldn’t really know what you have to learn, but TechSwitch gives you everything you need to kick-start your career in software development in just three months. So it’s pretty amazing – I remember every single weekend I was learning a new huge topic.”
On to new beginnings
Once Careena’s journey with the bootcamp came to an end, TechSwitch set up an opportunity for her first journey into the real working world of tech:
“TechSwitch told me there was an opportunity with a rolling stock company that their parent company Softwire worked alongside. So I interviewed for the job and they offered me the role. I also managed to speak to a person at Softwire who worked with the company to get an idea of what to expect, because it would be my first role in software development. That support really helped me and gave me the confidence to just go for it.”
Initially, the challenge for Careena at her new job was adapting to an existing codebase and different technologies. But as she grew in her role, she eventually went on to achieve great things, such as developing a project for planners to track train movements from scratch:
“One of my biggest accomplishments during the first six months was when I developed a whole project from the ground up. And when it launched, the application didn’t have any bugs, so I was very pleased with myself. Even my boss was like, ‘Are you sure there’s no bugs?’ But really, there wasn’t!”
Anything is possible
Careena’s success in tech is ultimately down to her believing in herself, and taking that leap of faith. Even with next to no experience in the tech world, she managed to forge her way in a competitive industry and truly believes that anyone can do the same:
“Right before I started TechSwitch, I didn’t know whether I had what it took. But you just have to start learning. Just try it. Give yourself a month, for example, and see where it goes, because you have nothing to lose. If you find that it’s your passion and if you still love it, you will get there in the end. Sure, some people have a better knack for it, but you never know until you try. So I reckon that if you have the passion and you’re willing to work hard and try, then go for it – you just have to take that leap of faith.”
Careena has now accepted a new job that she believes will take her to the next level in her career, and she’s incredibly excited to get started. But as she looks forward to what’s bound to be an exciting future ahead of her, she still takes time to look back and appreciate the head start that she got from TechSwitch:
“Starting from nothing to becoming a full stack developer, it’s amazing. In just three months, you can actually learn a lot. And you have that supportive environment as well because you’re learning in a group of people, and by the end of the course, you will have accomplished so much. Looking back now, I just think, wow, this is the best decision I’ve ever made – because I’ve found something that I truly love doing.”