From Barista to Uber Developer

A year ago, Mario Vargas was in Silicon Valley, working hard and making minimum wage as a barista across the street from MongoDB offices. He had moved there with the goal to work in tech, and interacted with and made coffee for the developers he hoped to join as a colleague someday.

He was in the process of finishing off college, but had always felt like the traditional school system wasn’t a good fit for him, especially classes that had nothing to do with computer science or programming. After doing some research, he came across DevMountain and decided that it would be worth looking into, which may seem counterintuitive for someone that had moved to Silicon Valley specifically to join that tech scene.

“There are a bunch of coding bootcamps in the Bay Area, but when I really looked into DevMountain it just made the most sense,” Vargas said. “It was the only place where I felt like I’d be fully immersed. With the free housing, I could live across the street from DevMountain, not have to deal with hours of traffic and have much more time and energy to keep studying and coding.”

After graduating, looking for a job in the Bay Area was a little more challenging than Vargas originally expected. While there are a lot of opportunities, there are a ton of developers with varied backgrounds applying as well. However, he had the confidence he could be successful.

“I really felt prepared coming out of DevMountain. I knew I had to work hard and continue to code, study and also stand out when my time for an interview came,” Vargas said. “The program not only gave me the confidence to learn new technologies but with help from Jeff Chapman, the DevMountain grad career coach, I felt very confident on how to apply for jobs in the most strategic and best way possible.”

After a lot of searching and hard work, Mario secured three job offers that all looked like great opportunities, and all of them paying more than double what he made as a Barista. He decided to accept an offer at a company that contracts web developers, where he was then placed on the team at Uber. In his role at the company, he focuses on email and full stack web development.

“The Uber team is awesome and treats their contractors as actual team members,” Vargas said. “I work at Uber headquarters in San Francisco and I love it, I’m happy to be a part of something so great!”

A year later, and after a detour through Utah, Mario is at the start of the career he had dreamed of in Silicon Valley.

“I’m absolutely glad I chose DevMountain, it was the best decision I have ever made,” Vargas said. “It’s still surreal today, to know that after DevMountain my whole life and career changed in the best way possible! If it wasn’t for DevMountain I know I wouldn’t be where I am at today. I would recommend DevMountain to anyone who is serious about learning how to code! If I can do it, you can do it too, and that’s something I can promise.”

For anyone considering DevMountain, Vargas has a few suggestions; “I highly recommend DevMountain. I would definitely do all the pre-course work as well as any other online resource you can find, and ultimately make sure you enjoy it programming! During the program, work hard and ask questions. The instructors and mentors will always take time to help you out. When group projects come along, do you best to be a great contributing team member. In the work world, a solid team is everything and even when things go wrong, it’s great to know your team has your back.”

If you’re thinking about applying to DevMountain, we’d love to talk to you. Drop us a line here!

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