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Mike Belschner, 35, began his APPrenticeship with our sister company, Eleven Fifty Consulting, mid-January this year. He is a career changer and was in the photography industry for the last 10 years in the Indianapolis area shooting weddings and families.

It is a big step to completely change careers. We see many students come through the Academy that are in the midst of changing careers. “I first met one of the instructors at a holiday party that a friend in the design industry was hosting at the end of 2014. I had been considering how to enter the coding world, but couldn’t take the long, traditional college route. When I heard what Eleven Fifty Academy was up to and what they were doing, it sounded absolutely perfect.”

Since Mike had no previous coding experience, he completed the 2-day Intro to Coding course, the 5-day Programming Fundamentals course, and the 5-day iOS course. “I wanted to learn how to code in order to build a few apps for the photo/video industry I work in. The classes were immersive and offered lots of real world examples of how to build basic apps and get them to market.”

After completing his iOS course, he was accepted into the APPrenticeship Program where he is working on real-world apps and working on a few apps on his own alongside his mentor, Brett Keck. He is currently consulting on a detailed precision agriculture app that helps farmers manage the land, crops, and resources. “I’ve been part of projects putting together both small apps as well as working with large corporate entities all in the space of a few months. You get to see so many angles and meet a ton of people. Not only have I been learning my main goal of Swift, I’ve been learning about the industry, how things work, how the people in the industry evaluate and hire people, and about computers in general. I’m hugely more proficient with everyday tasks now, too.”

“I liked coding so much that I pared back my photography schedule to a minimum on the weekends and began working as a full-time APPrentice to immerse myself fully in the industry. The part that’s both inspiring and a little melancholy is that so many of the people you meet are back out the door and off to new jobs in the industry.” Mike believes that working in the industry is a lifestyle and is a type of work that is flexible, challenging, laid back, and a secure industry for a long time moving forward. “I couldn’t be happier with Eleven Fifty.”


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