Posted on September 25th, 2018 in Coding, Student Stories
Merideth Bush Eleven Fifty student

Merideth Bush has always been fascinated with language. Speaking, writing, learning new languages, and teaching language are all big parts of Merideth’s life, so it made perfect sense for her to apply that passion to another type of language, coding.

Before attending Eleven Fifty Academy, Merideth was an English as a second language teacher in the United States and South America. While she loved her work as a teacher, she was looking for something that could expand her opportunities for growth.

“My fiance is in the military and decided to go to the free veteran coding course at Eleven Fifty.  It wasn’t the right option for him at the time, but it was a perfect fit for me. There are a lot of grants for women in code, so it made sense for me to make a career move with the help of grants from organizations like IWIT.”

Merideth wasn’t always a ‘computer’ person. We sat down to talk to her about her experience at Eleven Fifty and what made her want to pursue a career in coding and she talked about the change she’s experienced since starting the .NET bootcamp.

“I was the type of person who could break a computer just by walking too close to it. This wasn’t a role I ever saw myself in, but after learning more about coding, I found it was a great way to stretch my creative and logical skills. People don’t always think coding is a creative career path, but it really does take creative skills and logic.”

Now in the 8th week of her coding course, we asked her what she plans to do after she finishes the course.

“I would love to work at a company who will help me grow and continue in my learning. I really appreciate Eleven Fifty’s focus on finding jobs. It’s invaluable. They told us from day one that their jobs aren’t done until they help us secure a job. They really do take that seriously. Although Eleven Fifty cannot guarantee their students jobs and it is our responsibility to network and apply, the career services really take seriously their responsibility to support us in the job hunt until we secure employment.”

Coding bootcamps aren’t for the faint of heart. They are 12 weeks of intensive, hands-on learning. We asked Merideth how she feels she’s changed since starting the program.

“I feel less stifled. I’ve gone out of my comfort zone and immersed myself in something I was unfamiliar with. I broke out of the box I put myself in and it really has been liberating.”

With such a strong background in language, Merideth found commonalities between exploring a new language and coding. When she isn’t in the classroom, she spends her time learning new things about the languages she already knows or tackling a new language altogether. She has already studied many human-to-human languages, now she’s learning to master human-to-machine language.

“People don’t often see how beautiful coding can be. There is art in the logic of both front-end and back-end development.”

“If I could tell people thinking about joining a coding bootcamp anything, I would tell them the ROI blows everything else out of the water and if they are looking for a change, this is a great option. I would also tell people to plan ahead. Budget and save as much as you can before and, if possible, don’t work and focus all of your effort on learning the skills. Manage expectations. You won’t be the best, but you’ll have a really strong foundation and don’t be afraid to ask questions!”

Merideth will soon graduate from Eleven Fifty in the .NET cohort and start her career in coding. We can’t wait to see what she does next and where her career goes from here. Before we left her, we asked her if she could spend the day in anyone’s shoes, who would she choose and why.

“I would love to be Lindsey Stirling for a day. She’s really creative in what she does and not only does she create her own music, she combines art and tech by making and producing all of her own videos.”

We’ll be keeping up with Merideth as she takes her next steps into the tech industry. Check out our other student stories to hear from Eleven Fifty students and how their time at Eleven Fifty changed their careers and lives!

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