Chef to software engineer?
For Perry, software engineering was a significant career change from his previous role as a chef. “I always had an interest in computers,” He tells us. “Maybe not coding specifically, but as a kid, my sister always asked me to fix problems with her computer and I loved it.” However, the prospect of programming professionally seemed to elude his life’s orbit. Instead, Perry ended up graduating in the Culinary Arts and donning his chef’s hat.
It was not until National Service that Perry began toying with the idea of using his free time to “learn things I never thought I could do on my own before”. This included exploring programming languages through part-time data analytics courses. “I realised how fun that self-development process was and also how much I liked problem solving,” says Perry. “So, I decided to focus on pursuing a job as a programmer after finishing NS. When I came home, I actually threw my chef shoes away!”
Getting a boost at Rocket Academy
He was soon introduced to Rocket Academy by a friend and former student. “I felt that Rocket Academy was a new school very different from others in Singapore,” Perry tells us. “During the first meeting with Kai, I got the feeling that he is very driven to see his students succeed, so I decided to try it out. Also, it was nice to see the founder and CEO so involved in the teaching of the curriculum.
As Perry began the final leg of his journey towards becoming a programmer in Coding Bootcamp, he found appreciation for the strategic curriculum and comprehensive career coaching from industry seniors. “I felt that the course was paced well, and the topics were spread out in a way that you learn all the important things first and foremost,” says Perry. “After graduation, every teacher still gave me a ton of guidance in my search for a job. Jonathan gave me algorithm tests, Kai helped me in creating a better resume, and Lionell helped me out with an assignment. I was amazed!”
Given the depth and volume of information required to become a software engineer, things were admittedly stressful at times. “But it was the healthy kind of stress that is not too much that I felt overwhelmed,” Perry tells us. The presence of peers and opportunities to bond with them also became a source of support and encouragement. “I remember when we went out for a class dinner. I realised that being around driven and knowledgeable people gives me motivation to succeed,” says Perry.
Becoming a software engineer
Perry is now a software engineer at Glints. He counts his determination to try as an important factor. It’s also the advice he wants to give those seeking to join the tech sector like him. “I think my biggest enemy was many people around me telling me that career switching is too difficult, and I was better off giving up or getting the relevant degrees. What most people don't know is more and more tech companies are moving towards looking at the skills you possess and your attitude, rather than your background.
In my opinion, the naysayers are people who didn't even try in the first place, and just tell you that you can't do it, because someone told them that they couldn't do it. So ignore the naysayers. Just keep trying and don’t be too harsh on yourself.”