Career Changers
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Career Changers Thrive in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Booming Tech Industry

2 Mins read

Photo was created by Webthat using MidJourney

A Challenging Journey to Fulfillment

Andrew Reynolds, a former prison guard at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s, made a bold career change to become a software developer. Although the transition was not easy, he found immense satisfaction in his new role and the opportunity to work from home alongside his young daughter. With Newfoundland and Labrador’s tech industry on the rise, career changers like Reynolds are finding success and new possibilities.

Discovering the Path to Tech

Not having a computer science degree or prior experience as a “computer wizard,” Andrew Reynolds faced a dilemma when considering a career shift to tech. However, he stumbled upon a CBC News article about Get Coding, a programming bootcamp in the region. In February 2022, Reynolds began his coding journey, dedicating his evenings and late nights to practice. His goal was clear: secure a tech job before Christmas to finally spend the holiday season with his family after years of missing it due to demanding work hours.

Embracing Diverse Backgrounds

Jackie Berry, a former teacher, was also drawn to the tech industry after experiencing burnout amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeking a job that offered flexibility and the ability to work from various locations, she joined the Get Coding program to develop her tech skills. Berry’s unique background allowed her to leverage her curriculum-building experience, securing a position at Virtual Marine, where she creates simulated scenarios for marine training in hazardous conditions.

Get Coding: Empowering Career Transitions

Get Coding co-founder, Jan Mertlik, designed the program to cater to career changers in the tech industry, connecting them with local companies and developers who act as coaches. The program welcomes individuals from various professional backgrounds, such as prison guards, teachers, construction workers, hospitality staff, chefs, and nurses. By providing these individuals with the necessary skills, the tech industry opens doors to exciting opportunities regardless of their previous careers.

Translating Skills and Experience

One of the strengths of the tech industry lies in its ability to absorb and utilize diverse skills from various fields. Jackie Berry’s experience in curriculum-building complemented her new tech knowledge, allowing her to excel at Virtual Marine. Similarly, Andrew Reynolds drew on his dedication and family support as he made the leap into software development. Although not directly related to his previous job as a prison guard, these qualities played a crucial role in his success.

Finding Fulfillment in Tech

For career changers like Andrew Reynolds, the journey into the tech industry may be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable. With the tech sector in Newfoundland and Labrador poised to create thousands of jobs, individuals from all walks of life are discovering their passion and purpose in the tech world. Whether it’s coding, designing, or innovating, the industry offers a supportive environment where professionals can thrive while balancing their personal and family life.


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