Chris is a military veteran who, after earning an applied bachelor’s degree from Green River College’s Software Development program, is excelling in a new technology career. Read more about his journey, in his own words.
“My story starts on the floor of a restaurant at 3 a.m. performing a repair on a dishwasher. This moment is what started my journey which led me to graduate from Green River College with a Bachelor of Applied Science in software development. I started back to school to pursue a degree in electrical engineering but after my first programming class, where one of our first assignments was to have a python program print out ‘*’ in the shape of the Space Needle, I was hooked and knew that is what I wanted to do. After completing my associate’s degree at Green River I had planned on continuing on at UW Tacoma. I spoke with one of my instructors about my plans and they asked if I would go talk with Andy, the program manager of the new applied baccalaureate program in software development at Green River. After going over the curriculum I decided to apply for the program. Some of the factors that lead me to this decision were that even in the brief meeting I had with Andy, I could tell he would be invested in my future if I entered the program. Not only that, but the instructors that I had the privilege to have in previous classes had always been amazing. They had real world experience in what they were teaching us and genuinely cared about the outcomes of the students.
During my time in the program, I acquired an incredible amount of knowledge spanning all facets of software development, from in-depth coding of a messaging app using Java sockets to how an Agile team should function. We truly were given the full gauntlet of a modern day software developer.
Another aspect of getting a degree is what you do after you have this mystical piece of paper. During the first year of the program, we were pushed to get internships for the summer break. None of us realized how important these internships were at the time but our instructors did. I was having an incredibly tough time finding an internship opportunity that fit my needs. I lived south of Puyallup and commuting was going to be a challenge for most of the options I was finding, until my instructor talked to me about a posting for an internship at REI. After working with me to get my resume ready and, even more importantly, practicing whiteboarding sessions, I interviewed and was hired for the summer internship. This internship turned into a full-time position and I have been happily employed at REI for over a year now. I cannot thank the faculty at Green River enough for the time and effort they put into not only the success of their students in the classroom but also the success when we leave.”
To get started on your own software development journey, visit the ‘Students’ section of our website.