July 17, 2020

Symphony Orchestra to Software Development



Alumni, Julia smiling next to a quote from her interview

We sat down with Julia Kantarovsky, a BCA Alumni from our first Software Development Bootcamp to discuss her career change, how she found BCA and how her lifelong love of music helped her learn to code. Julia started playing the viola at a young age, taking her skill all the way to college.

“I attended Boston University to get my bachelors in Viola Performance and minored in History. The music world is very competitive and I was practicing many hours a day. I felt at the end of those four years that I needed a break.” From there, Julia moved to Israel.

“I needed a change, so I moved and brought my viola with me. I ended up going back to it and decided to go back to school, this time in Israel. I attended Tel Aviv University and got my master’s in Viola Performance. That led me to an incredible opportunity to be a substitute in the Israel Philharmonic as part of my Masters Program, which eventually led me back to school (again!) So I went back for another masters in string instrument education, met and married my husband and taught for several years in Israel.” Julia was met with a familiar feeling, the same one that led her to Israel 13 years ago.

“I felt like I needed a new challenge. My husband was working as an engineer and suggested that I try coding. In the midst of all this we moved from Tel Aviv to Vermont. I think the change of scenery was the push I needed to try something new. It was a turning point.

So, how did you find BCA?

I was just curious, so I googled ‘coding bootcamp in Vermont’ and found Burlington Code Academy. The first bootcamp, Cohort-0, hadn’t even launched yet. So I reached out to Alex and Benny and told them I wanted to join. A month later I was in the course, learning something completely new.” Julia’s aptitude for coding was palpable. “It’s very much like puzzle solving. I’m a puzzle person. I ended up being one of the first hire’s of the group. In many ways it was like playing music. There’s a lot of intense practice and attention to detail involved.”

Julia got hired within a month of completing the bootcamp, starting her coding career as a Salesforce Developer at SunCommon. Although she works at a different company now, Julia is still a developer, using the skill set she learned at BCA on a daily basis.

"What would you tell other people who are considering making a change? Especially people with kids?

I would say go for it. It was 3 very intense months. It was a short time period where I needed support, and the people around me gave that to me. You’re gonna get a better paying job that's super flexible and understanding of your role as a mom. I say figure it out for those three months because it is going to change the rest of your life.

Although Julia’s career change story is unique, her thoughts and feelings are shared with many of our students. We know that making a leap of faith can be daunting, but Julia said it best: go for it.

If you are interested in learning more about our bootcamp programs and how to become a career-ready coder or UX designer in just 12-weeks, visit our website here to chat with our team!

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