I’m a curious person and was always interested in technology and computers. In the U.S. Air Force, I did everything from medic to IT. Then I got a job as a Technical Account Manager at Amazon, where my peers added a lot of technical insight to the business. I wanted that knowledge too.
Amazon is next door to Align’s Seattle campus, and I walked by their sign literally every day. As a veteran, I could use my GI Bill at Northeastern. The university also accepts the Yellow Ribbon Program, which not every school does, so they pay for whatever the GI Bill doesn’t.
When I start, I can’t write a line of code. I’ve never heard of Python, seen Java, or even opened a terminal on my laptop. Align allows me to bridge that gap in knowledge—to learn and grow at my pace—and come out with a Master’s in Computer Science.
Align isn’t so much about learning how to write code as it is about learning how to think and solve problems in a code-writing environment. It provides a solid foundation. The faculty are awesome, too. Very accessible and ready to answer any question.
For me, the master’s classes weren’t as intense as the bridge program, which was so completely new. You can choose your path in the master’s program and learn something new within the space.
Align showed me that I enjoy writing code and solving problems more than I like writing about other people solving problems on the business side. My goals have changed, and now I’m a Software Development Engineer at Amazon.
I also now teach the first course in the program, at the Seattle campus. Being an instructor who understands the Align experience is great. I tell my students they need a curious spirit to succeed. This program is not easy—but you get out of it what you put into it.