Mothers Who Tech with Lea Ann Bradford

Lea Ann Bradford went from stay at home mom to web developer at Notch8 within months of learning to LEARN. Read how she was able to make the transition and why she thinks other moms should consider a career in web development.

1. As a stay at home mom, what made you decide to choose a career in web development?

I have always enjoyed creating websites as a hobby and found myself volunteering as webmaster for all of the youth activities that my kids were participating in. When I was ready to re-enter the workforce, I thought I’d really like to pursue web design. I took some classes and really enjoyed design. But once I started to code the sites I was designing, I realized how much I loved coding and that I wanted to pursue software development full time.

2. Why did you choose to LEARN?

I was able to do a lot of self-learning and I also was taking a lot of classes through Girl Develop It and other organizations. I wanted to dive deeper into back-end development and I thought that a bootcamp would be a good fit for me. I chose to LEARN for a few reasons. The internship was important to me because I know that real job experience was going to be something I wouldn’t get at another bootcamp. I also appreciated that it is a 9-5 M-F bootcamp. I was able to learn to code without having to sacrifice too much family time.

3. Right after graduation, you gained employment with Nothc8, how was that transition from stay at home mom to web developer within a few months? How did LEARN prepare you for it?

The great part about my job at Notch8 is that the LEARN classroom day was modeled after the Notch8 workday, so it was a really smooth transition. We even work in the same building as LEARN, so I get to meet the students and still interact with the teachers and staff. Having a job I love makes it easy to wake up and go to work in the mornings. Sometimes I miss picking my kids up from school in the afternoons, but I love what I do and it has been a great change for me.

4. Do you think more moms should get into tech?

I think anyone who-who wants to should get into tech! I always thought I wasn’t smart enough or that it would be too hard. It is hard, but I know anyone can do it. Moms are especially flexible and resourceful people, so those skills are definitely valuable in tech.

5. You said your son is into programming as well, how is that experience between you two since you are a full-time developer?

It was really a great side benefit that I was able to make a connection with my son through coding. We pair program and talk about coding a lot. My daughter laughs about it because to her it seems like we’re speaking gibberish.

6. After LEARN do you continue to study more about programming and learning other languages?

I am always taking courses on Lynda and doing tutorials. A great benefit at Notch8 is that we have learning days every Friday, so I’m able to constantly keep my skills current.

7. What advice would you give anyone interested in enrolling at LEARN?

I highly recommend LEARN! It was life-changing for me and it was a fantastic experience. Be prepared to work hard and use your brain more than you ever have before. But the hard work will pay off! Added bonus – you will meet some really awesome like-minded people from very diverse backgrounds.

Check out how Krista is doing at Hewlett-Packard