Over a decade ago, Pinwei Wu was working in industrial engineering. Then, two things happened: she became a mother and her family moved to the US. But after seven years of being a stay-at-home mom, she decided she wanted to get back in the game. She was looking for her next mission.
Here’s how TripleTen helped her get back in the groove and find her new calling.
A Time of Transition
Pinwei is no slouch. She has two degrees in physics. She was a key part of a team that has a patent on ground-breaking LCD tech. But sometimes, things change. For example, you become a mother and your family relocates to the United States from Taiwan.
Pinwei chose to focus on motherhood. But at a certain point, she found herself wanting to get back to work. “I’d always wanted to go back to my career. I felt a little bored at home with kids, and I thought I had potential because I was smart and adaptable. So I did some research about what kinds of opportunities I could get into.”
The search didn’t last long. Her husband worked at a US university, where she enrolled in her second master’s program. This time, it was focused on statistics. When she graduated, she thought she’d found a new path, and she landed a research internship at the university’s medical center. This looked like it was setting her up for a stable job until the family got some news: her husband got a job in a new state. They moved once more.
This is where things got sticky. With few exceptions, Pinwei’s visa status in the US didn’t allow her to work. So in her new city where most jobs were in the military, it was unlikely she was going to find a data-related job. Thankfully, during her internship, she’d found something else that moved her: building websites. “One of my projects was to help make a website and put cancer data on a map for the public. I thought it was very interesting that I could show all my data analysis to the public very easily through the web. I thought that was exciting, so I started looking for a job and programming courses online at the same time.”
She’d been exploring options for some time when she saw an ad for TripleTen. She decided to try it.
I just signed up to see how it would go. Pinwei Wu, TripleTen grad
Her fourth degree
As she spent time at TripleTen, she found herself getting more and more enthralled by software engineering. “When I jumped in, I didn’t know anything, but as I became more familiar with software engineering, I liked it more than the data side. I like to build and share, and with software engineering, I could build things myself and easily share what I built with others. I love to learn and grow, and software engineering gave this opportunity to me. There’s always something new — new technology, new tools — that impresses me. It’s a very exciting field.”
But she’d enrolled in the course just as the pandemic started. This meant that her two school-age kids were at home with her. Instead of separating her time spent with her family and her time spent studying, though, she combined the two. “We set up a table for them next to me so we could all learn together. There were some challenges because I needed to manage my time and multitask to take care of them, but it all turned out well. I think I set a good example because they saw me learning things and studying very hard. I was like, ‘Let’s finish this and we can take a break together and go outside!’”
When her studies wrapped up, she was ready. “After the program, I felt comfortable and confident to call myself a developer. It’s not like on Coursera where you learn just a line of code, I don’t think it makes you a programmer.”
More than that, though, she had bridged the professional gap that had opened during her time focusing on her family. “I hadn’t worked in ten years, so a lot of the technology was new to me. Now I know how to ask precise questions and answer questions from others. TripleTen also showed me how to deal with projects that have a deadline. They really set up an environment that prepared me to work with others and be familiar with time management.”
A new vocation
She had the knowledge. It was time to land the job. After looking around online, though, she found herself getting discouraged. “I was very frustrated because there were a lot of job openings but since there was a pandemic messing things up, they all wanted someone with a few years of experience.”
But TripleTen came in once again. The career acceleration track helped her hone her resume and gave her practice that showed her how to ace her interviews. The change was immediate. She got more feedback from recruiters and knew how to handle tricky questions. Then, in just a month, she landed a job. One thing that set her apart? Her portfolio.
It’s what TripleTen does best — they help you build a portfolio so you can show anybody that you really know how to do the work. Pinwei Wu, TripleTen grad
"The job I’m at right now had only one interview, and all they did was go through my portfolio. I just let them see it and told them what I did. It really helped me.”
Since then, she’s been a developer at Workbay for over two years. There, she helps the startup build local job search platforms. In fact, it’s almost like she’s taking the help she got at TripleTen and bringing it to even more people, as her company helps job seekers find training and improve their resumes.
Now, she’s found a new calling. And she’s looking to give back to the community to encourage others to follow in her footsteps, especially women with a career gap. “They don’t really have the confidence to go back to the workforce, even if they are very smart and did a good job in the past. If I can, I want to help people like me.”
Our pitch to you
If you, too, are looking for a part-time bootcamp that will help you find a new, meaningful profession in tech, then TripleTen can help. Find out more about our bootcamp and stay in-the-know about launching a great tech career by signing up for our newsletter below.