By MAXX Potential
Autumn worked as an Apprentice for over a year, gaining valuable on-the-job tech experience before she exited MAXX Potential to work at Spring Oaks Capital, LLC.
What were you doing before MAXX Potential? What drew you to pursue a career in technology?
Before MAXX, I was working as a Vaccine Scientist here in Richmond. I did like my job, but I knew it wasn’t my calling. During my time as a Vaccine Scientist, I was a part of a team that worked a lot with SQL to query our database, as well as Python and R Studio. I dabbled with various front-end languages in my free time and really wanted to do more; I was super blessed to have a supervisor that allowed me to expand my knowledge during down time at work.
Can you talk about what you’re currently working on? What are some of your job responsibilities?
At Spring Oaks, there was an initiative to give our operations team more ownership over certain tasks. My supervisor and the rest of the team thought the best way to do that was with an internal control panel. With the help of an amazing team, we got our control panel Heartwood up and running within about 6 months! I worked on the Front End using React and CSS and learned SO much within such a short period of time. It was an awesome and challenging experience! Now, I’m responsible for implementing new features into Heartwood and assisting with our landing page and payment portal.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your current role?
My supportive team! I have never been around an environment that is so patient and that fosters learning and growth (besides MAXX of course!). Here, there is so much growth, and the learning never stops. They really are great people at Spring Oaks, and I am truly grateful to MAXX for getting me here.
How do you keep your skills up to date? What’s the best way to learn new concepts, technologies, programming languages, etc.?
I’m definitely a visual learner. I love watching YouTube videos and seeing how other people approach developing. I also try to attend as many programming themed Meetups as I can. Conferences are also a great place to get new information.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone early in their IT career or looking to get their start?
Write down everything that you can. A piece of paper really helps keep track of your thoughts when you’re planning or troubleshooting. The website Notion is a life saver for organizing thoughts and notes. ChatGPT is also a great resource when it’s late at night and you don’t want to bother anyone. Also, be really patient with yourself; this is not the easiest field and the learning process takes time. Try to make learning something that you look forward to instead of dread.