68 minutes | Jan 19, 2021

36. Jerome Hardaway: Founder of Vets Who Code

Jerome Hardaway is a writer at Stack Overflow, an Instructor for Front End Masters, a Developer Advocate at QuickenLoans, and the founder and Executive Director of Vets Who Code.

As a writer and instructor, he focuses on those learning how to code and who are looking to get their first job as a Web Developer. As a Developer Advocate, he focuses on externally championing the company's tools while internally focusing on improving the culture. As an Executive Director of #VetsWhoCode, he focuses on training and gathering the resources so that veterans can become employed javascript developers, with a focus on Javascript and APIs.

After an injury, Jerome medically retired from the military. Throughout his time in the service, he was told that his skills would be highly valued. But the government happened to be on a hiring freeze when he got out and thus those skills felt worthless. The transition process felt broken and not designed to support him afterward.

He was determined to figure out his next steps but didn’t know where to begin or look. One day, he was on Facebook and noticed a commercial about coding. He happened to be at a bookstore and opened up a book on databases. A few months later, he landed his first role doing database analysis!

He says that it was the tech skills that he had taught himself that had landed him that first job as opposed to his years in the service. He then went on to work as a Digital Marketing Assistant and was asked to maintain the company’s website and to learn Ruby and some PHP to do just that.

After diving into the code and learning how to build within that tech stack, he realized the opportunity to teach veterans to code. He attended a coding program in New York and went on to found Vets Who Code, a 501(c)(3) Veteran Operated Non-Profit dedicated to training military veterans & giving them the skills they need to transition into tech careers.

Resources:

Vets Who Code:  a 501(c)(3) #Veteran Operated Non-Profit dedicated to training military veterans & giving them the skills they need transition into #tech careers

Follow Jerome on Twitter: @JeromeHardaway

Follow VetsWhoCode on Twitter: @VetsWhoCode

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