Before coming to Lighthouse Labs, Nikita Jiandani worked in aviation ground operations with Swissport. Now, she is a practicing full-stack developer at Caseware, which builds accounting, audit, analytics, and compliance software.
We caught up with Nikita to learn more about her career transition and life after bootcamp.
What was your path to becoming a developer?
2008-2012 (London, Ont.): Commercial pilot's license; Bachelor's degree in aviation
2013 (Mississauga, Ont.): Collections agent
2014-2017 (Mississauga, Ont.): Multiple roles in aviation ground operations for Swissport (ground service specialist, load control supervisor, communications specialist, operations control coordinator)
2018 (Mumbai, India): Started learning how to code using online resources. Also volunteered as a teacher at a local non-profit teaching algebra and English to underprivileged high school students
2019 (Moved to Toronto): Continued to sharpen my skills as a developer; joined Lighthouse Labs’ May 2019 cohort
Why did you decide to transition your career from aviation to web development?
When I moved back home, I was looking to transition into a career where I didn't have to work odd hours. Having always been in aviation, I was looking for something a little less bureaucratic. It was the perfect time to get into coding and figure out if it was the right thing for me and there has been no looking back since!
Tell us about your experience at Lighthouse Labs?
Lighthouse Labs is thriving with talent! I learned so many new coding techniques and met a lot of interesting folks, a lot of whom I'm still in touch with. The mentors are very helpful, empathetic, and encouraging and were an integral part of my learning at Lighthouse. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable was my biggest takeaway from bootcamp.
Tell us about your experience as a bootcamp-trained individual in the tech industry
As a bootcamp-trained individual, I feel like I have a little less experience than folks who went to school for 3+ years learning software but I compensate that with my excellent front-end skills I acquired while replicating/creating mockups when I was learning how to code on my own. Also, my prior experiences have made me more confident, resilient and a great communicator, which helps me express my thoughts and ideas clearly.
What technologies are you currently working with?
The best thing about being a developer in a tech city like Toronto is ______
The abundance of opportunities to network and connect with other people in the community. I love living downtown and getting to attend meetups and workshops in the city.I would love to meet developers who have more experience than I do and I'd be curious about their experiences so far and would like to know what they're learning next.
What are your future plans and goals?
What advice would you give to aspiring or professional developers and future Lighthouse students?
You will almost certainly not understand it the first time. Keep learning and expanding your knowledge. Being a developer is hard. Don't give up!
And lastly, what stood out to you about your time at Lighthouse Labs?
On reflecting on my time spent at Lighthouse Labs, I find myself being really grateful for the mentorship I received from some of the industry's leading developers. Coming from a self-taught background, I realize how hard it can be to be stuck on a problem for days and not know how to go about figuring out a solution or sometimes not knowing where/how to start working on the problem. I loved how the mentors were there to support us throughout the course, not just handing us the solution but pushing us to think and figure out our own creative solutions! I also want to give a huge shoutout to career services who helped us put together our resumes and always nudged us to keep our Github updated and provided a steady stream of job leads, positivity, and motivation throughout the job hunt.