One Year After Bootcamp: Amber Spencer By: Rebecca Haliburton Amber Spencer sparked a love for tech in her previous life as a marketing whiz. After attending our Vancouver Bootcamp, Amber dove into the YVR tech scene and is now working as a Developer with local startup ModernAdvisor. We caught up with Amber to learn more about what she's been up to One Year After Bootcamp! What were you doing before Lighthouse Labs? I went to school in England and studied management and marketing as my undergrad. After I graduated I moved to Canada and worked in sales and marketing. The role prior to LHL was a marketing agency here in Vancouver. What made you decide to come to Lighthouse Labs? I worked with numerous tech startups through the agency and loved the bright minds and entrepreneurial spirits of the people in Vancouver’s tech scene. I attended many tech events, including Ladies Learning Code where Don Burks (totally out of serendipity) taught the class on how to build your first website. It was a complete life-changer. Like… WHAT?! I can build a website JUST LIKE THAT?! I was hooked. I chose Lighthouse because I loved the vibe and the fact you had a flawless track record for employment opportunities afterwards. What advice would you give someone who wants to become a developer? I’d say get your feet wet with some courses or go to a tech event to see if you like it. If you like it the best advice I can give is just take the plunge and do it. There is nothing more life-changing than taking action. If you enjoy it, believe you can do it and have a good work ethic then you will succeed. It’s been over a year since you graduated Lighthouse Labs, what have you been up to? When I graduated I worked remotely for a couple of months (highly recommend it!) and then dove into an early-stage startup (ModernAdvisor) where I could combine my marketing and newfound technical abilities to help grow an awesome company. I’m still there and I love it. How did Lighthouse prepare you for your transition from bootcamp to your first full-time role? I feel like I couldn’t have been more supported (big shout out to Jeremy and Don for doing incredible work on that front). I was definitely dubious as to whether I would get hired as a newbie or not when I was so picky about what I wanted… but I had numerous opportunities to choose from thanks to Lighthouse Labs pretty much doing a lot of the work to find employers for us. The biggest lesson I learned from Lighthouse Labs is that you can learn anything by doing it. Don’t know how to do it? No problem - just do it anyway! (You’ll suck at first but you get better ;) ) Tell us about the Vancouver tech scene! Booming! It’s full of colourful characters and innovative people and companies doing awesome things. I also find it’s very friendly and welcoming - people are willing to support each other and there are events going on all the time. What technologies are you working with? Ruby on Rails, AngularJS, SCSS and HTML. What's the weirdest, or most interesting part of your job? The most interesting thing is the variety of tasks I get to work on every day and the fact that whatever I say is heard and listened to. There are always a new challenges to tackle and we’re small and nimble so things are changing all the time. The weirdest thing about my job is probably me ;) Any side projects? I’ve worked on a few personal projects for sure - what with all this new knowledge I can hack the interwebs! Who wouldn’t want to work on side projects? What’s next? ModernAdvisor just launched to the public so we’re hustling hard to keep up with what we’ve got going on and hopefully will be scaling this year. There are so many exciting things coming up this for us! Anything else you want to add about LHL, working with ModernAdvisor, the Vancouver tech scene or working as a dev? Coming to LHL was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s one of those things where you look back and think - well - that was life changing.