Front-End Developer to Full Stack Engineer
Jayashree Patel, ME‘21, information systems, has always been enchanted by computer science and used to wonder how a few lines of code could lead to the development of software that we use in our daily lives. Due to her curiosity to know how coding works, she journeyed on the path of learning programming.
Patel started learning HTML and CSS at a very early age. She was fascinated and amazed at how she could make beautiful web pages with just plain lines of code. Thereafter, she was sure of her path and chose computer engineering as a field to advance her career, completing her bachelor’s degree in computer applications where she learned a variety of programming languages and fundamentals, including Java, MySQL, object-oriented programming, data structures, and algorithms, and designing relational databases.
When researching master’s programs in information systems, Northeastern’s curriculum was the best for her. Also, Boston’s location was a huge plus with the many tech companies with local offices. Northeastern’s co-op program is also one of a kind when it comes to supporting job searches.
Patel learned many things from her introduction to co-op course, from building a strong resume, to LinkedIn, to networking; but the most influential aspect was the support that her faculty co-op coordinator, Carrie Klaphake, provided her throughout her search and helping her to stay positive. Patel applied to many companies, but mostly the calls that she received were through LinkedIn networking and social networking.
“Ever since I started my master’s degree, LinkedIn has been everything for me. I don’t scroll Instagram. I don’t scroll Facebook. Whenever I have time, I scroll LinkedIn,” says Patel.
The interview process for co-op is straight forward if you do thorough research about the company, practice coding, and are proficient with OOPS, data structures and algorithms, and SQL queries. Most importantly, Patel felt that her co-op interviews allowed her to portray her work through Github and explain every detail about the projects that she worked on in-depth; this helped her even when she did not do well in the technical rounds.
Ultimately, Patel completed her co-op at Retail Business Services as a front-end developer. She worked on a project to develop a Mobile Application on React Native for both iOS/Android. Her tasks were writing code for the front end of the application, testing the code on different mobile devices, as well as being a part of the sprint meetings, architecting, and brainstorming efforts for different features required for MVP release of the application. Prior to this co-op, Patel had not worked with a tech company and it was her first job where she learned how to work in an agile setup. She learned React Native thoroughly, which she had not even heard of prior to joining the company. Application Engineering and Development, Web Design, and Data Structures and Algorithms were the three classes she felt best prepared her for co-op.
Career changes can be challenging, but confidence and passion about a new career you want to pursue and putting in the hard work will make it happen. Patel personally made the change from designer to developer after coming to Boston from her home country of India. She remembers coming into the graduate program knowing little about Java but since has worked on countless projects in a variety of domains ranging from Graphic Design, UI/UX, Web Development, Mobile App Development, and Software Development. Now that Patel is very comfortable coding for the front-end of the application, she wants to expand her horizons to become a full-stack engineer.