Why I chose HackerYou

Andrea Saxe
Sep 21, 2014 · 3 min read

There is always a lot that goes into making a big decision. For example: Would I benefit from it? Can I financially do it, and will I get fired from work by not going in for 9 weeks? Most importantly, am I ready for a big change? Sometimes you just have to take a risk, go for it and deal with the consequences later.

I first got to know HackerYou when I took their first part-time HTML and CSS course. My brother told me he applied and I figured I wanted to try it as well. I went to school for Graphic Design at Humber College and while I had a great learning experience at Humber, I felt that I lacked a lot of the current web design skills. For instance I learned HTML by using Dreamworks and Photoshop…enough said. I remember meeting with Heather over a drink and talking about the course. I had no idea if I would get in or not, but once I did I was so excited to be learning again and sharing this amazing experience with my brother. After completing the course I felt proud of myself and my newly acquired skills. I wasn’t designing websites anymore with Dreamweaver and Photoshop and I was doing it by hand with HTML, CSS and Sublime Text. I felt I was armed with the skills to get a better job as a Graphic Designer.

Well, that didn’t happen. I kept working as a Freelance Graphic Designer at a job that I got through my internship. I worked in the Education field doing catalogues, brochures and flyers taking everything that was designed in Word and putting it into InDesign and making everything standard. (Yes, you read that right…a whole 200 page catalogue was done in Word….Designer’s worst nightmare) Then one day they didn’t need my skills anymore. A couple months later I got hired at an office supply company as they were looking to expand into the Education market and wanted a catalogue designed for them. I was really excited for this position especially because I was hired full time and it looked like I would be in control of all the design for the company. Boy was I wrong.

Turned out to be another job working part time in the print design world. I was frustrated so I wrote a proposal of all the work I could do for the company from social media, advertisements and marketing. It took months for my boss to decide if he wanted to go with my proposal. So I started looking at getting another job and slowly updating my portfolio. I realized as much as I love designing and doing print what I really wanted to be is a full service designer. I don’t want to be a catalogue designer anymore.

Then one day in the summer I met up with my brother to go for ice cream and we were talking about my job situation, my portfolio and if I ever thought about working for a magazine. He gave me some really good tips about how to update my portfolio and then asked if I ever considered taking the Bootcamp course at HackerYou. He told to apply for it. He challenged me to do it and I felt like I was getting the push I needed. Next thing I knew I applied for the course, met with Heather and got accepted!

I have just completed week one at HackerYou and I can’t believe all of the amazing things I have learned already. Every week will be learning something new and exciting, but I know I am up for the challenge. This could be the best decision I ever made.

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