3 Questions with a Tech Lady: Yuval Idan, Full-Stack Developer at ExecThread

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Hi Yuval! When did you first become interested in coding?

After I got my Masters, in the completely unrelated field of community development, I found myself feeling pretty dissatisfied with the professional options I had. I felt stuck, and like my skills weren’t being valued, and so I naturally started considering alternatives.

Coding was something I would think about every once in a while, but never got to actually pursue. Technology was always present in my life, my dad works in IT, and as a family we were always pretty tech-oriented. But for me it was definitely the road not taken, I ended up gravitating towards social sciences and figured that that was it for me, that’s where I ended up and where I’ll stay, making a shift to tech seemed pretty unrealistic at that point.

But then when I had some free time and was needing a change, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I started learning a bit of coding online, and was really surprised by how much I liked it. It wasn’t really what I expected, I always liked figuring things out and solving problems, and coding really stimulated that part of my brain. Pretty quickly I realized that I need to find a way to make it my full time job.

Why did you choose the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy?

I was looking at a few different bootcamps and considered applying for a while, but when I found out about Grace Hopper I immediately knew it was the right place for me. The experience of going to a bootcamp requires you to be out of your comfort zone a lot, to learn something almost from nothing, and there’s something vulnerable about that. Even more so, since I came from a very non-technical background I was definitely worried about not being able to keep up.

It was very important to me to feel comfortable to ask questions, make mistakes, and speak up when I didn’t understand something. So going to an all-women’s program was definitely the right choice for me, the environment was very supportive and I really felt like it allowed me to learn quickly and really develop my skills.

The experience itself was great. It’s an immersive program so it was definitely intense, they’re very upfront about this and you can pretty much expect to put your life on hold for three months. But I was honestly shocked by how much I learned in that short amount of time, as well as by how much I enjoyed it. We were the first cohort of Grace Hopper and ended up getting quite close, so I also feel like I gained a strong network of women who are all doing what I’m doing, which is really important.

I actually ended up staying at Grace Hopper for three more months as a Teaching Fellow, so I got to work with another cohort of students and also work on the engineering team. It was a great way to get introduced to the life of a software engineer, and also allowed me to spend a few more months meeting and working with awesome new and experienced engineers.

What are you working on now?

In September I started working at a startup called ExecThread as a full stack developer. Our platform allows executives to confidentially share discreet job opportunities with each other. I’ve only been there a few months but I already learned so much. The team is great and I get to work very closely with people who have built and sold successful startups, so there’s a lot to learn from them. We’re also growing a lot and making some big changes to our product, so it’s a really exciting time at ExecThread.