Student Spotlight: Abby Thoresen Pursues a Dream

Abby Thoresen University of Arizona Boot Camps Blog Picture

Jobs that require coding skills are growing at a much faster rate than the national average for other jobs, and Burning Glass reports that there are already 7 million job openings that require coding skills.

But not everyone is benefiting equally from this opportunity for career growth.

According to a report from Accenture and Girls Who Code, the percentage of women in computing jobs has declined over time. The report projects that women will hold only one in five U.S. computing jobs by 2025, if current trends continue.

Coding Boot Camps are one way to reverse that trend.

Meet Abby Thoresen

Abby Thoresen was always interested in computer science. When she was a child, her father loved that she was interested in coding, and he would enroll her in computer programming classes over the summer.

But as an adult, Abby worried about working in a predominantly male industry. As she says:

“I would walk into a new contract job and I was the only female…the team I would work with would be all male, and they were coders. After doing this for several contract jobs, I said to myself, I want to be a coder but I’m a woman. How would I fit in? Would I be treated differently?”

Pursuing a Dream

Abby says that her father was a major influence in her decision to go to coding boot camp. In addition to enrolling her in computer programming classes, Abby says her father always encouraged her to pursue her goals and dreams.

Abby had read about coding boot camps in a Wall Street Journal article and saw an opportunity to turn her dream of a coding career into reality. When Abby learned that there was a coding boot camp starting in Tucson, she says she “immediately applied.” Now just a few weeks away from completing UA’s Coding Boot Camp, Abby says that it has been “an amazing experience that I recommend to any woman who wants to be in this industry.”

Abby’s father passed in December 2016 from brain cancer. Abby’s boot camp meets in the same UA medical building where her father spent his final days. She says she is humbled and grateful to be having this experience in the place she spent time with her father.

“Be Fearless”

Abby says employers want to increase the number of women in tech roles, so now is a great time for women to pursue a coding career.

For women who might worry about being one of the few women in a high-tech role, her advice is to “go after your dream, your goal and be fearless. You’ll be surprised and realize how strong you are as a woman, once you become a part of this industry.

Once you make the leap and enroll in a coding boot camp, Abby says you should be “humble and honest.” In return, she says, “you’ll emerge as a woman coder with a lot of knowledge and strong communication skills.”

Abby will graduate from UA Coding Boot Camp on April 21.

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