Climb Credit Student Interview: General Assembly Graduate Joshua Jaffe
The main motivation for all of us here at Climb Credit is the opportunity to help students write their success stories. A perfect example comes from Joshua Brain Jaffe. Joshua completed a Web Development Immersive at General Assembly’s New York City campus, and now works as a developer at Critical Mass. We’re very lucky to have had the chance to ask Joshua about his experience with us and GA—read on to hear about Joshua’s Climb story!
Where were you living & working before attending your program?
I was living in Jersey City, New Jersey while working at an Apple Retail Store in New York City.
What made you originally start thinking about attending your program?
I’d been fixing other people’s computers for over five years, and I wanted to start building things with my own computer instead. I had a long history of graphic design experience that I wanted to apply to a more profitable career, and the immediacy of web development appealed to me. I love that I can build something, put it online, and have it accessible to the entire world within hours.
What made you choose to get a loan from Climb Credit?
First off, the relative ease of application and payment. The interest-only period during school and the job hunt period made applying for the loan rather worry-free. Lastly, knowing I could pay off my loan in larger installments, or even in full, at my own convenience was a huge factor for me.
Once you decided to move forward with Climb Credit, how would you describe the process?
After applying to Climb via your website, General Assembly handled the rest, and I was approved pretty quickly. Since graduating, my monthly payments have automatically debited from my account and I’ve only ever had to worry about finding a job to start paying them off; not to mention auto-pay lowered my monthly payments. All together it’s been a painless process, which I greatly appreciate.
Would you recommend Climb to a friend? If so, why so?
I would, and I have. The best thing about Climb has been not worrying about paying for school since day one. Changing or launching your career is daunting enough, and the cost of tuition at most code/trade schools can be very overwhelming. I’m glad I made the leap, however, because paying for school has been the easiest part of the process. I was able to get accepted and start focusing on learning immediately. Within a few short months of graduating, I was gainfully employed and much more satisfied with my career.
What did your new job search look like? How long did it take to find your new job after the program?
I was very lucky to have a relatively short search, only a month or so. Adding my past design experience to my newly acquired coding skills made me a unique candidate as a front-end developer for a few agencies. A chance encounter at my local dog park resulted in a lead that turned into the best job I’ve ever had with a company I am extremely proud to work for. As they say, always be networking; you never who you will meet out there!
What is one of the most valuable skills or lessons you learned from your program?
Far more important than learning to code has been learning how to learn how to code. Once you get the basic ideas of problem solving, language, and syntax under your belt, adding new languages and technologies to your repertoire becomes second nature.
If you could go back and give yourself any advice while applying, what would you say?
As soon as I decided to learn to code, I wish I had thought to start teaching myself as much as I could from all the excellent free coding websites out there, just to get more of a jump on the process. Beyond that, I suppose I simply wish I could tell my past self to learn to code sooner!
Anything else you'd like to include in your Student Success Story?
I’ve already said this to many of my friends, but in this current tech-heavy and economically turbulent climate, there are few careers more stable and solvent than technology design, development, and maintenance. It’s easy to feel that switching careers and adding an entirely new skill set to your life is too much to manage, but the end result is beyond worth it. Climbing a mountain is always difficult yet rewarding, and there’s far more important things to worry about than paying for it.
What kind of projects are you working on in your current job?
I’ve done front-end web development for some very major clients; I’m proud to have live code on the front page of Citibank.com and I’ve created several unique sites for Marriott, but I’m certainly most proud of building hopenorth.org. Critical Mass often does pro bono work for worthy charities, and Hope North is an amazing program that I’m glad to have had a hand in helping.
How does your current job compare to the one you had before you attended your program?
I can’t begin to describe how much more rewarding and fulfilling it is to build useful products with my computer instead of fixing other peoples’ computers. I feel like I’ve gone from merely working a job to finally having a career I can be proud of.