How I Went From IT Consultant to Software Engineer in 1 Year

4 minutes

Learning to code so that you can land a job in tech can feel daunting. That’s why we’re sharing inspiring stories from Codecademy’s community — to show how people like you (yes, you!) can embark on a learning journey and end up with a totally new career. We hope these stories serve as a reminder that there’s no single path to a more fulfilling work life. 

Today’s story is from Fabrizio Bertoglio, a 36-year-old React Native Engineer at Expensify, living in Bali, Indonesia. Read more stories from Codecademy learners here — and be sure to share your story here. 

Why I chose to learn to code 

“I dabbled in coding as a kid and found that I enjoyed it. I always knew I had an interest in technology and wanted to work remotely. Programming seemed like the perfect opportunity for me, especially given my interest in the field. 

So, I committed to spending about an hour each night on Codecademy for a month. I began with JavaScript, and to my surprise, I made significant progress by dedicating just one hour per day. This motivated me to continue, and I maintained high expectations for my progress. Gradually, I transitioned from my role as an IT Consultant to a Software Engineer. 

After completing the Codecademy course, I secured a job in Munich and moved there. This move gave me an opportunity to further enhance my skills through professional experience.”  

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How I made time to learn 

“I started with one hour per night. I did the JavaScript course, and when I realized there was potential, I found myself in a situation where switching careers was a viable option. I decided to fully commit and dedicated myself to coding full-time for a month, doing the Full-Stack Engineer career path with Codecademy, which covers everything from backend to frontend technologies. 

After that, I began traveling in Asia. I moved to Bali and began developing mobile apps and web applications. I was a little bit inspired by other digital nomads like Pieter Levels who were building and launching their own apps, which motivated me to follow a similar path. Working remotely and learning to code while building apps seemed like the ideal route for me. I spent six months developing different apps, which significantly helped me consolidate my skills.”  

How I saved up money to switch careers 

“I worked on managing my expenses and saving money a lot. I utilized a mobile app to record every expense manually, like dining out to any other expenditure. It was very tedious and annoying, but it helped me monitor my spending habits closely, especially in certain categories. I consistently reviewed my budget and identified areas where I tended to overspend and focused on free activities. 

Living in Bali, Indonesia, made it significantly cheaper for me. When I was in Europe and working, I could save a lot of money because I controlled my expenses pretty well. I quit drinking [alcohol] and replaced it with Coca-Cola Zero, or I substituted fun activities with other alternatives, such as visiting waterfalls or surfing. Additionally, I read a lot of books about self-improvement.”  

How long it took me to land a job 

“I started coding in 2017 on Codecademy, and my first job was in 2018. I started contributing to the React Native open-source project in 2020 and I began working at Meta as a part-time contractor in 2022.” 

How I got in the door 

“After contributing to the React Native open-source project for two years, I started working as a contractor at Meta. Now I continue to work on their open-source project with Expensify.” 

How I evaluated the offer 

“I believe it’s a lot about your day-to-day work and continually developing and building upon the interest and passion for your work as a Software Engineer. I am particularly interested in specializing in a specific area and becoming an expert in that field. I’ve had the opportunity for a relatively long time to specialize in this area and I’m striving to become an expert in it to bring more value to my work — and I find it more personally fulfilling.”  

How day one and beyond went 

“Before when I was an IT consultant, I did see a little bit of code, but I was never actually writing it or committing it to production. So, it was a big opportunity for me, which was rewarding, and I did learn a lot. It was a significant step in my career. Starting at Meta was much, much easier because I had already contributed to the open-source project for a long time. When I started working with them, I had already made significant contributions and gained valuable experience.” 

What I wish I knew before I started learning 

“When I started, Codecademy was very good because it kept me motivated, and did not make it too difficult to start. I did try to start coding before, but I failed. I think actually learning was a big step. I would not change anything in my career, even though I could do many things better. I will do this work for the rest of my life — I’m happy that I found something that keeps me interested.”  

Learn like Fabrizio

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Not sure where to start? Check out our personality quiz! We’ll help you find the best programming language to learn based on your strengths and interests. 

Want to share your Codecademy learner story? Drop us a line here. And don’t forget to join the discussions in our community. 

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