The "Integrify Alumni Stories" series introduces Ben, one of our excellent alumni of the Full Stack Program. He is currently working at Swappie as a software engineer. In this blog post, Ben is sharing his experience on the Integrify Academy and how we supported him to set his career in software development.
Hi Ben! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m from Hong Kong and have settled in Finland since 2012. I joined Integrify in 2018 and was able to land my first job soon after graduation. Joining the Integrify Academy has been among the most positively life-changing and impactful decisions I have ever made. It has also played an important and decisive role in my career that followed.
Before Integrify, I was in the late stages of my Master’s studies at Aalto University. Those were dark and bitter moments in my life, as I was desperately trying to recalibrate my expectations for life in Finland after years of disappointing defeats in attempting to improve my career prospects. Questions of self-doubt were surfacing in my daily thoughts, and cracks were forming in my typically optimistic mindset. It was then when I learned about Integrify.
How would you describe your time at Integrify Academy?
The Integrify Academy was intensive. I worked hard and was met with equally hard problems to solve - from course exercises to real-life consulting projects. There was never a quiet moment for those who didn’t want it.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during your training?
As a complete beginner among a class of many peers with experience in coding, I found myself playing catchup from day one. However, the comprehensive curriculum, together with a very supportive teaching staff, pushed me along day by day. More importantly were the highly motivated peers, who understood well my situation and had endless patience in helping me through my confusion.
If you can only name one thing, what was the absolute best thing about Integrify Academy?
My classmates who supported me and each other through the program. I owe them tremendously.
After Integrify Academy, what have you been up to?
I worked one and a half years at a small company building e-commerce solutions, before working at Swappie as a software engineer. I’ve been working half a year now at Swappie - one of the largest iPhone refurbishers in Europe. My work mostly revolves around front-end projects concerning the online webshop and internal e-commerce tools.
For all those developers joining Integrify Academy and beginning their career, what advice would you give them?
Let’s not fool ourselves - nothing in programming is easy (and if it is, you’re not aiming high enough). While you shouldn’t underestimate the challenges in becoming a professional software developer, you should more importantly not underestimate your ability to overcome these challenges. Ignite your talent with hard work and realize your potential with dedication. The Integrify Academy brought out the best of me, and I hope it’ll do the same for you.