Improving the community and leaving the world better than they found it is what Teacher Fellows, Burgess Jeffries,
Have you ever committed 100 days of your life to a project? Specifically, have you ever committed 100 days (and countless hours) to writing complex lines of code? Well, one of our recent Pathways graduates, Alandis Seals, is deep into #100DaysOfCode, and he’s been providing updates on a daily basis through his Instagram page. The Ed Farm team is amazed by his commitment to building new skills, so we reached out to him to learn more about the experiences that brought him to this point.
Alandis grew up in York, Alabama. As a young man, he had a deep love for basketball, but, at times, he felt like he wasn’t planning for his future career. “I didn’t know how to set goals,” said Alandis. “I always relied on basketball. It was a childhood dream.”
Unfortunately, he sustained an injury while playing basketball in college. With his basketball career out of the picture, he started to reimagine his future and set goals.
“I wanted to go to school for pharmacy, but it wasn’t working out for me,” said Alandis. “At one point, I was at my little brother’s basketball game, and I was playing with an app on my phone. I wanted to know how in the world the app was developed.”
That curiosity led him to research coding on his own, resulting in multiple all-nighters. “All the sudden I was coding. I took a crash course on CSS, and I was able to change the color on the screen and the H1 text,” said Alandis. “I decided I really liked coding.”
While exploring his next steps, Alandis started working for a furniture delivery company. “That’s how I met Leah Pope [Ed Farm’s Programmer in Residence],” said Alandis. “I told her I wanted to get into coding. [Later on] she called the store and left me a message about the [Pathways] program. She blessed me with Pathways.”
After Leah recruited Alandis to participate in Pathways, LaToria Foy, Ed Farm’s Workforce Coordinator, reached out and interviewed him. Soon after, he stepped into the Pathways lab for the first time.
“The instructors were so connected and supportive,” he said. “LaToria kept me going each day. It was like I was supposed to be there. The class as a whole was so helpful — everybody helped each other.”
Halfway through the course, COVID-19 began to spread across the country. As social distancing and shelter-in-place orders emerged, the Ed Farm team decided to move Pathways into an online learning environment. How did Alandis feel about the overnight shift to remote learning? “I love how quick we went from being in the classroom to being online with the class,” shared Alandis.
Alandis completed the Pathways coursework on April 2, and he continues to prepare for the App Development with Swift certificate exam. He also started Innovate Birmingham’s 14-week full stack bootcamp on May 4. “Hopefully, I can get a job from there. I want to get a tech position,” said Alandis.
So, would Alandis recommend Pathways to other adults who are interested in building confidence with coding? “Yes, I would recommend Pathways because Ed Farm treats you like family. If you are a beginner you can come to this class. If you’re an expert, you can come to the class and help [others],” said Alandis. “Swift is a first-coder language. It’s fun. It will take you to places you’ve never been before.”
As he wrapped up his conversation with Ed Farm, Alandis offered one final word to describe the Pathways learning experience: “Elevation.”
We look forward to watching him elevate his tech career in the years to come.
If you would like to learn more about Pathways, visit our program website. Also, you can learn about our Pathways instructional team by reading their profiles on our Stories page (Leah, LaToria, Taylor Smith).