In October 2019, Cheyenne Mangum was ready for a challenge.
She was in the midst of a steady real estate career and, unexpectedly, she was face-to-face with a company-wide app that was fraught with bugs. Rather than let the app get the best of her, she decided to grow her creative problem-solving skills. She took the time to learn more about the app and debug it when possible. During that time, one of her lifelong friends invited her to join Ed Farm’s Pathways pilot course. The course offered adult learners an opportunity to participate in interactive learning experiences with Apple’s Swift programming language. It required a significant commitment — 9 hours a week — and the course work was rigorous, ranging from foundational coding concepts to hands-on projects with Xcode.
She accepted the invitation/challenge and, soon after, she started attending classes three nights a week at Ed Farm’s prototype lab in Innovation Depot.
“Having no experience with programming, I was afraid I was going to fall behind in the course,” said Mangum as she reflected on the Pathways experience. “The instructors never made me feel left out or left behind. They helped me stay on pace, and they went above and beyond. It gave me a lot of confidence. It inspired me to pursue programming further.”
She was so inspired that she decided to apply for Innovate Birmingham’s 14-week software development bootcamp, an intensive course that prepares adult learners for careers in information technology. She’s thriving in the program, and she views Pathways as the catalyst that prompted her to pursue more post-secondary training with software development.
“As I look back at my labs and my work in Swift, all that syntax makes so much sense to me now,” Mangum said. “Programming…applies to pretty much every facet of our lives, and it’s only going to be more true in the future. Programming gives you so many options.”
If you want to tackle a new and fulfilling challenge, visit our Pathways page and apply for the next cohort. Also, if you’re interested in Innovate Birmingham, take a moment to learn more about their bootcamps and scholarship opportunities.
Let’s continue to Cultivate Change.
Ebonee English-Finley is an education leader who is ready to Cultivate Change. Thankfully, Ed Farm gets to work…