Julio is a web developer now living and working in Talca, Chile. Originally from Venezuela, Julio had to move to a new country and switch careers due to the political crisis in his native Venezuela. In his own words, this is how he used Coursera to start a new life and a new career.
B.C. Before Coursera
I’ve always had a fascination with math and education. I studied gas engineering and was working towards getting a teaching credential. After graduation, I taught high school math and basic English. Unfortunately, my career as a gas engineer never panned out due to the economic instability and lack of engineering jobs in Venezuela.
Eventually, the situation became so dire in Venezuela that I had to leave my country. When I arrived in Chile, I knew I needed to change my profession to find a job. After studying gas engineering for six years, I was at a loss for what to do next. I just knew that I needed to find a career that would allow me to support my family.
In 2015, when I knew nothing about web development, a friend told me that he had taken courses on Coursera and strongly recommended it to me.
A simple internet search of “Coursera” was the start of my learning adventure on this life-changing education platform.
From Square One to Building A New Career
Without a doubt, the web development courses on Coursera were instrumental in helping me build a new career. I’d say that 80% of my current skills were gained on Coursera. While I had read scattered tutorials and watched some other web development videos online, what I think is most valuable about Coursera is being able to learn from fantastic instructors and experts in the field while receiving a guided study experience. I felt as if I was taking these courses at a university!
I started at stage zero with hardly any resources at my disposal. It was thanks to Coursera’s financial aid program that I was able to start learning online and eventually build up enough knowledge and skills to translate that into a well-paying career.
These were some of the courses I took:
- Full Stack Web and Multiplatform Mobile App Development Specialization from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
When I arrived in Chile, my first job was at a company called Cybertrust, whose current website I redesigned with the skills and knowledge I gained through my courses.
Now I’m at Tuten Labs, where I recently worked on an app project for scheduling on-demand professional services.
I plan to continue learning. I want to dive into other programming languages and subjects like C++, machine learning, and data science.
Teaching has always been in the back of mind. I still think that’s my true calling. My biggest dream is to someday get hired as a web development instructor!
Some Words of Advice
Never let anyone tell you that you can’t learn or do something. I was discouraged by a lot of people when I wanted to learn how to code.
They told me I was too old to learn something “that hard,” but I proved them wrong.
They told me I needed to have started learning when I was a teenager, that it wasn’t possible to teach myself how to program, and that I’d never be good enough to get a real job out of it.
However, I didn’t let that stop me and I continued to move forward. Now here I am – I showed them that nothing is impossible! My advice to you is to trust in yourself. Sometimes it will seem hard, but with dedication and effort, you can do it. The most difficult challenges can be overcome as long as you’re dedicated and confident in yourself.34