Giving Back to Empower Others
Boston-based full stack developer, Samantha Casseus began her software development career in a unique way. After graduating with a psychology degree in 2015, she held a number of different roles but was having difficulty finding fulfillment in her daily work. She’d always had a curiosity for learning how to code and decided that it was time to pursue this interest. Over the next few months, Samantha would come home from her job and teach herself the fundamentals of programming. She enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of coding and became excited about the doors this field could potentially open for her. Knowing that she would need to further her knowledge to make this career a reality, Samantha began researching programs that would help her take her skills to the next level. This is when she found Resilient Coders, a 14-week non-profit coding bootcamp in Boston that offers programs for young people of color to explore opportunities in tech by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to be prepare them for high growth careers as software engineers and connect them with jobs.
Upon graduating from Resilient Coders, Samantha attended a presentation by PerkinElmer’s very first scrum team who shared the programming roles available at the Company and their excitement to hire Resilient Coders’ graduates. She was immediately impressed by the passion the employees showed and how engaged they were talking about not only their individual work, but the bigger impact they were helping the organization make. After spending several years feeling unfulfilled in her career, Samantha found this refreshing, “I felt strongly about finding a community built on collaboration, support, and a shared excitement for coding.” Following interviews with the software development team, Samantha and a fellow Resilient Coders graduate received offers from PerkinElmer and began their careers as junior full stack developers.
After six months on the team and the successful launch of an order visibility project, Samantha has been promoted to full stack developer. She also collaborates with the design team to create a design systems library of components for PerkinElmer’s web applications. Working with various groups across the organization has required Samantha to quickly adapt and understand new processes, acquiring different skills with each project. Her quest to continue learning translates into her work each and every day. For example, after taking a class on user experience, Samantha expressed that she wanted to use the techniques she had learned to support another team at PerkinElmer. Her product owner then connected her with that team, and she was able to collaborate with them to create a new wireframe for their user interface. The ability to contribute in different ways by employing the skills she continues to develop is something that Samantha is grateful for, “When I go to one of my mentors and let them know that I have learned something new, I am able to apply it in a real project right away which has been extremely helpful to my professional growth and has enabled me to continue achieving my goals.”
In addition to her coding and software development work, Samantha is passionate about helping others achieve the same gratification that she has found in a career in tech. Each week, she volunteers at Resilient Coders, tutoring and mentoring the current students. It is important to Samantha to give back to the program that gave her so much as well as inspire her peers to thrive economically, professionally and socially. By finding stability in her own career, and with supportive colleagues at PerkinElmer, she has experienced first-hand the power that you can have to help impact someone’s life. “I wanted to find others that share my enthusiasm for coding and push me to keep reaching my goals, which is exactly what I have found at PerkinElmer. I am excited to be that mentor for someone else now.”