From Creative Writing to Full-Time IBM Programmer – Meet One of Our Youngest Alumni


Savannah Worth is one of our youngest alumni of Galvanize Full Stack. She graduated from college in May of this year, attended our program in Denver, and is now a full-time programmer in San Francisco at IBM Bluemix Garage. Here’s her story:

How did you decide to get into programming?

I was finishing up my time in college in 2014 and discovered that there weren’t a lot of jobs for English majors. My specific area of focus was creative writing, so I knew it be difficult to make a career out of it. My thesis was actually a sci-fi fantasy novel.

After graduation, I started looking into other career options, which eventually led me to coding.

How did you find out about Galvanize?

One of my English professors had actually been to Galvanize in Denver and mentioned the full stack program, along with their amazing success rate placing students in full-time work after graduation.

I did a bit more investigating and figured out that the deadline was just one week away. I was impressed enough with what I read to apply right away.

What were some of the things about the program that surprised you?

We received some prep work before starting the program, and it definitely made me feel like I didn’t know anything. Then on the first day of class, our instructor had us do an improv exercise. I thought it was a joke, then realized, ok, this is not going to be all math – this is going to be fun.

Don’t get me wrong, It’s definitely hard, and there’s a ton of work involved. But it was a lot more fun than I was expecting, and the people were awesome.

I’ve also been surprised by how many close friends I’ve made through Galvanize. Pretty much everyone from my class stayed in touch through our Slack channel, and I’m constantly hearing about where people are moving and what cool job offers they’re getting.

A lot of Galvanize students have pretty creative personalities – do you think your background in writing helped you?

It’s absolutely shaped how I approach programming. One of the best things about programming is how many different things you can do with it – you really can take it any direction you want.

My classmates definitely mentioned a few times that my code reflected my creative approach to problem solving, which is pretty awesome.

How did you end up getting placed at IBM Bluemix Garage?

One of my current coworkers actually came to class to speak about IBM and conduct first-round interviews with students. I kept talking to the team, got a job offer while I was still at Galvanize, then moved out to San Francisco from Denver when I graduated on November 20th!

What’s your day-to-day like as a full-time programmer?

For those who might not be familiar with IBM Bluemix, we’re a consulting agency that works with clients to build apps (mobile or web) and deploy them onto our platform-as-a-service.

I’m still getting used to everything and ramping up, but it’s been really exciting so far. I’ve met a lot of people from all across IBM, and all of them have made me feel valued and welcome. The onboarding experience has been great.

Being on the Galvanize campus in SF has been fantastic too – moving here didn’t seem so daunting since I was going to be part of the same community. I’m already mentoring at Galvanize Full Stack and hanging out with some of the new students.

I was a big fan of the meetups on the Denver campus where I was able to meet lots of people, so I’m glad I get to continue that here in San Francisco.

What advice do you have for people who just graduated and are looking into programming?

Just start coding. There are a ton of free tutorials online that you can take advantage of, and that’s the best way to see if it’s something you’d actually like to do as a career. Above all, meet people, and talk to them about what they do – the programming community is awesome.

Ready to start you journey to become a programmer? Applications are open for Galvanize Full Stack.