Julia Pretzlaff received an HFLA Education Loan in 2017 to attend the We Can Code IT coding boot camp in Cleveland. We took a minute to catch up after she completed the program to see where she is now and what inspired her to pursue this rapidly growing field.

Q: So Julia, we know you attended the We Can Code IT program in Cleveland, when did you complete this training and what inspired you to attend?

Julia:  I attended We Can Code {IT}, full time, in person cohort in Cleveland, Jan-April 2018. I was interested in a career that would allow me to help others accomplish their goals and help connect people to knowledge and resources, as well as a career that would continuously challenge me.  I also wanted to be able to work remotely so that I would be able to build a career while living in mountainous/rural areas away from large cities.


Q: What were you doing before you started this program?

Julia:  I was working seasonally in the outdoor tourism industry in Montana.  For most of my life my career goal had been to be a documentary producer.  I served in the Peace Corps and did a lot of video production work before, during, and after that experience.  But eventually YouTube, smartphones, and decent internet connections were ubiquitous enough that I didn’t feel I needed to help others tell their stories – they had access to the technology and distribution channels to tell their own.  Thus, I spent a couple of years trying to figure out what I did want my career to be, doing seasonal work in Montana and traveling while I attempted to figure out what to do.


Q: It’s awesome that the motivation for your career choices is driven by helping others meet their needs or goals. So, you’ve been done with the coding boot camp for a few years, what are you doing now?

Julia: Right now I am working remotely as a software developer for a great company, and I hope to continue working as a developer and eventually take on more project or product management responsibilities.


Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What are your interests or hobbies? Any pets!?

Julia: I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland.  I now live in a small town near the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest and spend a couple of months a year in Cleveland to see family. I have a long term partner, he and I have no children or pets (but we want a dog and cat!).  Hobbies include hiking, camping, backpacking, skiing, mountain biking, knitting, and reading.