Fred Demons Fast-Tracked his Career with Colaberry's Data Analytics Bootcamp
Name: Fred Demons
Industry: IT Staffing
Title/Current Position: ETL Developer
Salary Change After Graduating From Colaberry: 260%
Colaberry: How did you hear about Colaberry?
Fred: I became close friends with a customer of mine while working as a salesman. She’s a data architect and after a few months of meeting her, she printed out the details of Colaberry’s Data Analytics class and presented them to me one night over dinner. She stated that I am a fairly analytical person and may be interested in a career change. One of her colleagues took the class and thought I should look into it. She had already completed research on the school but stated that if I wanted to do my own, she’d understand. I was registered within 24 hours. I had enough respect for her word not to doubt it.
Where did you grow up? Are you a member of any underrepresented classes in the tech world?
I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, IL. I’m African American.
Why did you decide to enroll in Colaberry School of Data Analytics?
I had lost my enthusiasm for my current profession and began entertaining changing my career. I didn’t necessarily consider writing code or other forms of IT because I’d always assumed that degrees and large amounts of debt preceded. Once I was presented with the opportunity, I took it as a sign and I simply decided to move forward.
What challenges or circumstances did you have to overcome to be successful (if any) and how did Colaberry assist you in that?
Actually, I didn’t have any specific challenges or circumstances to overcome to be successful other than putting in hard work and dedication to the program. During our first orientation, Ali stated, “The best advice I can give all of you is to stay two sections ahead of our scheduled onsite learning curriculum.” That was something I only needed to hear once. That night I logged on and got started. On our first official day of class, I was already working on the fourth lesson.
Did you have a data analytic/data science background or any associated skills prior to joining Colaberry?
Not at all. My professional background consisted of customer service, sales and sales management. My highest level of completed education is a High School Diploma.
What training courses did you complete through Colaberry?
I completed the B.I. Data Analytics course.
How do you think you benefited most from Colaberry’s training?
Actually, the class allowed me to prove to myself that I can accomplish and succeed at anything that can hold my focus. Starting the class close to my 37th birthday, it had been over a decade since I studied any scholastic curriculum.
I knew it would be challenging, so I stopped going to the gym, watching TV and pretty much dedicated most of my free time to the Colaberry curriculum. The second day of class, our instructor displayed the standings of all the students.
That day I challenged myself to become #1 in the class and stay there. Not only did I accomplish this goal but I actually finished the class about three or four lessons ahead of the instructor.
Did you have any fond memories during your training experience you’d like to share? Sometimes I would head to the Irving, TX class location to study and complete assignments after work, often times inviting fellow classmates for study and tutor sessions. Helping others usually gave me a clearer understanding of the course material.
In terms of current salary vs. your previous position, do you feel that Colaberry helped you to reach your goals? In what way has this improve your life?
Absolutely. An increase in salary was not the reason I took the course. I wanted a better work- life balance; the income increase was a cherry on top. I worked retail sales hours, so my shift changed weekly. Some days, I’d open the store, while others, I’d close. The only holidays guaranteed to be off were Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving.
In my retail career, rarely did I have weekends off. I would have probably been content making my current income and working 8-6 M-F. On our second day of orientation, the presenter listed all the different career paths we could take after finishing the course. I asked him, “Which position pays the most?” He said, “Probably the ETL developer.” That day, I decided that I’d get a 6-figure ETL job once I completed the Colaberry training. During my interview process, the first job offer I received was for a six-figure ETL job (which I happily accepted).
Did you learn any “non-technical” skills (e.g. non-verbal communication, tone of voice, etc.) through Colaberry?
Having already had an extensive background in sales, management and customer service, I was already pretty good at articulating my thoughts in a professional setting. What Colaberry provided was a clear understanding of the material and soft skills which allowed me to be confident when speaking about it..
Would you recommend Colaberry to others? If yes, why?
Yes, actually, I already have. A friend and former colleague of mine recently finished the course and has since obtained employment as a Business Intelligence Analyst in Dallas, TX.
Would you ever consider returning to Colaberry to take more classes?
Absolutely, it’s already part of my plan.
What do you find most enjoyable about your current position?
The work life balance, of course! My employer is very flexible. I can work 6-3, 7-4, 8-5, or 9-6; he really doesn’t care as long as I get the work done. I was provided a laptop, and I can work remotely when I need to. A few weeks ago, I was in Dallas visiting my mother and sent an email letting the team know I’d be remote Monday and Tuesday. This type of flexibility is amazing, and I am so thankful to Colaberry for helping me achieve this in my life.
Do you have any final thoughts or advice to current and future students at Colaberry?
Take good notes. When I started the class, I used Google Keeps for all of my note taking. Actual curriculum notes were yellow. I saved the code for completed assignments in green, outstanding questions were in red, and important websites were marked in blue. I could take screenshots and attach pictures to the notes also. The great thing about Google Keep is that I have the app on my cell phone, tablets and can access it from any computer with a browser.
Colaberry has been providing one-of-a-kind, career-oriented training in data analytics and data science since 2012. We offer instructor-led onsite and online classes. Learn with us in person, on our campus in Plano, Texas or remotely from the comfort of your home. We have helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives with our immersive bootcamp-style programs.
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