Tell us a little about yourself.
I have always loved technology. As a matter of fact, gaming has a special place in my heart. Being a game designer has always been the answer to the question, “What do you want to do with your career?” I grew up in Randolph, Massachusetts. There weren’t really any technology classes for me to take, and I didn’t have a jumpstart to get into the technology field. I wanted to go to college to learn game design, but the schools where I got the most financial aid did not have a game design major. So, I chose computer science because it was the closest thing. My first year in college didn’t go so well because the computer science classes kicked my butt.
I then switched my major to English because I felt that I was better with words than numbers, and I knew I could still use my English degree to land a game design job. Thus, I graduated with an English degree. After college, I ended up working a couple of jobs that had nothing to do with game design, but I had to support myself. In 2017, I got a Quality Assurance position at a B2B technology company, and this was my big break. I knew that QA was a way for me to get into game design. I planned to get a couple of years of experience in a QA position and to become a video game tester at a studio later. On January 20th, 2018, I was laid off from my QA position, and that was when my life changed.
I was laid off and had to bounce back. I was tired of working jobs just to get by. It was time I had to make real life moves, and I needed to make a change. I applied to Resilient Coders, Northeastern University‘s Game Science & Design Master’s program, and I also applied to Wayfair as a QA analyst. I went through the interviewing process at Wayfair, and I got denied due to the fact I didn’t know a database language that was required for the role. It was at this moment where I had two options that could potentially change my life for the better.
How did you hear about Resilient Coders?
I had a friend who knew a Resilient Coders alumni, and my friend referred me to the boot camp. I knew that I could get into game design through the program. After going to the open hours, I felt like Resilient Coders was the right program for me. I ended up getting accepted to Resilient Coders. At the same time, I got admitted to Northeastern’s Game Science and Design master’s program. I had two great options open, but I ended up choosing Resilient Coders because I saw the potential for me to achieve greater things. I deferred Northeastern’s program for one year because I really wanted to do Resilient Coders. If things didn’t go well, I could still have a backup option to attend Northeastern University.
How did you get a role at Wayfair?
I graduated from Resilient Coders, and I was one of eight who graduated from the cohort that year. Resilient Coders had a partnership with Wayfair for a software development role. It’s funny that I mention Wayfair because I had been denied for a QA analyst role a year back. After I graduated from Resilient Coders, there was a two-week micro boot camp with Wayfair. One Friday during that camp, I did my interviews with Wayfair. I got a callback on the same day, and this was the moment my life changed. I got the offer, and I started on January 14th, 2019. I had been laid off on January 20th, 2018, so it had been a year that I didn’t have a job, and it had been a bumpy road. The amount of work and dedication had changed my life. My journey has just started, and there is so much for me to learn.
What are your favorite video games?
I am a fan of first-person shooters. FPS is what I do, and I am incredibly competitive. My favorite game right now is Destiny 2, and the Destiny series is my favorite. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the most legendary game of all time.
Learn more about Resilient Coders below:
- Website – http://www.resilientcoders.org/
- Resilient Bootcamp – http://www.resilientcoders.org/bootcamp
- Hire Resilient Graduates: http://www.resilientcoders.org/get-involved/company
- More information about Lawrence: