Sponsored by Broadcom
A passion for learning can lead you to interesting and diverse places. For me, that meant moving directly from earning a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in political science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to attending a LaunchCode bootcamp.
I had been curious about software development while in college but thought it would be too intimidating to pursue, given my existing pathway paved to earn philosophy and political science degrees. Yet, after graduating with these degrees, I found the pull toward IT growing even stronger. Completing eight months of coding through LaunchCode confirmed my true interest in IT. But, where would I go from there?
Fortunately, my coding bootcamp recruiters reached out to me to discuss opportunities in the mainframe area. As I researched the field, I found out that mainframe careers are incredibly stable and have very good compensation. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that mainframes are the powerhouses in the background responsible for seamless, secure business transactions such as airline bookings, credit card transactions, and so much more. This was a no-brainer to me: the mainframe represented high demand and a high market desire for willing and trainable talent. To me, it was, in essence, a “recession-proof” career with tremendous security. I was sold.
The Importance of Showing Up
I joined Broadcom’s Mainframe Vitality Program with some trepidation. I expected a big challenge ahead of me, and I wasn’t sure if I would make it through the program. However, I was ready to work hard.
There is no question that a lot of information was communicated in a short amount of time. At first, it seemed almost incomprehensible. But, just like when you are learning a language, it starts to make sense after a few months of constant exposure and immersion.
The biggest thing I learned was that to be successful in mastering anything difficult, you must show up — and show up every day. There were days and even weeks when I didn’t understand things, but I showed up, took notes, and listened. If I couldn’t understand a concept in class, I went to study sessions with people in my cohort and sought help from our wonderful instructors, who did an amazing job at not only instructing but mentoring. It was very challenging, but it would have been impossible if I skipped classes or didn’t seek help when I needed it.
Mainframe: A Career With Opportunity and Stability
When I think back, Broadcom’s Mainframe Vitality Program stands out from any other training I’ve experienced because of the people. In particular, the mentorship was crucial to my success. Being in a cohort of 10–12 people is fine for learning a lot of concepts. However, when you select the area you want to specialize in, having a mentor to help you develop a deeper understanding is incredibly valuable.
Overall, engaging and interacting with the people at Broadcom was the best working experience I have ever had. At no point did I ever feel like I was just another person in a seat. Throughout my whole time with Broadcom, I knew that everyone around me wanted me to succeed. They were adamant about making sure that I landed a good job and had the foundation for a solid career. Following my graduation from the Vitality Program in 2023, I landed an excellent role with a Broadcom customer.
I am very grateful for all of the support Broadcom gave me. I can now look forward to a career that has both opportunity and stability. There is a bright future for the mainframe, and the Vitality Program is actively building the mainframe workforce of the future to take advantage of it.
Learn more about the Mainframe Vitality Program.
Learn more about Broadcom Mainframe Education, for all skill levels.
Thomas Feldman is a Broadcom Vitality Program graduate, completing the program
in the summer of 2023. He lives in Southern Illinois and attended
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, earning a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in political science. With a passion for learning, Thomas is a resourceful problem solver
who thinks the best way to learn is to show up.