How one Udacity graduate’s life and career changed when he discovered Android!
I’d like to tell you about Ben Lewis. For years, he was a high school math teacher with a habit of spending his summer breaks trying to learn new skills. He was constantly in search of new tools that would aid him in the classroom, and he loved inspiring his students with unconventional approaches to mathematics. Then, during the summer of 2016, he stumbled upon Android app development. He could see potential right away—not only could he could pick up and share some app development skills with his students, but maybe he could even create a new app for his school. His wheels started spinning.
“While searching online for Android tutorials I discovered Udacity’s new Android Basics Nanodegree program. When I saw that it required no programming experience I thought it was perfect fit for me, so I decided to enroll.”
Ben had no background in computer science, but he picked up the concepts quickly. The projects were challenging, but he earned praise from project reviewers, and his confidence grew.
“As I completed the projects in the Nanodegree program, which all involved building an app from scratch, I was surprised how quickly I had learned to build visually appealing apps.”
He completed the Android Basics Nanodegree program and immediately enrolled in the career-ready Android Developer Nanodegree program. What had begun as a summer effort to learn new skills that he could share with his students in his math class, was blossoming into a full-blown desire to build apps full time.
As a capstone project for his Nanodegree program, Ben was tasked with creating an app and submitting it to the Android Playstore for public consumption. Through the development, creation, and submittal process, Ben realized how exciting it was to build products that could be accessed by anyone, anywhere. This idea of creating “for the masses” was exhilarating. Upon completing the final project and submitting his app, Ben made the decision that he wanted to pursue a career that would enable him to build beautiful, functional Android apps that would see widespread use. The question was, how would he do it? He needed to find the right combination of industry, company, and role.
Ben began retooling his resume, creating a space to show off his Android projects, and researching what industry recruiters were looking for. He applied to quite a few jobs, and began to get calls back. He considered several opportunities, and found himself drawn to one company in particular. Capital One had approached him with a position working on their mobile banking app, and he was immediately drawn to the idea of working on a product that so many people would use on a daily basis. Ben seized the opportunity, accepted the role, and over the past year, has worked extensively on Capital One’s Android banking app! Every day, his work is being utilized by thousands of Capital One customers across the nation. Additionally, his team was just awarded the J.D. Power Award for Highest Customer Satisfaction for a Mobile Banking App of 2017.
Ben’s story is a great example of how amazing transformation is possible when you discover your passion. At Udacity, we want to support every passionate learner who is driven to pursue a dream, and is willing to put in the necessary work to achieve it.
Ben, we congratulate you on all your successes, you’re truly building for the world now!