HyperionDev graduate

Student Success Story: From Biochemistry Student to Software Engineer

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Joburg-based Cherol Phoshoko is a HyperionDev graduate who knew deep down that she was made for a career in tech. In 2020, at the intersection of Covid lockdowns, needing to take care of her mom, and feeling disheartened by the prospect of having to study for three years before she could start earning an income, she researched South Africa’s top coding bootcamps. She found HyperionDev, and the rest is history. Here’s a look at her exciting journey into the world of coding and how it has changed her life for the better.

The need for a change

Just two years ago, aspiring scientist Cherol was enrolled at the University of Johannesburg, where she was set to study for a BSc Degree in Physiology and Biochemistry. However, she was concerned about her future job prospects (and potential salary) once she graduated, and when the Covid lockdown hit, packed it all in and returned home. It was during this time that her interest in all things tech – and an insatiable curiosity to learn more (something scientists and coders have in common) – led her to HyperionDev’s coding bootcamps. 

She signed up for the Software Engineer bootcamp, which she completed online, part-time.  She explains her rationale for a complete change in careers:

While studying, I didn’t see any exciting prospects of how I could grow in the field I was in. On the other hand, technology has so many exciting opportunities, considering we’re rapidly moving into the digital age.”

Cherol was also motivated by the opportunities a coding career offered, such as earning a good salary, being able to work remotely, and, ultimately, being able to travel. 

The best of the bootcamp

HyperionDev’s software engineering bootcamp has a couple of main focuses. Our students learn how to build applications, learn Object Oriented Programming and agile development, and acquire a number of popular programming languages, including Python. For Cherol, the most challenging part was learning HTML and CSS in such a short period of time, but by keeping her head down and staying focused, they soon became second nature. 

Pressed on what she found most rewarding during bootcamp, she says: 

Taking on new challenges, pushing my limits, and seeing what I could do with the skills I learned.”

She also found our legendary code review process extremely helpful. It not only showed her alternative ways of solving programming, but it quickly took her coding ability to new levels – something that usually only happens once you’re actually in a coding job. 

HyperionDev’s code review is based on three core functions: ensuring better code quality, looking for defects and errors, and finding better solutions. Ensuring code performs reliably, faster and optimally is especially important when developing programmes for large-scale applications, something Cherol will no doubt be faced with in the very near future.

A new life as a software engineer

On completion of the Software Engineer bootcamp, HyperionDev assisted Cherol with her Github portfolio, CV, and LinkedIn profile, all of which ensured she quickly found employment. She currently works at Geo Intelligence Corp (a Sandton-based geospatial and location intelligence business) as a Junior Developer and Support Specialist.

Although she is still in the training phase, she is exposed to an amazing array of new tools and technologies. She tells us that learning software development with Python and databases has created a solid foundation from which she can build. She works with a number of tech stacks, but those she uses most often are Docker, PostGIS, Gitlab, QGIS, Javascript, and Python. 

What does the future look like?

Cherol says those who are thinking about switching to a career in tech to absolutely go for it, even though they may find it challenging at first. With the digital economy becoming the heart of businesses everywhere, she predicts that everyone is going to need technical skills if they want to get (and stay) ahead. 

We asked her if she had any advice for those considering a switch in careers to one in tech and, like so many other HyperionDev graduates, Cherol emphasises the personal change that comes with learning to code. She says:

Tech is very challenging, but you learn a lot about yourself and your limits. Learning to code has encouraged me to keep challenging myself, keep questioning my limits, and never stop trying. You never know how great you could be at something until you give it a shot.”

You can follow Cherol’s latest projects and her exciting journey in tech at her GitHub portfolio.


If you’re inspired by Cherol’s story and feel ready to embark on your own journey toward a fulfilling career in the tech industry, consider registering with HyperionDev here.

Who knows, your success story may be next!