Self-taught front-end developer learns back-end. Takes Le Web by storm.

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A trained musician, Noah was looking to take his career to the next level. While working as a front-end web developer, he saw an opportunity during his Back-End Web Development course to launch a music streaming service with a classmate. Most recently, he’s taking on Le Web with his team at Bop.fm while developing the company’s mobile app. 

What brought you to GA?

I was working as a mid-level Front-End Web Developer at the time and wanted to expand my skills. I knew that GA would not only open up better job opportunities, but it would also allow me to start creating the apps I wanted to create.

What steps did you take to secure a developer position?

I had heard horror stories of interviewing in San Francisco for an engineering/developer role, so I decided to play the numbers game. I used recruiters, hiring websites, the GA alumni network, and my own network to get in touch with any startup in SF that was doing something remotely interesting. In the span of 11 days, I had 40+ phone interviews and meetings, 14 in-person interviews, and 5 offers.

What challenges did you run into during your job search?

Not having a Computer Science degree was the toughest challenge; I was being asked interview questions fit for a back-end engineer with 5+ years of experience. Because of what I learned at GA, I was able to interview for more full-stack positions, and that ultimately helped a great deal in getting a job.

Tell us about how your training and interest in music set you up for your current position?

The discipline I learned practicing drums every day for 18 years helped when I decided to pick up a book and teach myself to code. Ultimately it’s the freedom to dream up, create, and really influence the way people interact with a medium that connects music and engineering for me. Just like with music, every hour you put in, there’s a direct and tangible increase in your skill, which leads you to more creative freedom and, at the end of the day, more fun.

How did you hear about the position that you are currently in?

I connected with Shehzad Daredia, our CEO, on angel.co. When I saw the bop.fm listing, it was love at first sight. As a couple guys who had started a music tech start up, recently graduated from Y Combinator, and who were looking to fill out their founding team, it seemed like a perfect fit for me.

Tell me about Bop.fm. How does your past as a musician tie into this?

Bop.fm is a music streaming service that creates a home for every song on the internet. We do this not by hosting any songs ourselves, but instead by aggregating together music streaming services such as Spotify or SoundCloud. We are the answer for the music listener who has to use multiple services to find all the music they want. We are the solution for listeners wanting to share music (all the music) on the internet and for artists who want to share releases with their fans (all the fans).

For me, the experience of listening to music is something that I’ve obsessed over for almost my entire life. Now, with bop, I get to be part of a team building a product from the ground up that focuses on creating the perfect music listening experience for this new, internet-born, music-streaming-based music industry.

What have you learned about yourself over the past year?

That I’m capable of sitting in a park for an entire day. No, really. I had never heard of such a thing coming from Boston, where my Saturday’s consisted mostly of work. At first I was shocked by San Francisco’s commitment to leisure, but now I’m all about it.

Any advice for fellow job seekers?

Don’t put yourself in a box. If you’re a designer, learn some code. A front-end developer? Learn some design or some back-end engineering. A back-end engineer? Maybe a new, trending framework or language, or if you know them all, maybe take a public speaking course.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

This.

Learn More About Back-End Web Development at GA

Brianna Plaza works at General Assembly as a Technical Marketing Producer and interviews alumni for our blog.