Alumni Story: From Wellness to Web Development

Monk Wellington

Ten years as a massage therapist gave Monk Wellington the chance to help people from all walks of life. But ultimately the physical demand took a toll on his body. To add to the stress, his home in the Bay Area had increasingly become more expensive to live in. As the lone provider for his teenage daughter, Wellington felt the strain reaching a breaking point and knew he had to make a change: “I needed a more progressive career path in order to be able to support my daughter.”

Wellington knew that the right tech education could unlock the new opportunities he needed. After investigating several coding schools, he ultimately chose General Assembly San Francisco and dove into the full-time Web Development Immersive course. He says that GA’s lauded alumni support network was a deciding factor in his decision. “[GA] seemed more communally oriented in the sense that it had an active global presence,” Wellington says. “That meant I could essentially reach out to anyone in the future across the globe who's connected to GA for help, and vice versa if needed.”

This social aspect was also an important part of Wellington’s classroom experience. “Programming in general is a largely social act — not just because it involves knowing how to communicate with your machine, but because of the soft skills it takes to navigate the complexity of a business and social environment.” He credits his instructors with giving him vital training in JavaScript, APIs, and other relevant web design languages and applications that employers actively seek. Classroom training was only part of the learning experience, however, as GA’s Outcomes team supported and prepared him for active job hunting, interviewing, and success in his future roles.

It was this ongoing support from his career coach and Outcomes experts that eventually connected Wellington to his first industry role. As a software engineering consultant at Industrial Logic, a modern agile consultancy, he works with Ford Motors to help build an internal web app for their dealerships in China. There, Wellington says the skills he gained at GA directly impacts not just his day-to-day job performance, but his ability to take joy in his work: “What I love about my current role is being able to access any resource to learn anything at any time, especially if it’s going to help or improve the workflow process of my team. I love that soon I’ll be able to understand, navigate, and build enterprise-level architecture for Fortune 500 companies on my own.”

Wellington’s experience at GA and his new career has had a profound effect on his life — including a fourfold pay increase. He also takes pride in sharing his endeavors, hard work, and successes with his daughter. "Now after all these years, I can not only show my daughter my accomplishments, but she benefits from them as well," says Wellington. That feeling of having overcome adversity and doing work that he takes pride in continues to fuel him every day: “I’m incredibly grateful that I get to experiment with ideas and solutions to large problems in order to accomplish something.”

How will web development empower you? Our courses are designed so that any beginner can reach programming success, no matter your background and experience. Shape your future with our transformative full-time, part-time, and online courses, or dip your toes in an introductory workshop.