One Alum Shares the Soft Skills You Need to Land a Job at Etsy

By: Emily Gregor

This post originally appeared on Fullstack Academy's blog.

When you first started thinking about your career in elementary school, you probably weren’t considering financial stability and the emotional toll certain professions can take on you. 

As you get older though, financial and emotional considerations become all the more important. 

For Etsy software developer and Grace Hopper alum Rocky Fine, she found herself reconsidering her path after spending 10 years as a social worker and educator.

“Working in social services was where my heart was, but it just wasn’t going to be sustainable,” she says. “So I started thinking—what else can I do that’s going to take fewer emotional resources from me during the day and then also provide me with more financial resources?”

From there, Rocky found that she had a knack for HTML and CSS and was starting to teach herself JavaScript when she discovered the Grace Hopper Program. 

Fullstack Academy’s Grace Hopper Program is an immersive coding bootcamp that offers a supportive and inclusive learning environment for women+-identifying students in New York City.

“At Grace Hopper, we watch students really lean into the built-in women+ community (especially those who don't have strong support coming from family and friends) and watch them push their ego and pride aside to ask for help, collaborate, and bond over their common challenges,” says NYC Managing Director Michele Cantos.

Rocky’s experience with the program made working as a software developer at Etsy a great fit for her professional goals.

“It really wasn’t until I started working here that I realized how well prepared I was,” she says. “I know how to manage people [and] I know how to break down projects, so even if I don’t know all the tools for debugging right now, those are things I can learn.”

In addition to fulfilling her career goals, she also finds camaraderie in the Grace Hopper community well after graduation. 

“I was hired in a cohort of seven people. We were all hired as junior engineers, and five out of seven were Grace Hopper grads,” she says. 

The communication and collaboration skills students develop during Grace Hopper's software immersive program carry just as much weight as technical skills and sometimes even more. 

“Grace Hopper does foster such a community—it’s not just about what can you do with your fingers. It’s how do you talk about code, how do you communicate, and how do you work well with others,” she says.

Since 2012, Etsy has hired more than 17 Fullstack and Grace Hopper grads, with many going on to work for the e-commerce brand for their second and third jobs. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Grace Hopper Program experience, check out more alum stories


Find your road to code