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Moms Who Code

Writer / Kara Kavensky

The courses offered through Eleven Fifty Academy, a nonprofit coding school based out of Launch Fishers, attract students of all ages, including moms Angie Washburn and Deon Seifert.

Angie Washburn stayed at home for 15 years raising her children. She holds degrees in business and respiratory therapy. One of her first jobs out of college was working with a software development company, and she loved it. Angie has rediscovered her love of coding through taking a .Net course through Eleven Fifty Academy.

“I was researching additional programming classes and schools and discovered Eleven Fifty Academy,” recalls Angie. “I attended Hour of Code, where I was the only adult.”

After an Introduction to Coding weekend and a weeklong coding fundamentals course, Eleven Fifty had launched its nine-week Boot Camp for .Net. Angie enrolled. After graduation, she was offered an apprenticeship but wasn’t able to be a part of it due to her son’s AAU basketball schedule. Her son, Connor Washburn, is a senior at Fishers High School. Angie was, however, able to participate part time with an apprenticeship directly with Eleven Fifty Academy, and she is now serving as its Learning Team Coordinator.

Angie’s responsibilities include helping head up the industry advisory board, which involves companies such as Eli Lilly, BitWise, SEP and Rolls Royce, by facilitating the corporate relationships and reviewing the curriculum and industry standards. In her spare time, she is learning JavaScript.

“I am also dabbling in IoT on my own,” says Angie, who took an IoT workshop and is building a circuit board.

“My husband and my boys are encouraging,” says Angie, who has three boys. “They tutor me by finding ways to make me sound cool to ‘know how to speak with the people at work.’”

By adding JavaScript and IoT experience to her wheelhouse, Angie intends to add improvements to medical processes she has witnessed through her experience in hospitals.

Deon Seifert took the .Net course with Angie. Deon had owned a Dinner by Design franchise. Deon and her partners kept their business running for some time after corporate had closed. Her son Evan, an IU student, had said to her, “Mom, I don’t see you doing the kitchen thing 10 to 15 years from now, lugging around 40 pound bags
of frozen chicken.”

“I started to think about what he had said,” shares Deon of her inevitable career pivot.

Then fate would intervene again. This time her other son, Alex, was featured in Indianapolis Monthly’s Tech issue in a photo of Bee Coffee Roasters. Inside the magazine she discovered an article on Scott Jones.

Having enjoyed problem solving and a little bit of programming in her past, she was intrigued by the Eleven Fifty Academy and loved that it was a nonprofit. All potential coders take a DISC assessment. DISC profile is a tool used for discussion of people’s behavioral differences and stands for: dominant, inspiring, supportive, and cautious. Deon’s results fell within the “sweet spot” for coders.

“In the class, Angie and I were two of three women and the only two moms,” states Deon. “Some students in the class who were 18, 19 years old and had taken coding for a few years.”

Initially, Deon had planned to be a developer, but found she enjoyed the management element of it. She has become an agile scrum master. A Professional Scrum Master (PSM) serves as a liaison between tech team and corporate, overseeing a group with disparate talents pushing together to accomplish the same goal.

“It is a way of getting code done in small increments to make clients happy,” says Deon.

“I whole-heartedly recommend coding for someone looking for a new career,” shares Deon. “The work is portable, everyone needs a coder, and you could work remotely. This is something that I could do into my 70s as long as I still loved it.

“The staff at Eleven Fifty are the most uplifting people. They are super supportive and they learn more with every course they teach by listening to feedback and strive to make the experience better for all. I am impressed that they work to constantly improve.”

For more information, please visit www.elevenfifty.org.

About Kara Kavensky

Kara Kavensky lives in the Geist area with her family. In addition to writing, she owns Geist Pilates.

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