Derek started out bartending while living on the east coast of Florida. He decided to leave and go back to college to study technical writing at the University of South Florida. Right after graduating in 2011, he got a job at a software company as a junior technical writer.
For four years, Derek moved around to other positions like QA, client support, and marketing where he made motion graphic videos and managed company websites writing basic jQuery, HTML, and CSS. During that time, he did a lot of self-studying on coding tutorial sites. Web development caught his eye. He also was feeling like his career was stagnant because he wasn't learning any marketable skills. Ultimately, Derek was worried about his and his family's future.
Around late 2014, Derek started seeing ads and articles about immersive code schools and was elated to discover a code school in his city. So, he got a second job as a waiter and started saving money to cover family expenses while he went through the program.
In May/June of 2015, he quit his "day job" at the software company and kickstarted his code career by enrolling in Cohort III. Now, Derek works as a software engineer at Requis and also runs a Meetup in Fort Myers called SWFL Coders.