Graduate Updates is a dialogue style series that we started to spend more time chatting with our graduates and to get a peek into their lives after Firehose.

In each update, we’ll share the details of these conversations, and give you the opportunity to get to know our students a little better.

graduate update: walley yang

In this update, we’re talking with Walley– a former member of the US Air Force who went on to work for Boeing after graduating from Firehose over a year ago, and recently made a big move for his current position.


Can you tell us about yourself and how coding has played a role in your life?

I spent 12 years in the U.S. Air Force and have had the opportunity to do many things. Now, I’m a software engineer and work primarily with Java.

Learning to write code directly impacted my life as well as those of others. It’s awesome to be able to see something I created being used by hundreds of others to increase work efficiency and to have people come to important decisions because of the code I wrote to provide proofs of concept.

What have you been up to since graduating from Firehose?

I have worked with several different teams since completing the Firehose program. Upon graduating, I landed a position as a contract developer at Boeing, and I’ve since moved on to a new position as a software developer at HumanGeo.

I’ve been able to help build and update projects using several different technologies and languages, such as Ruby, JavaScript, and Java.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I’m mostly focused on completing my graduate degree and increasing my experience with the different technologies used at my workplace.

Favorite language to work in?

If I had to choose just one language, it would be Java since I prefer the back-end. There are many jobs that require Java to collaborate with other languages, like Ruby.

What, for you, are the one or two things that make a job most fulfilling?

For me, collaborating with other developers and working on a project that I enjoy are the most fulfilling. I enjoy working with others to tackle projects, and time flies when I work on something I enjoy.

Anything interesting that you’re reading/watching/listening to lately?

I recently started watching some videos from John Sonmez, or Simple Programmer on YouTube. I think he gives some awesome advice not just on programming, but also a variety of other topics.

Where can people find you?

They can find me on GitHub and LinkedIn.

Leave us with your all-time favorite quote.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
– Neale Donald Walsch

It took me years to realize that I wasn’t progressing because I was staying in my comfort zone. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I decided to stay in my comfort zone. A coworker shared this quote with me years later.


Thanks for your time, Walley! It was great catching up with you 

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