Hemory sat down with me at our live, virtual event earlier this month and told me all about his journey from working for an apartment complex to starting his career as a software developer at Rocket Mortgage, and finally transitioning into his role in Learning & Development at GitHub.

What does he attribute his success to? His determination of course, and the power of skills-based learning!

Hemory was working as a leasing consultant in downtown Detroit when he had a chance encounter with a software engineer who told him more about her field of work, and he was immediately intrigued. She told him that she discovered software development through Experience IT and Grand Circus, a development boot camp that happened to have some scholarships available. Hemory applied, earned the scholarship, quit his job, and thus began his new career path.

Grand Circus did a really good job at generalizing the skills we needed and curating a focused curriculum so we could then immediately go to any of these companies that are hiring and be an effective team member.

Skills-based learning offers a dynamic and effective approach to education. Hemory's transformation stresses the advantages of a curriculum focused on specific, practical skills. The boot camp he attended not only honed his technical skills in C# and .NET but also prepared him for the real world by teaching him how to craft an impactful resume and prepare for interviews. 

Hemory's story is a testament to the accessibility and opportunity that skills-based learning provides, and the crucial role this type of education plays in expanding career choices for people of all backgrounds. Anyone can now access and benefit from skill-based training, enabling them to pivot into new roles and industries they may not have previously considered, or been available to them even ten or fifteen years ago.

Growing up, I wanted to be an engineer, but once I realized how much math you have to take, I shifted my focus. Then I discovered that skills-based training could give me the access and opportunity to learn something that's really applicable and effective.

Skills-based learning fosters resourcefulness, empowering individuals to take charge of their education and career prospects. The condensed and practical nature of these programs means that anyone willing to commit can upskill or reskill relatively quickly. Hemory's success story highlights the importance of determination and adaptability in the modern job market.

After he finished his bootcamp and started his new career, he took those soft skills he learned at Grand Circus and continued to market and promote himself across his networks, which eventually landed him a job at GitHub, where he’s currently working. 

I spoke with my hiring manager during the interview process, and he mentioned my LinkedIn. "I've checked out your LinkedIn. I see the content. I see how you're always active and  the things that you bring there is what we need over here." So my profile spoke for me before I even got to the interview, which I thought was really cool.

Now Hemory is giving back to the community that helped him get his start in tech. As co-founder of DevYou, he is now providing free coding classes to aspiring developers. DevYou not only imparts coding skills but also serves as a resource for mentorship and guidance, showing that the benefits of skills-based learning can extend beyond the classroom.

Hemory Phifer’s inspiring journey showcases the life-changing potential of skills-based learning. It empowers individuals to access new opportunities, build versatile skill sets, and transition into rewarding careers. The skills-based learning approach represents a pivotal shift in the way we educate and prepare the workforce of the future. As Hemory's story demonstrates, anyone can embark on a journey of self-discovery and career transformation through non-traditional education. It's a path that brings new possibilities within reach for all, regardless of their backgrounds or previous experiences.

Watch my full talk with Hemory below: