Data Science Interviews JetBrains Academy Python

You Need Two Things To Become a Developer — Andrés Cabrera’s Story

In this interview series, we aim to showcase how students with diverse backgrounds enter the world of programming and accomplish their goals through JetBrains Academy. Let’s get to know Andrés Cabrera, who will share his personal journey into the world of programming.

“A bonafide nerd with a passion for video games and anime, I checked every box of a programmer. My journey into the world of programming got a real boost when my family moved from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic.”

From computer store to marketing

“Kicking off my career at a computer store at the age of 18, I gradually morphed into a marketing guy. I had some skills in multimedia and graphic design, so I ventured into various roles, like a creative director and a marketing specialist. However, it was during the pandemic, while working at a school, that I rekindled my obsession with computer science.”

The crossroads of marketing and IT

“While working at the school, I realized how I enjoyed untangling technical knots. For example, I completely revamped their online system, cutting costs significantly — from $3,000 per month to a mere $30 per year. It felt like rediscovering my first love! This experience led me to shift my focus from marketing to computer science. I then stumbled upon the field of data science and data analysis, a perfect intersection that struck a chord with my interests — marketing creativity and IT skills.”

👉 Check out the data science courses at JetBrains Academy

My quest for practice in programming

“Before finding JetBrains Academy, I explored another learning platform. Their way of teaching was largely video-based. However, I was struggling to keep myself awake, as I craved hands-on practice and problem-solving. That’s how you learn to code. Then I stumbled upon JetBrains Academy. Its learning tracks on Hyperskill embrace a project-based approach, making learning feel like a game. The combination of reading, exercises, and space for problem-solving made it my preferred learning environment.”

JetBrains Academy as my personal video game

“After a long day at work, I’d relax by diving into JetBrains Academy, treating it like my personal video game. The platform’s blend of project-based learning and real-world challenges perfectly mirrors what employers in the job market are looking for. Plus, each project I completed could be showcased on GitHub, creating a developer portfolio — a pivotal asset in grabbing the attention of tech companies.”

To get hired as a developer, you need two things

“I’ve come to realize that the recipe for attracting the attention of potential employers requires two key ingredients: completing online code challenges (consider HackerRank) and building up a project portfolio. What’s great is that JetBrains Academy caters to both these needs. The exercises in every chapter feel similar to the challenges found on sites like HackerRank, and at the end, you get to create your own project and put it on GitHub. An absolute win-win!”

From novice to Python developer

“Although I was an avid reader of LinkedIn job posts, I was always hesitant to apply until one particular opportunity caught my attention and I decided to give it a shot. The interview process was tough, but the solid Python knowledge gained from JetBrains Academy was my savior. A curious thing happened during the interview — a project manager asked me about Scrum, and back then, I had no clue about it. Surprisingly, I still landed the job based on my Python skills.”

👉 Build your first real-world application in Python

Skills to ace an interview

“What kind of skills were they looking for? Ultimately, it boiled down to an avid passion for programming, a knack for analysis, familiarity with data structures, testing, and clean code. Knowing design patterns and SOLID principles were additional bonuses. The ability to explain one’s own code stands out as a powerful skill among the requirements. So does writing clean code – this is akin to being mindful that other people would have to read and easily understand it.

They were also looking for a strong set of soft skills like clear communication, leadership, and sense of ownership. I would recommend everyone delve into Project Management, even if that’s not the role you aspire to.”

Using familiar programming tools is a huge plus

“The Python track on JetBrains Academy aligns closely with PyCharm, the IDE of choice for most Python developers. Even though I did some exercises on my phone or in a web browser, what I really enjoyed was having the opportunity to use the same tools that professional programmers utilize daily. As I moved up the ranks at work — progressing from intern to junior one, junior two, mid-level one, and so on — my commitment to continuous learning gained me recognition as one of the fastest learners.”

Learn to be comfortable in being uncomfortable

“Looking back on my journey, I’d say setting goals and sticking to them is a big deal. Learning to code feels like learning a new language – it demands daily practice. Computer science is vast and can feel overwhelming, often triggering imposter syndrome. The secret, however, lies in learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations and embracing everything as an opportunity to learn.”

Learn like Andrés!

If you are set to learn Python and kickstart your career as a junior developer, explore our Python tracks on Hyperskill. We’d recommend starting with Introduction to Python and then proceeding to Python Core. To gain more understanding of data analysis, consider adding Introduction to Data Science to your portfolio.

Do you want to share your own story? Leave a comment below, tag us on Twitter, or send us an email at We can’t wait to hear from you!

Your JetBrains Academy team

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