Changing Careers to Coding

How Etsy and Hacker School helped Bethany Macri move from legal to engineering

Etsy has received widespread praise for its partnership with Hacker School to recruit more women for coding education generally and for its own engineering department specifically.

As a follow-on to this interview with Etsy’s Marc Hedlund, I spoke with Bethany Macri, a software engineer on Etsy’s core platform team, to get the student perspective on this initiative. Bethany was making a career transition from law to coding and applied for one of Etsy’s grants to attend Hacker School last summer.

Bethany is an example of a growing trend of engineers who choose an unconventional learning path. In her case, she built on her self-taught foundation with a very self-directed training program that was much different than a college degree.

In this interview, Bethany discusses her decision to change careers, what it was like to be a part of Hacker School, and the Etsy recruiting process.

How did you learn to code? Will the emergence of online and in-person training resources such as Codecademy, Skillcrush, Hackbright Academy, and volunteer study groups such as RailsBridge ever replace formal CS education? Tell us in the comments section below.


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  • Michelle Sun

    Thanks for sharing this story Suzanne! I went through the program at Hackbright Academy and really can relate with Bethany’s journey. Switching career from investment banking to technology, I have found it incredibly rewarding journey so far. One of the most important parts that helped my transition was the great support network and community around Hackbright. Shared my story here :) Hope it’s useful for potential students who are looking to apply!