Filemaker Alumni Spotlight: Andrew Frantzich
Since the Filemaker and 42 Silicon Valley program began in 2017, numerous students from a variety of backgrounds have been able to pursue new careers. During the next few months, we will feature several program graduates in a series of blog posts. Today’s post features 42 alum Andrew Frantzich.
Andrew was working in a bookstore before he went through Filemaker’s internship program. Today he works as a Filemaker Developer and is enthusiastic about his work and the opportunities ahead.
Hometown: Gilroy, CA
How did you learn about 42 SV and why did you decide to try the program?
I worked full time at Barnes and Noble and there was a big layoff and I was part of that layoff. So I went from having a job to not having a job overnight. I had taken some classes at a community college and earned an associate’s degree in computer programming. I started looking for boot camps and just the economic hindrance it would cause was iffy.
So I started looking into nonprofit programming schools and heard about 42 Silicon Valley. It was free and I was like, “What is this?” because it didn’t seem real. I remember signing up and the day before the check-in for the piscine, I drove to the school to make sure it was even physically there. I went to the piscine and didn’t have anything to lose. At that point I was really hoping I would get in, and that I would get a dorm. Since I never went to a 4-year college, I never lived in dorms before. The piscine was a great experience and I made a lot of friends.
How did your experience at 42 SV prepare you for the Filemaker Developer Program?
Learning programming the way that 42 teaches you, it teaches you to be more resourceful really, it teaches you to find things out for yourself and not be afraid to ask someone else. There is an exchange of information with others. If you hear someone else has a problem, you can easily point out the issues and educate them. People are typically quick to grasp. It is mostly the peer-to-peer system that I never had in any educational environment that helped to prepare me.
What did you think of the Filemaker Developer Program?
I honestly was kind of amazed at how easy it was to use as far as making an interface, which they call layouts. It was interesting to make a new layout and figure out how that works. Because you spent a week at the beginning where you learn the 42 way, you play around with the layout, watch videos, and try to figure out what the heck is going on. I still have some of those files and am still working on it over time. It wasn’t too bad, we learned a lot in a short amount of time. By the end of it, I was proud of what my group put together. It is a very intuitive platform. The scripting took time to get used to because it is so much different than the way we program here. As soon as you start connecting the dots it all works.
Which FBA partner did you work for and what was your internship experience like?
The FBA partner I work for is Adatasol which started off as a consulting company. They made a couple of acquisitions of Tourtools and Frameready. Tourtools is basically a product model and serves companies that want to help manage other people’s vacations. Frameready is another product model for selling frames. But all the information for material types and costs and what you can sell it for is all connected. We recently made a third acquisition of StudioSuite in CA, which is also a product model for project management.
In the beginning, the company has expanded at a pretty fast rate, they don’t really have an internship program in place. It took some getting used to because I never worked remotely. I really had to learn how to organize my time. That is something that I am still working on and getting better every day. They were throwing work at me like it was nothing, and I kept on saying yes.
My plate got piled up and I talked to my boss. I started internal work, and just checking in with the other employees or contractors, and that was much more comfortable to work on because if you mess up it isn’t that big of a problem as if you are working with a client. That was a great experience for me, I had to learn how to not be afraid to ask questions. It was nice they had other junior developers so every week we would be on call and ask each other questions. The company I work for hires nice people. Everyone is super nice, kind, understanding and very forgiving. It is a very pleasant work environment.
Did you receive a job offer at the end of your internship? If so, did you accept?
Yes, I got a job offer and I did accept. It always felt more like a job than an internship. They did suggest if I wanted to, I could move out to headquarters in Ohio. I gave it serious consideration but I decided to stay here and work remotely.
What have you been doing since you completed your Filemaker internship?
I am constantly learning, they have quarterly skills reviews which are 2 hours long. They invite a few developers to explain certain skills they acquired that maybe people don’t have. They had me talk during one of the segments about 42 to teach other developers about how the school works.
What advice do you have for the new batch of Filemaker interns?
Pay as close attention to the Filemaker mentor as you can. Developers all have a different way of working. Don’t take one thing as truth, best practices change from person to person. Things are going to get messy, so don’t freak out.