Dominique Riley: From Chemistry to Computing

Wogrammer—a platform that highlights the accomplishments and stories of women in engineering—recently featured Dominique Riley, a participant of Workforce Opportunity Services' and General Electric's Software Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SWEAP). The story details how WOS helped Riley prepare for a fruitful career in the programming industry. Check out an excerpt below:

Dominique may have known that engineering was her true calling, but her path to getting there began with a curiosity for chemistry. “As a child, I would write down the ingredients of different products around the house, like soap and detergent, and go to the library during lunch and look up and research the ingredients.”

That curiosity guided her to pursue a BS in Chemistry from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was considering a graduate degree in Computational Chemistry when she discovered her passion for programming. “When I first started programming, I didn’t even have my own laptop.” But after a generous gift from her boss — her very first Macbook — Dominique was well on her way. “I took a local Ruby programming course after work and aggressively started pursuing my career in tech.”

In 2017, her programming skills combined with the support of WOS (Workforce Opportunity Services) secured her a spot in the GE Software Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SWEAP). “WOS provides programmers from nontraditional backgrounds, like me, with the information and opportunity to get a job in the tech industry.” That support came at a critical time in her career.

Read Riley's full story here.