A 2018 graduate of the University of South Florida with a B.S. in Information Technology, Nikki has been interested in emerging technology throughout the course of her life. Now a CSA, Nikki is excited to continue her Pega journey with the goal of achieving CPBA and CSSA certifications in the future.
University of South Florida
To earn as many certifications as possible, but becoming a CSSA is really important to me so I can take the lead on more Pega projects
Let’s start off by learning a bit more about your life prior to Pega. Where are you from originally and what is your educational background?
Technology has always fascinated me. I have always found myself interested in smart devices for my home, my phones/watches, and also building a gaming PC as well as buying gaming consoles. I LOVE to play video games!
I’m the second grandchild on my mother's side of the family to have graduated college. Having a more traditional Filipino side, my grandparents (and parents) wanted a doctor (or a nurse). When I started at the University of South Florida, it was originally with the intent to become a Cardiologist. I discovered pretty quickly that the medical world just wasn't my passion.
After I signed up for a few programming and IT courses in college, I knew immediately that this was the career I wanted. I graduated from USF with a B.S. in Information Technology. That’s when I came across LEGERITY and learned about Pega for the first time.
Q: What motivated you to learn how to use Pega?
I had no idea what PEGA was before the opportunity to go through LEGERITY’s training program to become a Certified Systems Architect was presented to me. After that initial interview, I recognized that this would be a great opportunity to step out of college and start a "real" job in a field that I was very passionate about entering.
I really do enjoy working on Pega because I find the platform to be both fun and challenging. I’m always researching new features on the platform and I love asking questions to more experienced Pega developers. I feel like a sponge soaking in EVERYTHING about Pega and what it can do.
"The Pega platform ensures that we (the developers) are helping the end-users (nurses to doctors) provide their patients with the care that they need."
How has Pega shaped or impacted your career?
Up until this opportunity with LEGERITY, I was working part-time in retail/F&B after graduation. LEGERITY gave me a chance to learn PEGA and launch my career path by allowing me to gain experience in the IT field and use the Pega platform everyday at a client site to help develop, sustain, maintain, and improve their business applications.
My career ambition is to achieve as many Pega certifications as possible. I want to be that ace in the hole who can take the lead on projects, from architecture to robotics. More than anything, I want to serve as a mentor to people my age who are just starting on Pega. I want to support them on their journey the way I was supported in my own journey by LEGERITY.
How is Pega changing the organization where you work?
Right now I’m working at a healthcare company that focuses on providing care services sponsored by the government to families, children, seniors, and/or individuals through Medicare and Medicaid.
I am still fairly new here but I could see from the start that Pega improves the organization by allowing developers to work in a user-friendly environment with fast-processing pieces of code that help build the foundation for a great user experience. The Pega platform ensures that we (the developers) are helping the end-users (nurses to doctors) provide their patients with the care that they need.
What message or advice would you give to anyone who is considering a career as a Pega Developer?
Don’t ever hesitate to say yes to the opportunity to become a Pega developer, try it out and give it your all. Sacrifice your time to learn the platform because the payoff in your career will be enormous. I don’t regret it for a minute! Pega does a great job of making the platform straightforward for newcomers to learn it. I always tell my friends that if they want to do programming, they should learn Pega.
"My career ambition is to achieve as many Pega certifications as possible. I want to be that ace in the hole who can take the lead on projects, from architecture to robotics."