The Resident program at The Alliance Labs was designed to create opportunities for Chicago’s dedicated and talented young adults who have overcome extraordinary adversity and aspire to greatness and leadership through careers in technology. These future leaders are given real-world, employable skills that are practiced, challenged and perfected through the work The Alliance Labs does for its valued clients. One of the program’s current residents is Iryna Korchynska.

Iryna moved to the United States from Ukraine where she secured a job as an office manager and customer service representative, which lead to the discovery of her passion for technology.

What led you to The Alliance Labs Resident program?

Before I heard about The Alliance Labs Resident program, I learned about i.c. stars from one of my best friends. After completing the program at i.c. stars, The Alliance Labs came to me with an opportunity to participate in something they called a “Zombie Chase,” a series of assignments that covered website development and coding pages. If you fail to complete any of the assignments before the deadline, you were caught by the zombie and did not move on to the next round of assignments. I passed all of the assignments, earned an interview and subsequently a spot as a Resident in The Alliance Labs program.

What have you been involved in so far?

I am currently involved in a lot, as there is so much to learn. I have a full-time job outside of The Alliance Labs in quality assurance. The developer creates the code to build an application, and then I write codes to test it to optimize the application. I enjoy this job because it is related to the back-end language of website code. I hope to combine my experience at this job with The Alliance Labs to one day be a full-stack developer. Within The Alliance Labs, the other residents and I are involved in regular Code Review classes, which meet every Thursday. Andrew Hicks will give us regular assignments about coding, quality assurance, WordPress and many other related topics. Every week we present our work to receive peer-to-peer and teacher reviews. Andrew also gives us the opportunity to do an extra assignment each week, which I always want to do so I can learn the most from every opportunity that I am given.

What are you hoping to learn from The Alliance Labs?

I am looking to receive any and all experience from The Alliance Labs. The projects that they assign to us are full of such valuable information and learning experiences. By showing up to every Code Review and doing extra assignments, I am hoping to learn as much as I can about front-end and back-end web development.

What Was Your Favorite Project?

Honestly, I can’t choose a single favorite project. I really like them all. You can always learn something new and each project is a reminder of that. All of the projects are challenging which is great for learning. While projects can be frustrating when you’re trying to figure out the solution, but it is unbelievably satisfying when you finally find the solution.

What are your plans after The Alliance Labs?

Hopefully in the near future I will be able to find a job as a full-stack web developer. I am trying to learn as much as possible from my QA job and my time at The Alliance Labs. Through combining my experience, I’d like to start my own business one day. I graduated from i.c. stars one year ago and had no idea about IT, and now I feel like I’m pretty knowledgeable on the subject. However, there is still so much for me to learn.

How has the Alliance Labs helped you build a career?

The Alliance Labs has been a huge resource for me. Everyone there is super friendly, upbeat and fun. Every time you come to class it’s always interesting and very informative. I can’t learn enough from these classes. They are always helpful and can answer all of my questions. It’s always a very welcoming and accepting environment where everyone wants to help each other.