Get to Know Academy Pittsburgh Session 3

Academy Pittsburgh Session 3 (#AcademyPGH3) is in full gear and we want to take a moment to introduce the remaining participants in this blog. Each participant was asked to share a little bit about who they are, what they hope to learn in Academy and what their goals are for after they complete Academy.


Heather Mallak

Heather first heard of Academy PGH through a Facebook ad. She went to school for visual communications and then back again for interactive media where she found an interest in applied technologies found in the educational space. Heather is interested in learning about coding in a general sense so she can find her main interests. She also likes all of the resources and interesting people that she meets through Academy PGH. Heather previously managed large digital projects and plans to tackle big-scale projects with her newfound talent (and the help of others) after Academy PGH.


Zach Gall

Zach comes with a background of business development and has worked for Central Blood Bank and a custom web app company prior to Academy PGH. He used to do freelance web development work back in college, but had to switch to searching for a full-time gig after college when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Zach hopes to learn how to build something from start to finish and have a general understanding of coding after Academy PGH so he can take on advanced projects and solve more difficult business problems. After Academy PGH, Zach hopes to secure a developer consultant role where he acts as a liaison between developers and the customer to ensure that the technology made best suits the customer’s needs.


Rabia Makhoul

Rabia moved to the U.S. from Syria about 2 years ago. She hopes to learn everything that she can through Academy PGH so that she can teach herself how to study and stay on top of the ever-changing tech industry. Ideally, Rabia would hope to be a mobile app developer after Academy PGH.


Gabriella Wong

Gabriella moved to Pittsburgh from California when her partner secured a job in the city. She found out about Academy PGH when she was still in California and applied. She hopes to gain a better understanding of backend concerning how an app is built. After Academy PGH, she hopes to be able to write code to analyze data.


Jason Johnson

Jason spent the last year and a half as a stay-at-home dad. Before that he worked in financial aid. Jason is looking to learn an entire new skillset and hopes to land a position as a software developer in the tech industry after Academy PGH.


Jeremy Guttman

Jeremy has a background in health and tech. He used to work for Treatspace which is a Pittsburgh-based startup. He wants to learn more about programming so that he can work within the tech industry instead of doing research. After Academy PGH, Jeremy aspires to become a product manager at a startup.


Josh Joson

Josh has a background in exercise science and has done personal training and massage therapy. He started college with plans to get a degree in computer science, but switched to exercise science because it better suited his natural talent. With Academy PGH, he hopes to rekindle this old interest of his.After Academy PGH, Josh hopes to combine his interests of health and coding to find a job in the medical industry.


Ben DeHass

Ben has a background of working with international students from different English as a Second Language (ESL) schools. He hopes to learn a little bit of everything at Academy and is thankful for the networking opportunities that come with the program. Ben has met a lot of people through engaging his classmate’s, attending meetup groups, and getting to know guest presenters. After Academy PGH, Ben plans to combine his new skills in tech with his passion for helping international students excel academically.


Mary Coryea

Mary had an interest in programming when she was in college and revisited it when she first heard about Academy PGH. She hopes to learn a little bit of everything through Academy PGH. Afterwards, she plans to move forward with her plot for world domination, or backend development, whichever options works out really.


Not Pictured

Quinn Heffern

Quinn grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania where he worked for a web development company. He hopes to learn more about the Ruby on Rails framework and best practices for working in a tech-based group. His big goal after Academy PGH is to own his own development company.