Playing a New Tune: How This Pro Guitarist Pivoted to a Career in Tech
Timothy Sepulvado had quite the career before he took the tech industry by storm. Originally from Northern California, Tim was a professional guitarist who toured with popular artists and singers on both national and international tours, including Warped Tour. After a long stint in Hollywood, he interned for (and then managed) a small public relations company where he worked with celebrities and Hollywood elites, eventually rebranding and becoming the CEO.
“Life was great at the time,” Tim said. Then, he was in a major motorcycle accident, and it took him nearly two years to learn how to walk again. While this experience felt like the end of the world at times, Tim knew he didn’t want to let his accident define him and hold him back from future endeavors.
He also knew he was ready to try something completely new. “I didn’t want to go back to Hollywood life,” Tim said. “And I had always been interested in coding. I love computers, so when I came across Berkeley Coding Boot Camp I thought, ‘Let’s just do it. Let’s jump in.’”
With that, Tim jumped into the boot camp, which enabled him to strengthen his coding skills, make meaningful connections and start his own business.
Finding his place in the virtual world
At first, Tim was hesitant about virtual learning. Before enrolling in the boot camp, a lot of Tim’s work experience had been on the road, touring with various music artists — so sitting in front of a computer screen was new for him. He had never been in a virtual classroom, and wasn’t sure how he would learn the course material or connect with instructors and classmates.
“It was hard, and I really didn’t think it would work out,” said Tim, “but virtual learning had its benefits, and I actually wound up really liking it.”
From the beginning, the boot camp’s curriculum made for a highly interactive and engaging experience. Tim was able to build relationships that extended far beyond the virtual classroom. In fact, he even managed to meet every single one of his classmates after the program ended — no matter where they lived.
While attending classes, Tim held two part-time jobs: he was a barista at a local coffee shop, while selling guitars, drum sets and other music equipment at a music shop. Aside from strengthening his technical skills, Tim was also able to brush up on his soft skills — from communicating over Slack, to simply working in a virtual environment.
“After my accident, and then joining the boot camp, it was weird communicating with people,” Tim said. “If I didn’t have their phone number, I really couldn’t talk to them outside of the classroom. The boot camp helped me learn how to work in this virtual world.”
If Tim had a question or got stuck with a difficult problem, his TA and instructor were always there to help. “They were amazing, and really wanted to see every student succeed,” he shared.
After completing the boot camp, Tim took another leap of faith by launching his own tech company.
“Many tech companies want experienced candidates, which can make it challenging for people to break into the industry,” he said. “I started my company to help candidates who may not have lots of experience on paper, but are so deserving of tech jobs.”
With help from his boot camp TA Donny Vallejo, who graduated from the Berkeley Coding Boot Camp in 2017, Tim launched a software development agency called Opstical. They provide web development, business development, SEO and analytics services for small businesses to streamline their technical processes. Tim and his team customize experiences for those they work with, mainly working with nonprofits and other microsocial platforms. “It’s a one-stop shop,” Tim explained.
Opstical started because Tim and Donny recognized that some people were having a hard time securing a job, despite their extensive skill sets. They wanted to change the conversation — so they did exactly that.
In less than six months, Tim was able to secure funding, hire a team of over 20 (and growing) employees and give his fellow boot camp classmates the opportunity to gain industry experience. Working with 2U, Opstical gives students who have gone through Trilogy Boot Camps the opportunity to continue working in their skills so they can become masters in the tech industry.
“A lot of our employees are learning new skills, even after the boot camp, that will help them grow in this industry and within their professional career,” Tim said. “At the end of the day, we’re creating experiences for them. Their passion for their work drives our company home at the end of the day.”
Tim hasn’t slowed down since launching Opstical. Passionate about shaping an excellent company culture, he has continued to grow relationships with employees and clients in the hopes of creating an environment where everyone can learn, develop skills and enjoy coming to work each day.
“It’s been so rewarding to see people work with us and gain the experience and knowledge needed to succeed in the tech industry,” Donny said. “Opstical is a funnel for people to get their lives started. And it’s been a lot of fun watching the team grow and get more products pumped out. It’s been wonderful.”
Looking back on his boot camp experience, Tim wouldn’t change a thing. “I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” he said. “But I do know that I’m incredibly blessed to be able to work with a great group of people — and at this point, they’re my family.”
Interested in exploring tech careers? Take a moment to visit Berkeley Boot Camps and make your tech dreams a reality!