It took less than three months for an online coding game to transform James Johnston’s life.
Johnston, 31, was designing software for orthodontists and living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he landed a better-paid software engineering job in Silicon Valley at a major tech startup.
The key to this career upgrade and cross-country move?
CodeFights, an online game that offers programmers the chance to improve their skills and get noticed by Silicon Valley titans like Uber and Dropbox.
Johnston told CNNMoney he discovered the game through a Facebook ad in June.
“I was kind of intrigued and thought it was a fun little activity,” he said.
After two nights of playing coding challenges, Johnston got a pop-up message on his screen asking if he was interested in new job opportunities. This was followed by a call with CodeFights founder and CEO, Tigran Sloyan, to discuss potential jobs.
A flurry of interviews with about half a dozen companies followed, leading him to a new role at a firm called Thumbtack, a startup that’s valued at more than $1 billion. He started in September, and got a stake in the business too.
Read more on CNN Technology