- What were you doing before joining Makers Academy?
I was working as a Senior Project Manager for a telephone betting company I help found 10 years previously.
- What made you want to start learning to code in the first place?
As an active problem solver I wanted to expand my knowledge of tools to solve problems and provide useful solutions. I was also was looking for a change of career direction.
- How did you come across Makers Academy and what made you decide to apply to the programming course?
I found out about Makers Academy on Google. I attended a graduation and spoke to students and staff at the event and made the decision that the value added by being in the Makers environment would be greater than that which I could achieve on my own.
- What did you find difficult during the course?
I got a bit of a mental block during Battleships week and couldn't work out how objects could talk to each other but I quickly got past that. Finding enough time to do all the projects/ideas I want to - this is the curse of a developer though, I fear.
- What happened during/after graduation and where are you job-wise?
I worked as an Alumni Helper for 6 weeks. This really helped me solidify everything I had learnt on the course. Helping the following cohorts really helped with my learning and knowledge. I applied for several jobs through Makers along with a couple through Silicon Milk Roundabout and then got a job at Alliants.
- How has your life changed since graduation?
I am moving forward with my career, learning more and more each day and have the tools and confidence to progress myself and the people that I work with. It also helps that I have found a great company to work for.
- What advice would you give to people thinking of changing career?
If you are not happy and are considering changing career - do it now. Better to say 'well, that didn't work' and try something new than wonder 'what if?'
- What would you say to people who say £8,000 is very expensive?
A university degree costs £27,000 + 3 years living expenses. Makers costs £8,000 and 6 months living expenses. To learn the same at home on your own would take probably a year and that would also leave you worse off financially and career wise. After a year from starting at Makers Academy you are likely to have 6 months worth of salary and work experience and also the ongoing support of Makers staff and Alumni - this is where the real extra value is added.
- What was your biggest worry before joining Makers Academy and how do you feel about it now?
That I would not be good enough and be behind the rest of my cohort and struggle to pick things up and understand. I would say, it does not matter where you are compared to your cohort, it's your journey and everyone learns at different speeds. Any lack of understanding, just ask and keep asking questions. Also, have more confidence in what you are doing, this is a major thing in holding people back - you have more ability than you realise.
- Sum up your Makers Academy experience
It was an awesome time. The 3 months went so quickly. Best decision I could have made. Just wish I was living in London at the time so that I could have been a little more social in the evenings with the rest of my cohort.
- What advice would you give to people interviewing for developer roles?
Attempt as many technical tests as you can. They will help improve any gaps in your learning. Make sure to keep moving forward and try to overcome learning blocks. Learn new languages/frameworks/approaches. Do not worry about interviews as there are plenty of jobs out there and use all interviews to help improve for the next. If not successful, ask for feedback. Attend anything Will and Sanjay organize. Talk to other job-hunters in your cohort or previous cohorts. Attend meetups and start engaging with the community - you will learn about available jobs and learn about interesting tech that you can then talk about in interviews. Stay positive. Believe in yourself - you are better than you think!