- What were you doing before joining Makers Academy?
I worked as a Website Manager - writing and editing some blogs and doing bits of SEO and making sure the site gained traffic.
- What made you want to start learning to code in the first place?
I fell into my past career because I sort of liked writing and I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. But for the past few years I'd been finding it unfulfilling, uninspiring and couldn't see a future in it. I'd worked for tech companies and I felt that if I could start a career as a Developer, I'd have a lot more opportunities open to me, including travel and freelance working.
- How did you come across Makers Academy and what made you decide to apply to the programming course?
I started to teach myself how to code, but it was much harder than I thought it would be. A lot of online tutorials either assume too much prior knowledge or just don't apply to real-world situations. I've always thrived in a classroom environment so I decided to search online for face-to-face coding courses and came across Makers Academy. Makers offered a safe environment to learn how to code and could give me the tools I needed to become a Junior Developer.
- What did you find difficult during the course?
The pace was furious! The course covers a great deal of material and, frankly, 12 weeks is not that long! Also, my old job was not very labour intensive so the transition to Makers - working Monday to Friday from 9am till late, and weekends too, was very hard.
- What happened during/after graduation and where are you job-wise?
After graduation I had to go back to my old job as they'd very kindly given me unpaid leave to do the course. However, one day back into the old job reminded me why I hated it so much! I decided to hand in my notice more or less straight away so that I could concentrate on finding a job as a developer. I finished work at the end of December and in mid-January secured an interview with Deloitte Digital through Makers. Two interviews and two hours later I was tentatively offered a job! I started working at Deloitte in February and I am very happy there.
- How has your life changed since graduation?
I actually look forward to going to work! I feel proud of all the hard work I've put in to become a Junior Developer and very positive about my future career.
- What advice would you give to people thinking of changing career?
Do it. It's a scary and tough decision, but if you're unhappy in your current position, if you're feeling trapped, frustrated and you're wasting your life then you should absolutely change your career if you have the means to.
- What would you say to people who say £8,000 is very expensive?
I would say you're right, it's a lot of money, but I think the expense made me really value the course. It made me work really hard, and I'm glad I did because it has totally paid off. I'm now working for a brilliant digital company, earning more than I was before - it won't take long to earn the course fee back.
- What was your biggest worry before joining Makers Academy and how do you feel about it now?
I was worried that I would struggle and that I'd find the course too difficult. And it was difficult and I did struggle but I had a great deal of support from the coaches and the staff so that the workload never became too much to handle. Another great source of help and support throughout the course were the members of my cohort. Makers created a real camaraderie, we all bonded over the experience and learned from each other, and we're still good friends now.
- Sum up your Makers Academy experience
It was the hardest thing I've ever done and the best thing I've ever done.
- What advice would you give to people interviewing for developer roles?
Be enthusiastic and show your passion for coding. Most hirers aren't expecting top-grade developers after 12 weeks of learning to code, but they will want to see that you've learned a lot, you're willing to learn more and you'll be a great addition to their team. Although, having attended Makers, you will already be all of those things!