- What were you doing before joining Makers Academy?
I was a cancer biologist - doing research for Cancer Research UK
- What made you want to start learning to code in the first place?
I've always been interested in computers. In biology, the outcomes are always so vague and open to different interpretation. I was yearning for a craft that was clear cut, and a career allowed me to be creative. In software, the code either works or it doesn't - that sort of certainty, the immediacy of running code - that was a big pull for me.
- How did you come across Makers Academy and what made you decide to apply?
I was researching coding bootcamps in London, and aside from being situated right in the heart of Tech City, I was really attracted by the long list of hiring partners that Makers Academy have built. After reading a bunch of student blogs, being inspired by all the awesome careers their grads were starting, I decided - if they could do it, why shouldn't I?
- What did you find difficult during the course?
The hardest parts of my Makers Academy experience came in the group work - you're thrown into a class with so many different people, getting to work with a wide variety of personalities, with different rhythms, working styles, learning speeds… My challenge was maintaining harmony with those I didn't immediately vibe with - which is no small feat when you're pairing 24/7!
- What happened during/after graduation and where are you job-wise?
I applied for 2 companies that pitched at the careers fair, and I independently to a few companies too. Both hiring partners from the careers fair made me an offer a few weeks after graduation, but so too did my first choice, who I obviously accepted! It was about 6 weeks from graduation to signing my contract :)
- How has your life changed since graduation?
In general, I'm really excited by what life has in store for me. I've got my dream job now, which I start on Monday, and I can't wait! I've got a job at the company I always wanted to work for, I'm excited about the future of technology, and I'm especially excited that I get to be part of creating that future. Life's never been so exciting.
- What advice would you give to people thinking of changing career?
Just do it!
- What do you say to people who say £8000 is expensive?
Well, the salary you can get after graduation makes it totally worthwhile. It pays for itself in a year or two, so if you're serious about changing your career, the investment is worth every penny.
- What was your biggest worry before joining Makers Academy and how do you feel about it now?
Before I started, my biggest fear was the idea of pairing 24/7. The thoughts of having to spend all day every day talking to people was intimidating. I quickly realised that, in fact, pairing is just 2 people working together with the same aims - to make the code work and learn as much as possible. It forced me out of my comfort zone, and noticeably improved my communication. In the end it, it turned out to be one of the best parts of my experience.
- Sum up your Makers Academy experience
The best thing I've ever done. Best decision I ever made! I made friends in my cohort that will be friends for life.