- What were you doing before joining Makers Academy?
I was working as a contract flooring director
- How did you come across Makers Academy and what made you decide to apply?
I came across Makers in early January 2016. At my age and life situation (married, year old twins and a mortgage) I knew I needed an intensive learning plan and that a full university course was not an option. I knew I was due to move to the North East in May/June so joining an onsite cohort was not possible, however Makers kept popping up everywhere I looked on the internet and I just knew that it was the best option for me and my career change. I eventually saw the advert for Remote and knew that was the obvious path I had to take.
- What did you find learning remotley?
I hadn't even conducted a Skype call (prior to the Makers interview) let alone code remotely. I found the whole experience regarding remote learning surprisingly easy and seamless. I was originally apprehensive about spending all day with a stranger via a computer but it's complete second nature now. I spent most days learning, laughing and driving a few people mad (Jess and Oggie) and gained a lot of friends from the experience too.
- What was your end of cohort project?
Our final project was called 'CockTales.' The idea behind this browser based app was to create and search for cocktails as well as sharing the experiences via uploading photographs i.e. the Tales. We created this app using Ruby on Rails as well as incorporating all of the techniques and skills gained from the previous weeks. We hit some stumbling blocks but as a team worked through them. It was a highly enjoyable (although sometimes stressful) experience.
- Where are you now working?
I am due to start in my first developer role next week at a company called Opia based in Gateshead. They are a risk managed sales promotion company and I will be working alongside their lead developer predominantly on their back end software.
- How has your life changed since learning to code?
My life has changed dramatically, I have knowledge and skills that I didn't even know existed this time last year. I was in a job that I didn't particularly enjoy but now I feel like I have so many opportunities ahead of me. There are so many different languages and frameworks that are ever evolving I personally feel that we as developers have an opportunity to work hard, constantly improve our skill sets and make something of ourselves in the tech industry.
- What advice would you give to people thinking of changing career?
Read the course feedback from people like me and other grads, we are not lying we are real life proof you can change your life and really do something you want to do. November last year I hacked together a bit of HTML and CSS, November this year I've been hired as a PHP developer all on the back of attending Makers.
- What do you say to people who say £4000 is expensive for an online course?
£4000 is a lot of money to me but I looked at the bigger picture. For me I could have saved that money and spent everyday plodding through the day and praying for the weekend but I don't do that anymore. Coding is exciting and rewarding and I love getting up everyday now. I feel like I have spent this money to now be in control of my own career and to me that's priceless.
- What was your biggest worry before joining Makers Academy and how do you feel about it now?
My biggest fear is that I was not going to be as good as everyone else. I had a fair amount of bravado that I displayed throughout the course to hide my worries and concerns but each day as my knowledge increased my worries drifted away. Don't get me wrong I spent everyday feeling out of my depth and I had to work really hard to make sure I took in all of the course content.
- Sum up your Makers Academy experience
Treading water everyday!! I personally feel I was nowhere near one of the stronger members coding-wise in my cohort so I spent everyday battling to keep up and understand. I persevered and with the help of my cohort I'm proud now to call myself a Junior Developer. Makers is the best decision I have ever made, as I stated before everyday was filled with learning and laughter, July 2016 Remote Cohort were a right old bunch but what a team to be part of!!