Bootcamp Life

Advice from Northcoders Graduates: Navigating Your Coding Journey

Northcoders mentors at Manchester office Preview: Northcoders mentors at Manchester office

In the business of coding, the insights of those who have walked the path before you can be invaluable. At Northcoders, we hold our graduates' perspectives in high regard and regularly seek their feedback to enhance our bootcamps and the way we work. In a recent alumni survey, we uncovered some valuable nuggets of advice— gems of wisdom that go beyond the technical and delve into navigating the coding journey.

Here are the direct insights of Northcoders graduates, to offer guidance for those considering the exciting venture into coding and our community.

Use ALL the resources

There are lots of free resources to get you started with coding in addition to our expertly curated pre-bootcamp materials, from FreeCodeCamp which gives you a great selection of free coding lessons to Code First Girls which offers more in depth courses. Northcoders graduate Ash Ingham, now enjoying his career as a Junior Developer at WJP Software, highlights the route he took to get where he is today, “An excellent starting point is 'FreeCodeCamp.' If you find it enjoyable and wish to progress further, the logical next step is to enrol with Northcoders.”

Taking advantage of external resources doesn’t stop when you join the Northcoders bootcamp; it is absolutely worth continuing with free coding materials once you’ve graduated, keeping you up to date and on top of those skills you learnt on bootcamp. Daniel Gilbert, Full Stack Engineering Analyst at Accenture Next Gen, explains where you can access the good stuff: “There are tonnes of resources available online and through the Northcoders alumni.” Online resources can be found such as communities like Tech Nation and Women in Tech UK. Make sure to continue to use Slack once you graduate and keep in touch with the wider Northcodeers community so you don't miss out on anything. 

Embrace the Hard Work

Northcoders is a full-time 13-week bootcamp designed to cover as much of the world of Software, Cloud, or Data Engineering as possible to ensure you are prepared for and ready to secure a role after you graduate. It is important to remember that this experience is built to be a challenging learning experience so that you can get the most out of it. Anna Cotungo, Junior Java Developer at Delta Capita, says that “if you are determined, you will achieve what you want but you have to be prepared to work hard.” We couldn’t agree more, Anna. 

Take Part in Networking

We pride ourselves on supporting students with events to help them start building connections and networking with other like-minded people and businesses. We run events like Tech Careers Launchpad and Match Me If You Can, and our Community Lead regularly shares relevant events that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Once you graduate and find the role for you, Bavana Sachidanand, who now works as a Software Developer at Barclays Bank, explains that even once you’re in work, building connections remains important - “Build a community. People make all the difference in how you enjoy your job.”

Don’t Give Up

We understand that taking part in an intensive bootcamp is hard work; that’s why we support our students through our Wellbeing & Pastoral team. As Daniel Gilbert advises, “Pace yourself and understand what you are typing. Expect the highs and the lows and persevere because the next day, or week, it will all click. Above all, never give up.”

Johnny Hall explains that although the bootcamp is difficult, the benefits of finding your dream role in tech outweigh it: “If you are in a position to commit a few months to a career change and want to get into tech, then look no further than Northcoders! I am now hybrid-working for a local software house as part of an amazing team and getting stuck into interesting projects, with my commute just a quick blast up the road on a bike. It’s quite the change from being sat in gridlocked traffic all day - a change I owe all to Northcoders.”

We hope that the firsthand experience and guidance shared by our graduates helped you gain valuable insights into the coding journey that could be waiting for you.