Graduate Stories

Criminal Analyst to Software Engineer

Emily – coding bootcamp studentPreview: Emily – coding bootcamp student

How did you find your time on the bootcamp?

I really enjoyed my time in Northcoders! Before starting, I was undecided as to whether I should self-teach, because I already understood the basics of coding. Now I can say with certainty that Northcoders was the way to go. I never ran out of things to learn, and learning environment was super friendly and encouraging. One of the most valuable, underrated skills I took away was an ability to speak with confidence about tricky concepts. I use this all the time in my new career.

What were you doing before the bootcamp and what made you apply?

Before Northcoders I was working in data science, applying predictive models to crime data. This work required a lot of coding, and it was in this way that I came to realised how much I enjoyed programming.

I wanted to be able to make software, but before NC, the idea of doing that was incredibly daunting. Now, that is no longer the case.


What was the support like on the course?

I think the staff were very good at explaining complicated ideas in a clear way. They were also friendly and encouraging. No question felt too silly. I found it really helpful to be able to call over a tutor whenever I got stuck on a kata, so that I wasn't spending too much time on a problem. I think it really helped that the tutors had been NC students in the past - they were really able to understand the challenges I faced.

How much support did you receive from Northcoders with your job search after the course?

When interviewing for a job with a hiring partner I found it really helpful that I didn't have to wait long to find out how it went. I received a call about an hour after each interview, where Steph gave me feedback from the interviewer. This let me understand the impression I made, so that I could make improvements to my interview skills. With a few interviews lined up in close succession, being able to make these adjustments quickly really helped.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about applying?

I think there are crucial skills that I learned at NC that can't be picked up while self-learning. It is not always easy to work in a team as a coder, and I feel I got plenty of practice at this while at NC. I feel confident articulating ideas because I had to do this so much throughout the course. I learned how to spike new technologies. This is not a concept I'd even heard of before, when I was thinking of teaching myself. I also think that the support I received helped me to get past that painful part of learning where problems can take a long time to solve.