Graduate Stories

Teaching Assistant to Software Developer

Sarah software developer coursePreview: Sarah software developer course

How did you find your time on the bootcamp?

The course was initially very challenging for me and a huge learning curve, as I didn’t know how to break down and solve complex logical problems, as I’d never had the experience of doing that before, but the staff and other students were very supportive, and helped me to learn and practice problem solving, and to understand the different coding concepts involved. The best part about Northcoders was most definitely the friends that you make along the way and having the opportunity to create a project and work with other people during the project phase, which teaches you the skills needed to be able to do the same thing on your own and be job ready.

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

Before Northcoders I worked as a Teaching Assistant of special needs children at a local primary school. Although I loved my job it didn’t offer me the long term financial stability that a full time permanent position would, so I took a leap of faith and enrolled on the course after attending some coding workshops and trying the taster course.

What was the support like on the course?

The teaching team were very patient and supportive, and happy to go over different concepts with me when I needed to.

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

Before finishing the course the Careers Team were very helpful in providing feedback about CVs and covering letters for jobs, they also provided us with a workshop to explain about different types of companies and what we could expect from different job roles. They also sent us a pack of tech tests for us to practice coding, so that we could see different examples of what we might be asked to do in preparation for a interview. After leaving the course, they kept in regular contact and helped to secure a few interviews even during lockdown, which although they initially didn’t result in a job at the time, provided me with great interview experience.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about applying?

I'd say go for it! Complete the free courses on Codecademy, Free-code-camp and any other suggested sites ( a Google search will bring up an extensive list of coding sites that you can learn for free on) and try your hand at solving some of the simple coding challenges on Codewars and etc. Since leaving the course I've discovered that Youtube is an invaluable resource for learning to code and understand concepts, as there are some brilliant developers and teachers out there who put their content on there for free. I'd definitely recommend following Academind's channel, his explanations are second to none and he does breakdown videos of many of the languages, concepts and software covered on the course. There are also project videos on there that teach you how to make games and other things step by step, which you can code along to and then add you own extra features at the end. These are brilliant for building up your coding portfolio to show to employers.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The building is fully wheelchair accessible and the staff are very accommodating if you have additional needs of any kind. They take care of everything, (physical assistance adjusting monitors etc if you need any help), fire evacuation plans, you even get your very own fire warden/escort!