Graduate Stories

From Support and Training Team Manager to Graduate Software Engineer

GeorgePreview: George

How did you find your time on the bootcamp?

Northcoders was great! Going into the course was a bit like a first day at school, as I was nervous about meeting the tutors and the other members of my cohort. But everyone was really nice and I settled in quickly. The learning throughout the various modules went very quickly, but I kept up and learnt an incredible amount in just 14 weeks. As well as honing my technical skills, it was great to spend so much time pair programming, as this gave a real insight into the day-to-day life of a software developer. And at the end of the course I came out feeling ready to apply for jobs with a portfolio of projects under my belt. So overall it did everything I wanted it to, and I met some great people along the way!

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

My background is actually in the arts sector. I studied Music for my undergraduate, and afterwards worked in several administrative roles at performing arts organisations, whilst completing an MA in Arts Management. I ended up at Spektrix, a software company that services the arts sector, and it was on the their Support team that I started learning some code. Quickly realising that I enjoyed the technical aspects of this job, I started teaching myself JavaScript in my spare time. After hitting a bit of a ceiling with where I could get to teaching myself, I decided to take the plunge and sign up to Northcoders in order to switch to a career in software development!

What was the support like on the course?

The tutors on the course were friendly, knowledgeable and approachable throughout. Whether I was asking a question in a lecture, a 1:1, or in a pair programming session, they were always ready to help with a smile on their face. They made an effort to make sure every student got as much as possible out of the course, and were never far away when support was needed. I feel I have made lasting friendships with several of them through our extra-curricular evening video game sessions!

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

The Careers team at Northcoders were a hugely valuable resource throughout the course. I always felt I had someone to turn to if I had a CV or cover letter query, or a question about an interview process. The regularly-updated jobs board always had a wide selection of interesting opportunities to apply to, which meant that I always had something to work towards. And the mid-course Careers Week, with engaging talks on the industry and types of roles out there, meant that I was fully prepared to apply for jobs as soon as I finished the bootcamp.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about applying?

JavaScript is a great place to start, because every PC already has the capability to run JavaScript in a browser. Start there and see how you get on with it - there's so many free resources out there that you can get pretty far just by yourself! Also, don't be afraid of reaching out to communities early on in your journey - coding groups, online events and hackathons often welcome people of all experience levels. And speak to people informally, too. I chatted with software developer friends to get their advice on getting started, and I also received some great advice just from connecting with people on LinkedIn.