Graduate Stories

Teacher and Project Manager to Junior Developer

JonPreview: Jon

How did you find your time on the bootcamp?

The programme was well organised and structured. It was intense and challenging but I found the pace was just about right. The tutors were great and were always on hand to lend support and advice whenever I needed it throughout the course. The combination of input via lectures followed by practical tasks and projects to be completed in pairs or independently helped me feel like I was making progress quickly. I was very happy with the support from the careers team before and after I graduated, too. Overall, Northcoders helped me gain the knowledge and skills I needed to achieve my goal of switching careers to the tech industry and land my first software development role. Thank you so much!

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

I was working in the education sector as a project manager and teacher. After lockdown I saw how important digital technology was becoming in education and in all aspects of our lives. I've always been interested in technology but only as a user of digital products. As I started to play around with online learning resources to teach myself some basic web development skills, I found I really enjoyed making things using software. From there, a seed was planted in my mind that perhaps I could actually be the one developing digital products instead of only using them. A passion developed and Northcoders beckoned.

What was the support like on the course?

We received support each day from tutors who would essentially be on call to help you whenever you had a question or got stuck on something. I always found the mentors to be patient, calm and great at slowly helping you to answer your own questions and solve whatever problems you were stuck on. During the later stages of the course, the mentors I had spent time going through the code I'd written on bigger projects and provided both written and face-to-face (or in this case, Zoom to Zoom) feedback, which was very helpful for me to pick out areas where I was doing well and others where I could focus more on.

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

The sessions about the current state of the industry, the the different kinds of roles available, the variety of organisations that you could work for and their expectations were all very useful and supportive. The sessions and input on writing CVs, cover letters and preparing for tech tests were great. The feedback on my CV and cover letter was insightful and helpful. I also liked the webinars with different companies that the team organised quite frequently. I learnt a lot about the industry and what they were looking for in prospective applicants. And generally the enthusiasm and encouragement from Steph and the others in the team was very motivating during the application process.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about applying?

There are loads of free resources online such as FreeCodeCamp, Codecademy, as well as tutorials on YouTube. If you do a few of those, find you enjoy it and think it could be something you want to want to do for a career - go for it!