Graduate Stories

Voluntary Community Worker to Testing Associate

Laura ThomasonPreview: Laura Thomason

How did you find your time on the bootcamp?

The Northcoders course was a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and start a new career. There were some big challenges and the pace was fast but the tutors were incredibly supportive and encouraging. It was a hugely enjoyable and inspiring experience.

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

I was juggling a part-time role with voluntary community work when the pandemic disrupted everything and encouraged me to reconsider my options. Northcoders provided the perfect opportunity to take on new challenges and start a new career.

What was the support like on the course?

We had regular meetings with our own mentors and could also ask tutors for help when we needed to. All the tutors and mentors were amazing. Some of the content was difficult and there were times when it would have been easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. The tutors aren't just there to help with the coding - their encouragement, understanding and empathy meant so much.

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

Towards the end of the course, we had a series of scheduled sessions with the careers team covering a range of subjects (eg CV writing and interview preparation). Members of the careers team also directly supported every one of us, offering advice on CVs and cover letters, as well as providing insight into the jobs advertised on the Northcoders jobs board, which we were able to access at the end of the course. The support continued after graduation right up until accepting an offer.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about applying?

It isn't for everyone but there are a lot of free online resources you can use to try it out and see if it's for you. When you apply to Northcoders, they recommend some great content which you can use to prepare for their Entry Challenge.

Anything else you would like to add?

Northcoders offers a great opportunity for people from a wide range of backgrounds to make a fresh start and start something new.