I was extremely happy with the education and support I got from the staff at Northcoders. The level of education was very high whilst the support given after graduating has been fantastic, too!
Women returners often find it difficult to return to full time work after a prolonged break of several years. The main barrier is confidence – can I still hold my own in the workplace? Do I have the right skills? Is my knowledge up to date?
These were my feelings last October before I started my Northcoders adventure. I knew I wanted to go back to a role in the tech industry, now that my kids are older and more independent, but I didn’t quite have the self-belief to be bold and make that move. Northcoders changed all that and I am delighted to say that I have just been offered a Software Engineer role with a technology company specialising in defence, security, intelligence and cyber.
The three-month course was a massive challenge – not just on the brain but also logistically. The long hours and additional ‘homework’ were really demanding, especially with two kids, a dog and a husband working overseas. One of the tutors, Chris, was massively supportive and helped me work out a few tweaks to the daily routine to help fit it in with running a home – I used to do my daily kata at home at 6.30am, after walking the dog but before the kids got up. This gave me precious room to manoeuvre for the school run and still get to The Sharp Project on time. Non-critical activities - seeing friends, gym classes, etc. were put on hold six days a week but I was loving the course so much that it did not matter. It has been worth every sacrifice – and full-time work should be a doddle in comparison!
In just 3 months, I’ve learnt more than in a whole year on my own. I’m one of those people who always thought I was not smart enough to code, I imagined I need to be a super genius to make things happen using the magic code, but Northcoders changed that.
From week 1 we started with the fundamentals of software engineering, learned how to think as an engineer and solve complex problems. We then moved to front end and back end development, learning to work with the latest technologies and programming methodologies. I’ve enjoyed every single lecture but the core of the course is the hands-on approach. Most of the time, we were building applications and solving problems with guidance from the tutors and teachers and I think this is the most important part. By the end of the course I have gained more than just knowledge, but also a lot of practical coding experience by building exciting projects, pair-programming and working in a team.
All of that combined with a lot of guidance and support after finishing the course like help tailoring a good CV and advice on job applications, fun socials and just good atmosphere makes my time with Northcoders one of the most valuable life experiences I’ve had so far.
I joined Northcoders contemplating whether i should go to University instead or not. After a chat with Chris and James I was convinced that joining Northcoders was best for my career. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
In just 3 months I learned more programming skills than the average university graduate would in 3 years. During the course we worked with the latest in demand frameworks and technologies. Not only did I gain programming skills but I also gained experience working on live projects. Although the course was quite intense Chris and James worked overtime to make sure we understood it.
The atmosphere at Northcoders was really friendly everyone really helped each other out, we would play ping pong or pool during breaks we even had our own pool league. After graduating I received a lot of help with interview preparation, building my CV and Portfolio from Louise. The guys at Northcoders are really dedicated to the cause and if you put in the effort you'll succeed.
After months of really hard work and a lot of fun, I’ve landed a job as Junior Developer for a financial tech company!
Northcoders has quite literally changed my life. I was one of the lucky people to get a scholarship for the first cohort. Before the course I worked in a supermarket and now, after months of really hard work and a lot of fun, I’ve landed a job as Junior Developer for a financial tech company! The instructors are very passionate about what they teach and they inspire the students to exceed their own expectations of what they can do. It’s the most fun, intense, rapid learning experience.
At Northcoders you are thrown right in at the deep end, solving complex problems and building things from the start, with the tools and frameworks used in the industry. The facilities are great too. There is lots of desk space, big monitors, comfortable chairs and bean bags, and a projector for lectures. There are always hot and colds drinks, fruit and snacks. During breaks we would play pool and table tennis in the Sharp Project.
My cohort and tutors became part of my family. Whenever I felt like it was too much for me, they were there to bring me right back up.
I started out with very little knowledge of programming but a passion to learn after years of being stuck in a dead-end retail job. Northcoders took that passion and nurtured it with a great atmosphere, provided by patient tutors who want nothing more than to see you succeed. My cohort and tutors became part of my family. Whenever I felt like it was too much for me, they were there to bring me right back up. The workload is tough at times and they will push you to the edge of your comfort zone constantly, but that's right where the magic happens.
Every week that passed left me looking back at the previous week's work and wondering how I could've ever found it so difficult! But that sense of progress is what drives you to bigger and better things, it should be a constant source of inspiration. In three months, this course took me from knowing nothing to landing a junior developer role in an up-and-coming tech business in the heart of Manchester's city centre. I wanted with all my heart and determination to fly, and Northcoders gave me the wings to do so.
Additionally the support I received post graduation was invaluable, especially from the brilliant Lou in terms of interview preparation.
I'm extremely happy with the quality of teaching and support I received at Northcoders - you get out what you put in, and Chris and James were happy to spend time with me in the evenings going over key concepts to ensure I understood them. They were clear, concise and eternally patient in their teaching. Chris and James are people deeply invested in their vision of the North as a hub of technical innovation, and in the potential of all their students.
The support I received post graduation was invaluable, especially from the brilliant Lou in terms of interview preparation and CV assistance (extremely helpful if you're a school/apprenticeship leaver like me or just haven't been interviewed in a long time). Overall I definitely wouldn't be where I am now, in such a short space of time, if it weren't for Northcoders.
Northcoders was a life changing experience and not in the gimmicky marketing way; but what they did for me is hard to put down in words.
I was made redundant in January working as an Apprentice Software Developer. There were other jobs I could jump into, but they didn’t appeal to me for what I wanted, I wanted to learn and adapt to the job opportunities out there that I didn’t have access to. I came across this new startup company who were looking for people to come and do their course, to be the first cohort and see what it is to be a Northcoder. I just did it, didn’t think twice and signed up straight away.
The course wasn’t easy and it required a lot of attention to detail and working out of the 9-5 hours; what you get out of the course is what you put in. All the nights of late coding, learning and designing, all stuff that would feel a lot harder to do if it weren’t for the people on the course and the people running it. James and Chris (the 2 trainers and owners) were there for us all day and night to help see us through the course and with being the first cohort it was hard to keep on track with what we had to, we all had to prove what we were worth. And we did!
I learned so much in 3 months, probably more than I did in 3 years of uni, and I loved every minute of it.
I joined Northcoders on their first cohort in April 2016. I was working in libraries and had been coding a bit as a hobby for a while and looking for a career change. I learned so much in 3 months, probably more than I did in 3 years of uni, and I loved every minute of it. It was a big decision to leave a career I was making headway in but essentially unhappy in but it was totally worth it. After graduating I was ready to get a job in the industry but decided to take an internal position with Northcoders, which is great because I never wanted the experience to end.. and now it kind of doesn’t have to!!
As for the course itself, it was challenging, exciting and intensive, as advertised, and it was great to be surrounded by smart, interesting and enthusiastic people every day. It was so unlike any other educational experience I have had - it’s so hands-on and practical, and so immersive that you live, breathe and dream code for 13 weeks.
Northcoders gave me the challenge and the skills I needed to become an employable software developer.
As an engineer looking for a career change, Northcoders gave me the challenge and the skills I needed to become an employable software developer. I'm not gonna lie to you, the course is intense. It requires your undivided attention for 13+ weeks and hours upon hours of hard work. But with expert and attentive tutoring and a great atmosphere for learning, the course was the most fun and at the same time challenging experience of my life.
I now not only have the skills to thrive in the software development industry, I also made a handful of really good friends and I was lucky enough to be offered a position at Northcoders to help mentor the future cohorts. Worth every penny.