How did you find your time on the bootcamp?
Northcoders is one of the few offers I’ve accepted that turned out to be genuine. Training there was fun every day, and I got exactly the job I was expecting at the end of it all. I even used to come in early to make sure I had time for morning katas! It’s hard to say more without repeating everything that’s already on the website, so I’m going with “I have no regrets at all, they sorted my career plans right out, and if you’re thinking about signing up I can recommend Northcoders Manchester as strongly as I’ve ever recommended anything in my life.”
What were you doing before the bootcamp and what made you apply?
I graduated with a good degree in Civil/Structural Engineering from Manchester, but by that point I already knew I couldn’t keep doing that for the rest of my life. I spent time caring for elderly family members and drifted into unsatisfying and poorly paid self employment. I’d always enjoyed programming and working with tech when I’d done it in the past, even writing simple text adventures on my graphical calculator instead of paying attention in class. So when my brother suggested it wasn’t too late to learn to code, I looked into it and found Northcoders. Switching careers is easily the best decision I’ve made in well over a decade.
What was the support like on the course?
The teaching team were always approachable and always happy to help, no matter how many times I struggled with a concept or task. They never made me feel dumb or like I wasn’t cut out for coding. The most frustrating thing they did was to answer questions by asking questions, but that’s the best way of teaching there is - to show you that you can find the answers you need for yourself, and build your confidence that you’ll be ok when you cant call the helpdesk any more.
How much support did you receive from Northcoders with your job search after the course?
I wanted a fintech job and have a…varied…work history, so I was always likely to take some extra time to find the role that was right for me. The Northcoders team checked up on me constantly and managed to find me several opportunities, leading to my successful application at ThinkMoney in the exact role I wanted. There aren’t always as many jobs open on the board as graduates hope, but I had a lot of interest from recruiters and offers I found myself while I was waiting for my interviews with Northcoders Hiring Partners. In the end, it was Northcoders who found me my perfect role.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about applying?
Get stuck in. You can never know too much, and you can absolutely learn in your own time if that’s best for you. Sites like codewars, freecodecamp and codecademy are free and a great place to start, so you can give it a shot without any risk at all. For me, the scale of the tech industry was overwhelming. If I had tried to learn on my own I’d have given up, and even if I hadn’t I’d not have had as much fun or made as many friends as I did by taking the guided route. Northcoders is a great benefit to a cv, too - I’m not sure I’d have been successful as quickly without that boost. That said, there are a great many self-taught coders - but whatever you do, make sure it’s the right path for how you prefer to learn, and for you to make a success of.
Anything else you would like to add?
I’d like to add an absolutely enormous thank you to everyone on the team.