Latest Bristol & SW tech news, updates and training dates for your diary.

We caught up with Oliver on our Summer 2019 cohort to find out more about his background, why he chose to enrol on our Bristol based Coding Bootcamp and how he’s been getting on learning to code so far.

What was your background/career before you joined the Coding Bootcamp?

Formerly I am an Automotive Electrical Technician and have worked a few years in that industry, but then I was lucky enough to spend 2 years in Japan, so I decided to live for my passion of traveling. And now I am here in Bristol doing a Coding Bootcamp.

Why are you attending the Coding Bootcamp?

To ensure I have the necessary skills to get straight into the industry.

What were your main questions/concerns before joining the Bootcamp?

As the course requires a huge commitment not just time-wise but money-wise; I was a bit worried about how fast I can find a suitable job for myself after graduation.

How does your experience on the Coding Bootcamp now answer those questions/concerns?

It is now more than halfway through the course and I feel much more confident and positive about finding a job with all the amazing support we have.

What was your coding experience before the Course?

Last year I enrolled on an online course at Codecademy and I’ve made a few websites for friends with HTML, CSS and some really basic Javascript.

How have you found the Bootcamp so far?

Absolutely brilliant, sometimes really challenging but definitely enjoyed every moment of it so far.

What have you enjoyed most?

Javascript and PHP. Especially PHP as I found great interest in some of the potential security threats and their possible fixes.

What have you found the most challenging?

I think the fact that we have to move on to a completely new topic every other week.

How would you describe the support on the Bootcamp?

All the instructors and assistants are very knowledgeable and supportive therefore, I am extremely happy to be part of this community.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of attending our Coding Bootcamp in Bristol?

Try out an online course and see for yourself if you are into coding, and if so I would definitely recommend joining one of the future coding bootcamp cohorts.

What role are you looking for after the Bootcamp? Where do you see yourself in the future?

An entry-level job in a company involved in cyber-security.  This means I would have the chance to improve my skills not just in back-end development but in data and privacy protection.

We have been running Bristol Coding Bootcamps for 4 years! We welcome anyone with a learning attitude. Find out more about our Bootcamp here and get in touch with any queries!

Opportunity Fund

Three places on our Front End Web Development Course are being offered at a subsidised rate of £1,000, down from the usual £1,500, thanks to our hiring partners Swoop Patagonia and Goram and Vincent. After hiring some graduates from our flagship Coding Bootcamp both companies made contributions to our Opportunity Fund. This fund facilitates scholarship places on our part-time courses geared around increasing diversity in the tech industry.

Our first lucky recipient of a £500 scholarship is Hannah – a return to work mum. We had a chat to her about her career and what enrolling on the course means to her.

Student Profile – Hannah

What did you do before taking time out with the family?

I worked in TV for a few years but could barely pay the rent so got a job in a bank.

How has having a family changed your career outlook?

When I was young I used to think it would be fun to travel with work. Now my goal is to have a good job, but still be able to pick the kids up from school.

How long have you been considering learning to code?

Since I had my first son in December 2016 I’ve been trying to work out what I’ll do when I go back to work. I only started considering coding about six months ago but it made sense straight away.

What made you enrol on the Front End Web Development course with Develop Me?

I went along to the taster session and left feeling pretty chuffed that I’d found something I wanted to do that I reckon I can be pretty good at (obviously with a lot of hard work).

What difference has a scholarship place made to you?

I wasn’t exactly sure how I would pay for the course without it. It’s been two and a half years since I had an income so that bit of help made a massive difference.

What do you hope to do once you have finished the course?

Keep learning. My youngest is three in the summer of 2021 and that’s my goal to be back in full time work. I’ve got two years to go from beginner to pro.

How did you discover Develop Me?

A bit of googling. I found the three month bootcamp first and was trying to imagine how I could do that. But without my husband taking a three month sabbatical that would never happen. So I was thrilled when I found the evening course.

We have two more scholarships remaining on this course that are subsidised the course fees by £500. These scholarship places are made possible by our Opportunity Fund. Get in touch to apply

The evolution and demand for UX Designers.

With the rapid advancement of digital technologies and the subsequent impact on how businesses ‘interface’ with customers; the understanding, evolution and application of User Experience Design (UXD) within organisations now truly informs their future success.

We have seen the rapid rise of successful companies that are design-led.  Good design processes now form a fundamental part of business strategy and decision making – placing human interaction at the heart of their business model.

Every touchpoint of a brand and connected customer experience is now designed as part of a holistic strategy.


As digital interaction becomes an increasing part of our daily interactions – businesses fully appreciate that seamless digital interaction is complex to deliver. However when done right – the whole brand experience rises to another level  – from the ‘Visceral’ to ‘Behavioural’ and ultimately to the ‘Reflective.’ [Ref: Don Norman’s Norman’s Three Levels of Design.]

Good UXD in the real world

1) The customer no longer has to scan for ages to find the donate button on a charity’s page.

2) The calls to a customer care line are reduced dramatically because the consumer finds the answer easily on the website.

3) Shopping cart value soars because the website effortlessly shows the shopper items that complement their purchase.

Your competitor is only one click away!

UX is emerging out of the ‘visual design’ world and establishing itself as fundamental strategic design process within any business interface or transaction. We are finally evolving from aesthetic design to a human centred approach to the design of the company ‘experience’. As they say – your competitor is only one click away. So it is vital to deliver a frictionless experience from beginning to end.

“Design used to be the seasoning you’d sprinkle on for taste; now it’s the flour you need at the start of the recipe.” — John Maeda, Designer and Technologist

Demand for UX Designers

With this new imperative to seamlessly satisfy ‘users’ – businesses are now eagerly recruiting talent to help research, prototype and design interactive services that bridge the gap between people and technology – this is the role of the UX Designer.

UX Design Courses

As a result of the increase in demand for UX Designers, we provide two unique courses:

Our 10 week part-time User Experience Design course – has been developed by industry experts to help anyone looking to up-skill and explore moving into the ever increasing number of roles in UX Design.

The programme’s industry informed curriculum will teach how to approach problems creatively in order to design the next generation of great apps, websites and digital products and gain a deeper understanding of the methods, tools and processes of working as a UX Designer.

This course is aimed at people looking to expand their knowledge of UX Design methodologies, tools and processes providing you with a complete applicable UX ‘toolkit’ with commercial experience of working with a real life client on a live project.

Our next cohort for this in September 2019 is fully booked, however, we will be scheduling a new cohort shortly for 2020. To find out more and register your interest here and also see what our students have to say.

We also run a shorter 2 day UX fundamentals workshop – which will give you or your team a short but intense intro to the fundamentals of best UX practice, user research and testing; interface design & brand.

This programme provides introductory knowledge for a holistic approach to UX best practice and is best suited to graphic or digital product designers or small teams who are looking to develop their current skill-sets in designing for digital services.

You can find out more and book one of the remaining places here.

Who we train

We can help anyone to accelerate their career in Tech.  To date we have trained: Career changers, Researchers, Marketers, Graphic/Interface Designers, Project and Account Managers and Entrepreneurs to develop their portfolio of UX Design skills.

Visit our website or contact us at for a chat about taking your next step.

Keir Moffatt our talented Front End Web Development Tutor can answer just about any question about  Front End Web Development!

1 – What does a Front End Developer actually do?

As a front-end developer, I always think of myself as the ‘glue’ between design and back-end programming – I build the interface that the user sees and interacts with. Front-end development primarily involves coding in HTML, CSS and JavaScript but there are many other languages and tools available too. I think of it as quite a ‘creative’ form of coding as there are always many ways to solve any given problem.

2 – Freelance Work and the Job Market – how will it benefit your career?

The web industry is an extremely healthy market – it is constantly growing and evolving, and there always seems to be more work than people available to do it. As a result, it pays well and offers a very dependable career path, with plenty of variety and areas of specialty.

3- What online courses/resource would you recommend for learning Front End Web Development if  on a budget?

I am largely self-taught and there are plenty of resources online to help you learn, if you are limited on time and budget. A good starting point are the free courses via Codecademy:

4- Why pay for a classroom course with an expert tutor?

If you have the time and/or budget, the best approach is definitely a course – learning alongside others is really beneficial, and you can be assured the knowledge you are gaining is based on industry-standard approaches. Develop Me offer both full-time and part-time Web Developer courses, and have an impressive 98% employment rate at graduation.

5 – What kind of lifestyle can you have as a Freelance Front End Web Developer?

I have been a freelance web developer for over 18 years and I love the freedom and flexibility it gives me. I can work from anywhere with an internet connection, I can set my own hours, and I have been able to travel and explore other careers and hobbies. For example, I currently spend my winters teaching snowboarding in Andorra, and my summers travelling and doing web development. It is definitely a skillset that can help you build a good life/work balance.

6 – What can you earn as a Web Developer

Web development pays well – as a freelancer, you can expect a day rate upwards of £300, and even more if you work with London-based clients. In a full-time role, you can be looking at upwards from £35,000. These rates increase with experience and specialisation.

7 – What skills/background you need to become a Web Developer?

You don’t really need any specific background to get into web development – just curiosity and the desire and patience to learn. If you are logically-minded or quite process-driven, or have some experience of Mathematics or code, this will of course be beneficial – but people come to this industry from all walks of life, so anyone can learn. I sometimes think of coding as similar to what our brains do every day – as you make decisions, remember information and complete repetitive tasks; all things you will also learn to do in code!

8 – Why learn Web Development!?

For me, there are so many pros of web development – it is always evolving and presenting new challenges, so I have never grown bored in my 18 year career. There are loads of different technologies and specialties, so the options for growth and change are endless. It is in high demand, pays well and can provide freedom and flexibility. And finally is both challenging and fun – and quite addictive!

The only con is that you obviously spend a fair amount of time looking at a screen – but we all do that in this day and age anyway!


We are currently taking bookings for our Front End Web Development Course with Keir starting in September. More info here.