We catch up with one of our Coding Fellowship Bootcamp graduate’s Kye. He absolutely flew through the Bootcamp; in fact he did so well we then hired him to work for us on graduation! He has since moved on to work for Swoop as a Software Developer.

We are now absolutely delighted to say he accepted our request to come back to Develop Me and teach on our Front End Web Development Course starting February 2020.

It’s always been about the code

Front End Web Developer Kye Canoeing For me, my life in code started before I’d found my first proper text editor. I’d been working in financial services for 5 years, from management and sales to project delivery, I was challenged but I wasn’t enjoying myself and I certainly didn’t feel valued.

Time for a change

Fed up with my work, I started soul-searching, is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life? I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t dreaming of working for a poorly-ran high street bank when I was in school, but I was playing with computers – a lot! Throwing around ideas of what I used to enjoy and several career advice questionnaires later, things just kept coming back to programming. I actually remember the National Careers Service suggested I’d become a Vicar, so things could be very different for me if I’d followed their advice. I kept faith in programming and I started to dig deeper into how I could become a developer. 

This really shouldn’t have been news to me though. When I was a teenager, I was always “fixing” computers for friends and family. In fact, a friend and I started to build an absolutely terrible website in Dreamweaver as part of setting up a PC repair service – it didn’t really take off. Besides all of that, I enjoyed learning about these things and the challenges that came up. In 2008, I studied an IT course at City of Bristol College and it gave me a light introduction to HTML and CSS, I loved it! I’m still not entirely sure why but instead of following the natural route and completing a Computer Science degree, I decided to play poker for a living instead, I was never one for the straight and narrow…

Self study vs bootcamp

When I started my journey into programming, I decided to study from home. I’d finish work at 5pm, get home for 6pm, quickly eat tea and then turn on my PC. I didn’t really know where to start, there’s an insane amount of things to learn. I found a course on YouTube and started to build a portfolio site in Bootstrap and I seriously enjoyed it. I’d be up way past bedtime adding a new feature to the site or learning something new. I’d wish away my day at work just so I could get back to my personal projects at home.

I studied at home for around a year, but I didn’t really see how I was going to get a job from this and I’d been suffering from burnout for a while. I needed a fast-track, I was willing to take the risk to do something I really enjoy. It was actually my mum who found Develop Me and their coding bootcamp. I met Oli and Pete at the taster evening, everything felt right and I signed up for the Autumn 2017 cohort. 

A decision I’ll never regret

Coding Fellowship Bootcamp Student GroupI met some amazing people during the bootcamp, people that have changed my life. The course was exactly what I needed and it’s incredible just how much I learned, and gained in self-confidence, during those 12 weeks. Upon graduation I landed a Developer role at Lunar and I also became a Teaching Assistant at Develop Me. I’d never enjoyed my job(s) so much, I had amazing mentors there and these people truly valued me. Coding in itself is great and you learn an awful lot, but trust me when I say that when people ask you to explain what you know, that’s when you really learn. I felt like I had the perfect introduction to the industry. 

New challenges

After a year at Lunar, I started to look for a fresh challenge and applied for a Mid-Level Software Developer role at my current company Swoop. Swoop are an adventure travel company who recently moved their software development in-house. I joined them knowing that there would be lots of new things to learn and in the past 9 months I’ve played a key role in rebuilding our customer portal, feedback system and migrating some of our legacy code to Laravel.

One of the biggest things I’ve had to get used to is making mistakes, as a developer you’ll make plenty and you have to be comfortable with that – these mistakes will help you grow and mature as a developer. I’ve made some blunders of my own, but maybe you can ask me about that later. Basically, don’t edit code directly in production no matter how close the deadline is 🤦‍♂️.

Code === Fun

Sometimes I have to pinch myself, wondering if what I do for a living is really a job – for me, coding is no different to playing computer games. Despite leaving the bootcamp in 2017, I continue to invest a lot of my time learning new things, I listen to a couple of podcasts a day on my commute and will either use a lunch break or evening to work on a side project, the fun never stops! 

Although web development may be all fun and games for me, the one thing I have missed since leaving Develop Me is teaching others, so I’m really excited they have asked me to go back and teach their 6 week part time Front end web development course starting in February! It is going to be so satisfying getting back to the classroom and you never know, perhaps I’ll learn a thing or two as well!

We are running two taster sessions for our February front end web development course. One in November and one in January. We also have two scholarship places available on this course.