Talking to Chris one of our Autumn 2019 students about the difference between being a teacher and a pupil was really interesting. He really embraced the Coding Fellowship having had an interest in Tech and the industry for many years.

Why are you doing the Coding Fellowship?

I am pursuing a career change, building upon a subject I’ve loved to teach to secondary school students.

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

I worked in education – initially teaching in ICT then as an Assistant Head, Vice Principal and finally a Head Teacher responsible for helping with the closure of a struggling school.

How is studying on the Coding Fellowship different to being at the front of the class?

I am used to being at the front of the class and telling students what to do and how to do it. Being a bootcamp student has turned the tables and I have made sure that I take advantage of that position and ask as many questions as possible to ensure I get the answers I need.

It is interesting now having to follow the advice that I used to give to students!

What what your main question/worry before enrolling on the Bootcamp?

I was interested to see how my skill level in programming would match up to the standards expected in the industry.

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

I’ve certainly not been kept idle! The standard is high and a number of concepts taught by the professional instructors are new. I feel that I have begun to fully understand more difficult concepts.

What was your coding experience before the Course?

I had created basic HTML/CSS websites, set up and implemented content management systems, built an educational web application with Coldfusion and Access. In the classroom, I have taught to A-Level languages like Visual Basic and Python.

How have you found the Bootcamp so far?

I have loved the breadth and the depth of the knowledge we are trained with. All the topics build on each other and I see knowledge I was taught earlier in the course cropping up and becoming relevant with topics further down the line. It is very exciting.

What have you found hardest? 

It is very intense and there is a huge commitment of time and motivation to ensure you make the most of this opportunity. I put time aside to review my work for the day after each session when I get home and that really puts me in good stead for the next session.

How would you describe the support on the Fellowship?

The standard of teaching is really great and the tutors are all industry professionals. They are not full time tutors for DevelopMe, they all work in industry too so they are up to date with all the current needs of the web development industry. This means they know how to support and guide us in the right direction.

I can get very frustrated when I feel things are not going well and my learning seems slow. I sometimes let my frustrations show but every time I have done this all the tutors, teaching assistants and course owners say exactly the right thing to help me move forward.

We have online testing which is marked and fed back on – this is often done within just 2 hours! – so fast it is amazing!

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

Clear your schedule, do your prep and during the bootcamp take extra time around the course to also dedicate to it. For example. I come in an hour early  before we start so that I can settle, review and get my head in the right place ready for when we will be submerged in information at 9.30am every day. As I mentioned already, I then review the information when I get home.

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

I am really keen on working more on the back end of web development. I have really enjoyed working with my SQL databases, object orientated programming, PHP and I have really enjoyed designing APIs and looking at how that is structured – that is something I had never come across before. I have always been interested in how data can be displayed, used and interacted with so all those skills as well as Laravel have really drawn me in.

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