It was interesting to chat to Jae about her experience on the Coding Fellowship. With English being her second language she had different challenges compared to some of our other students, but she was extremely capable and didn’t let that barrier deter her.

What was your background before you enrolled on the Coding Fellowship?

Coding Fellowship Student JaeI worked as a visual merchandiser in South Korea for global corporates such as Nike, Adidas and Vans. I studied Media design at uni and I was always particularly interested in UI and UX.

Why are you attending the Coding Fellowship?

For a fast-track career-change! I wanted to take my career in more of a tech-focused direction, building on the commercial and visual design skills I’ve developed already. I know that I could learn coding online for almost free these days, but I thought the benefit of attending a coding camp would be huge and much better in the long run- getting extra help from teachers and teaching assistants, learning from qualified teachers who can guide you into the right direction, connecting with like-minded people, and joining a growing local tech community. I was also keen to get help with subsequent job applications and placements too.

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

One of my concerns was if 3 months would be enough time to learn everything I needed and get confident. I was also concerned that I have no background in coding at all, as well as a language barrier (English is my second language). So I wasn’t so confident that I would be able to follow the course well.

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

I feel like I’ve learned enough in a short period that will be a good and solid foundation for the rest of my programming life.
If I was struggling with understanding concepts or solving the challenges, I could always ask for extra help. Tutors were happy to go through the material again with me.

What was your coding experience before the Coding Fellowship?

I taught myself HTML/CSS/basic Javascript so I can get a taste of coding. But it was a very basic level.

How have you found the Fellowship so far?

It is intensive and fast-paced. They are very supportive, not only academically but emotionally. Particularly through the one-to-one session we have once every week. Teachers and teaching assistants are also very helpful, and it’s useful to have access to their knowledge, skills and pro tips from their years of experience.

What have you enjoyed most?

I’m interested in front-end development, particularly UI, so I enjoyed HTML/CSS,  Javascript and using REACT.JS the most.

What have you found hardest?

I found hard to understand more abstract concepts such as virtual machine. I think when there’s not an obvious visual result, and something happened under the software it was a bit tricky for me to understand quickly. And in terms of coding, redux is still confusing for me. I guess I need more practice!

How would you describe the support on the Fellowship?

I liked the mentor system they offered. I could get good insights into what’s happening in the real industry from my mentor. I’ve built a good relationship with her and hope we’ll keep in touch 🙂 The weekly one-to-one is really useful to cement class materials, check on my emotional status, and helps us all feel well cared for and focused. Endless support of snacks is amazing of course 🙂

Coding Bootcamp Student Jae at her computer

What advice would you give to someone thinking of attending the Fellowship?

It is an intense and fast-paced course so sometimes you might struggle like me. But that’s why you should take this course. Experienced teachers and fellow students support you and help you get through. Do the prep work as much as possible. Try not to miss any lectures, as we cover quite a lot in a day and more importantly, every lecture is so amazing.

What role are you looking for after the Coding Fellowship?

I’m looking to be a junior web developer specialised in front end. I’m also very interested in working in other exotic countries. I’m dreaming of becoming a digital nomad one day! Also, one of my goals is contributing to the women’s tech community in some way. I’d like to promote diversity in the industry.

Open source contribution is another goal, because open source is part of what makes the tech community wonderful! I hope I can contribute documentation translation using my language skills as well as code.

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