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Jess was one of our ‘Code It Forward’ funded students. This funding made it possible for her take the course, when finances otherwise would not have allowed her to enrol. We caught up with her during the Summer 2019 cohort to find out more about her background, why she chose to enrol on our Bristol based Coding Bootcamp and how she’s been getting on learning to code so far.

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

I have a background in EU affairs (politics) having worked in Brussels as well as gained experience in a number of communications-based roles.

Why are you attending the Bootcamp?

To deepen my knowledge, to be taught by experts in the industry and to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share an interest in tech.

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

As many of my previous roles were analytical in nature, I had concerns that it would be quite a leap for me to overcome: adapting my mindset to think logically and to put my problem-solving skills front and centre.

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

Over the course we have been introduced to the back end, new concepts and frameworks which has exposed me to other aspects such as version control that has challenged me to think twice about my approach and rationalise what I am trying to do; taking it step by step to achieve the overall goal. As each week has passed my initial concern has eased as I become ever mindful of how to approach a task in a methodical manner.

What was your coding experience before the Course?

I had dabbled with HTML, CSS, a little bit of JavaScript and JQuery as well as had experience using the Content Management Systems: WordPress and Squarespace

How have you found the Bootcamp so far?

I have found it challenging but also very rewarding. Not a day goes by when I do not look back from where I initially started to remind myself what I have learnt – equally looking forward with interest for what is to come.

What have you enjoyed the most?

WordPress, HTML, CSS/Sass, Laravel and to my surprise I have also enjoyed managing databases with MySQL. The organised person in me also appreciates the version control of Git.

What have you found the most challenging?

Striking a balance between working through a problem on your own and using your notes and knowing when to take a break or ask for help. If you have been staring at it too long you may not notice a simple syntax error. Breaks are definitely your friend. I also find the omnipresence of JavaScript exciting but also a little daunting.

How would you describe the support on the Bootcamp?

From day one you cannot fault the support. From the teachers, assistant to the 1:1 sessions it has all been helpful to gauge my progression as well as to hear feedback of where I can improve.

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

I would keep an open mind as you never know what may interest you. We all come from different backgrounds so there is a niche for everyone to contribute, learn and share. Be kind to yourself when it does not all come at once; absorbing a myriad of concepts can be intense but if you do the course preparation it will put you in good stead for what is to come.

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

I am keeping an open mind in terms of a role after the Coding Fellowship although I am currently leaning towards working with WordPress. The community looks really welcoming and with so many events held in Bristol, the UK and beyond. There seems to be ample opportunity to engage and learn from others which really appeals to me. Ideally in the future I would like to see myself thriving in a diverse team that encourages self development, fosters creativity and that will challenge me daily. I would also like to be thoroughly engaged in community events like a do_action hackathon which harnesses the power of WordPress for good.

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

There is no doubt that software is becoming a critical layer of all our lives. It is the language of our current and future digital world. The expanding networking of everything and everyone — the growth of the Internet of Things and embedded wearable devices. The pervasive nature of technology resulting from amplified connectivity will influence nearly everything, nearly everyone, nearly everywhere.

Perhaps in the future, not knowing the language of computers will be as challenging as being illiterate or innumerate are today.

At Develop Me we agree that future innovation will come through disruptive technologies and collaborative social business models – however more importantly we firmly believe the change will come from people. People empowered, people with ideas and most importantly people with the knowledge and understanding to make things happen. The world of digital technology holds so many innovative solutions for society and the web is one of the most democratic tools ever created. (more…)