My story to employment…
Although I have always had an interest in technology, like many people I thought the subject was unapproachable and a career hard to find without years of experience. Technology as a subject always seemed to be very broad, and it was difficult to see how someone could make a contribution without having detailed knowledge in numerous different areas. At university I studied music, and after I graduated, I found it hard to find meaningful employment. I worked as a kitchen porter, a commis chef, a barman, a property manager, a private piano tutor and volunteered as a secondary school teaching assistant.
The covid-19 outbreak hit the UK and we went into our first lockdown. This led to a high in youth unemployment and as I knew it was likely that I was going to be unemployed for some time, I decided to start learning how to program with the hope to find employment post-Covid.
During this time, I used Codecademy for a few hours every day. The platform provided clear learning paths that assumed no prior knowledge and each lesson seemed to develop on what was taught before. Articles, videos, and a practical learning environment lessoned the steep learning curve, and after each module, not only did I understand new concepts, but felt comfortable applying them in different scenarios. Codecademy seemed to have built an interactive eco-system that allowed my learning to thrive.
After completing 3 or 4 Codecademy certifications, I contacted the Prince’s Trust who put me in touch with Generation - a non-profit organisation that aimed to train young people and launch lasting careers. They were very impressed with the work I had completed on Codecademy and placed me on an AWS re/Start intensive bootcamp for cloud engineering. Throughout the three-month course, I continued to use Codecademy to further develop my knowledge in software development.
Shortly after completing the course, I was interviewed by Resonate and successfully gained a position as a junior software developer. Again, the Codecademy certifications played an important part in my interview, and they seemed to be quite impressed with what I had studied.
Resonate as a company developed out of the research division of British Rail. The UK’s train network is a collection of different technologies (legacy and new) working together to build a safe and efficient service in transportation. Resonate’s role is to develop and deliver cutting edge technology that improves this service. My new role focuses on the back-end development of these applications.
Advice for others…
Firstly, there is a skills gap in the UK with regards to technology and there is lots of work especially in Cloud engineering, Data engineering, and Frond & Back end development. As technology moves quickly, there is a feeling that everyone within the industry is learning, and therefore companies seem to be happy to employ if you show them you have a genuine interest. Codecademy, personal projects, and attending webinars help build this picture.
The career paths on Codecademy are exceptionally good. They contain much of the content from the language’s paths, but also encourage the student to work on their own local development environment by providing further reading, videos, and articles. Once the path has been completed, not only have you gained considerable knowledge and a certification, but you will have built personal projects that you can showcase to others. These paths also encourage teamwork and acts as a really good introduction to the tech community.
Some concepts take a little more time to understand than others. Working through a path slowly and adding to your knowledge a little each day is good. I found I worked better after I understood that concepts that seem difficult in the moment only require more time, and with a little perseverance the reward you get makes it worth it.
I like working on projects that matter, I like making a difference to the lives of those around me, and I like the freedom to try something new. Technology is an incredible industry to work in, and Codecademy helped me gain employment.