If I had to give 5 pieces of advice to students, this is what they’d be:
- Shadow: If you have an in-house development team where you study, or work, ask if you can spend time shadowing to get a first hand insight in what they do and how they work as a team.
- Learn about the industry: The best way to meet and ask questions from people who are currently working in the tech industry is by attending coding workshops, or networking events. Many are free to attend.
- Do your research: If you are considering in taking a career break it’s useful to create a financial forecast beforehand to help you to budget and think about where to find extra resources if you need it (loan, temporary work etc).
- Practice, practice: Once you’ve learnt the basics of your chosen programming language online, try setting yourself small projects to do e.g create a static two page website, or a basic game. If you are looking for something more challenging, you could find open-source projects or hackathons to participate in!
- Coding goes further than developing: Learning to code will help you communicate across multi-disciplinary teams, because you'll have an awareness of the terminology that others don’t, even if you are not in a developer role.