When I was an Office Administrator, I was always the go-to person for IT support even though this wasn’t my initial role, so decided to change career. I needed to explore different aspects of the tech industry and skills, so I made the leap and took a career break, attending various coding workshops.
I came across challenges along the way. My memory was stretched at Le Wagon, and I found not being able to remember everything the most tricky. However, once you finish the course you still have access to all the learning materials so you can always refer back to them at a later date, which I have found really useful.
I had fun on the course too, like learning Front End Development, it was the best bit. I have a keen eye for design layouts and it was great to learn about user perceptions and how to create features with this in mind.
Coding has helped me a lot in my role as an Operation Engineer. It allows me to communicate with developers, script in Ruby, setting up SQL databases, using Git for version control and have the mindset of problem solving!
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.