Tell us a little bit about you/your background e.g. previous coding experience, job situation before the course, motivations for taking on a coding course etc
I studied computing at Uni and I had a mixed bag of web developer roles straight after graduating. I then moved to a bit of a niche field developing proprietary software and didn't really keep my skills up to date.
Most recently I moved to freelancing; building WordPress based websites as this allowed me to work flexibly around my young family.
As my children reached school age I realised that I'd like to work as a "real" developer and I missed working as part of a team. I decided to study with Manchester Codes to help me build confidence and get my coding skills up to date.
Have you got a new job in tech since completing the course?
Where is your new role?
How long did it take you to get this job?
1 month after completing the course
What's your experience been like in the new role so far?
It's been great! The work is challenging but the support from the team is incredible. I work as a full stack developer on the BBC Sport & Live website and there is so much scope to work on different technologies and learn new things from a very smart, lovely bunch of people.
Work-life balance is also fantastic at the BBC – I work 4 days a week with remote working when required.
What do you plan to do next with your new skills? - projects, tutoring/mentoring, new job/promotion, etc.
I hope to stay at the BBC and progress to a mid-level developer role, hopefully with the opportunity to mentor more junior developers as my experience grows.
Why did you choose Manchester Codes over other courses?
When I started the course I was freelancing 3 days per week and looking after my youngest daughter the rest of the week. I also had to be around for the school runs for my older children. Logistically only a part-time evening course worked for me. An added bonus was it was more affordable than other local coding bootcamps.
What did you enjoy about Manchester Codes?
I enjoyed learning again in a group environment. I found working on "real" projects very motivating and helped cement concepts and techniques learnt during the lectures.
What did you find challenging at Manchester Codes?
The pace of the course was pretty fast – we covered a lot in 24 weeks. Managing my time and getting childcare wasn't always easy and most of my weekends were spent completing the projects set in class and trying to further research the topics we had covered.
How did you maintain a balance between work/study/life?
With a lot of help! I was freelancing at the time so I took on less work to complete course projects/learning and my husband and family members stepped up to look after the kids while I attended the course and also during study time on evenings and weekends.
If someone was on the fence about doing the course, what would you tell them?
If they had no coding experience and were unsure if they'd like it I'd recommend trying some of the free courses online such as code academy and freecodecamp. If they enjoyed it then go for it! I've no doubt whatsoever that attending Manchester Codes helped me land the developer job I wanted.
What advice would you give to others who are doing the course now?
Stick with it, it will get easier. I would be lying if I said there weren't times when I wanted to quit due to feeling overwhelmed but I'm so glad I didn't! Also, ask the tutors for help and other members of your cohort – they're incredibly supportive.