In this blog post, Charlotte sits down with current student Ben to hear about his Northcoders experience.People from all different walks of life find themselves at Northcoders to learn how to code. For the second instalment of my Meet Our Students series, I interviewed current student Ben to find out why he chose to join Northcoders and what his experience of the course has been like so far.
What were you doing before you started the course?
I worked in corporates for years doing insurance and finance, but then started my own business doing online advertising and bits of web design. I enjoy many things to do with running a company, as well as being able to run my business from a laptop and travel the world. When employed you usually specialise in one area, but being the owner means that you can do everything. It's both a blessing and a curse.
What got you interested in coding?
I've always had an affinity for computers and did some programming in BASIC as a kid on my old Acorn Electron. At the end of the 90s I was working in Spain and the company I worked for had a really good internet connection, so I started playing with web design in my spare time there. After seeing visitors interact with my own creations, I was hooked.
Why did you pick Northcoders?
Although I've had experience with web design and some server-side code, I really wanted to become a more well-rounded developer and learn programming properly as, until now, I've been self-taught.
Over the years, I'd looked into several courses but the curriculums always seemed to be lacking. Sure, they would teach you a language, but never covered any of the related (and necessary) skills, such as how to approach problems and plan projects.
When I came across the Northcoders curriculum, it promised to cover TDD, pair-programming, debugging, version control and agile development — all the things I wanted to learn to make good software.
What has your experience here been like so far?
The course is intense and fast-paced but also a lot of fun! Some subjects I've had a natural affinity for, whilst others have been a real challenge. Pair programming has been really useful as we teach each other new ways of approaching problems.
Having worked alone for the last eight years, it's also really refreshing to solve challenges with other people. I hadn't realised I'd missed working with people and I'm really enjoying the experience of doing so again.
What do you want to do after Northcoders?
My main priority is to continue my journey towards becoming a well-rounded developer. I had been planning to return to my business, but coming here has made me realise that I'd really prefer to work with other people again.
I'm going to look for a position that involves solving a variety of problems and with good opportunities for development and training. I'm not wedded to any particular language or technology, but I do want interesting problems to work on.
Meet our students
I hope you enjoyed this quick look into Ben's coding story! Interested in learning to code? Find out more about Northcoders' coding bootcamps in Leeds and Manchester.