Our summer intern Charlotte sits down with our Onboarding Mentor Josh to find out more about his journey from recruitment to coding.
Hi, I’m Charlotte.
As part of my summer internship with Northcoders, I’m going to be sitting down with some of the team to find out why they got into coding and how they came to be working at a coding bootcamp.
First up, I caught up with our onboarding mentor, Josh!
What got you interested in learning how to code?
I was living down in London working in recruitment and wanted to move back up North. I spent a lot of my time talking to people who were coders and had either gone to coding bootcamps themselves, or spoke very highly of those they worked with who did.
I realised the people I was putting forward for jobs were being paid very well and they were really enjoying it. I also saw that the people I was putting forward were getting four, five job offers, so I was like, ‘Okay I’m putting all the leg work in, I feel like I’m on the wrong side of this equation!’.
I gave coding a go myself in my own time and really enjoyed it, so I decided I wanted to take the plunge and learn how to do it as a full-time job. That’s what made me start to do some research into the best coding bootcamps in the country.
How did you become a member of the team?
When I found out about Northcoders I realised it was a fantastic opportunity, so I moved up from London to complete the course.
It took me three months to complete the course, but I quickly realised they were doing something very special. It’s a fantastic group of people with second to none quality education. I didn’t want to leave. When I graduated and found out they were hiring and I had a chance to join the team, so I jumped on it!
What are the major aspects of what you do?
The main body of my work is essentially helping people get onto the course itself and working on the pre-course.
When I originally joined I was a part of the business development team, meaning it was my job to help bring companies on board. We got into a privileged position where we had more companies trying to hire people then we had people coming through the course. I then moved to what I’m doing now—helping people with the technical side of coming onto the course.
We have a certain level of requirement we ask people to get to before they come onto the course, to ensure everyone is on a similar level. This means that everyone is at a similar standard and nobody feels massively left behind once the course starts. It also means we can get people into the problem-solving mindset. We want to make sure people are right for the course and that the course is right for them from the outset.
You work with a lot of people. What type of people do you usually meet through your job?
One of my favourite things about my job is the wide range of people I meet. Before coming into the industry, you tend to have a specific type of person in mind who you think is a coder—probably white, male, a little bit dorky. But one of the most interesting things about what I do, and the thing about coding bootcamps in general is, it’s largely career changers. People who come from all different walks of life.
I meet a lot of people who’ve never previously touched code before, or think that it's maybe not right for them. We’ve had people from graphic design, sales, we get a lot of teachers, we’ve had people from recruitment, even lawyers. One applicant was a tree surgeon, and we had a someone who repaired helicopters!
It’s such a diverse range of people. I think when people go for jobs after finishing the course one of the most viable things they bring to companies is that previous career experience.
What other parts of your job do you enjoy?
It’s very rewarding helping people go from a position where they may doubt themselves, or they’re not confident in their own abilities, and helping them realise what they’re capable of.
Seeing people understanding how to approach something in a logical, methodical way is incredibly rewarding and I enjoy helping people make a change they clearly feel they want to make in their lives.
What are things you dislike?
There’s nothing I dislike. However, I meet some people who have imposter syndrome, they feel they can’t do it. Maybe because they haven’t done a degree, or they’re not good at maths, or they feel they’re just not the right person for code.
One of the things I do is coach people through and make sure they don’t give up and don’t stop believing they can do it. It’s incredible even now how many people doubt themselves and their abilities.
I think one of the best things about code is that anyone can give it a go. Sometimes, a certain platform or teaching resource doesn’t resonate with someone, but I can help them find another resource or alternative online tutor that really speaks to them and helps coding ‘click’ for them. I love that part of my job.
Meet the team
I hope you enjoyed this quick look into Josh's story, I'll be interviewing a few more staff members and students to see theirs. In the meantime find out more about the Northcoders team here.