For the last three years I had been working in project management in the engineering and manufacturing sector. However, about 18 months ago I knew that I needed to make a change.
I had come to realise that I was working in a job I didn’t enjoy, in a business sector I had no interest in, and as time went on I was becoming more and more disenchanted with it. I didn’t know what I wanted to do next, but I had always had an interest in the latest technologies and so I decided to look into the possibility of working in the tech sector.
I started going to every Manchester Meetup event that I could find which had a connection to the tech industry, in the hope that I would be able to gain some knowledge of the sector and advice as to the next steps I would need to take. After a few Meetup events, I realised that I kept coming away with the same piece of advice: ‘Learn to code’.
Consider your options
Now, there are numerous ways you can learn to code. There are apps you can download, books you can buy and YouTube tutorials you can follow. While there are pros and cons to all of these, the one piece of advice I will offer here is this — there is no substitute for having someone sit down with you and go through your code line by line in order to help you understand a problem.
This is something that, in my opinion, can only be found at a coding bootcamp. Coding bootcamps are short, intensive programmes usually lasting around 12 weeks and designed to teach all the skills required to get a job in software development. For a lot of people, and I include myself in this, considering to apply to a coding bootcamp can be incredibly scary. This is because it generally means having to leave your current job with the hope that you will get a job at the end of the course.
I’ve already said that I didn’t enjoy my job and I was actively looking to leave, but there is a big difference between changing jobs and walking away from a paying job. When trying to make this decision, the deciding factor for me came when I attended an Introduction to Programming course at Northcoders.
Should I stay or go?
Most coding bootcamps will offer some kind of introductory course and I believe they are invaluable when it comes to making this difficult decision. Not only do these courses give you the opportunity to see if you enjoy coding without having to make any commitments to leave your current job, but they also allow you to see what it would be like to actually study at that bootcamp.
After attending the Introduction to Programming course at Northcoders, I was hooked. The confidence I gained following this course was amazing. I knew not only that coding was something that I was going to be able to do, but also that it was something that I would enjoy doing. Any reservations that I had about leaving my job were gone and a week after finishing the course I had handed in my resignation letter at work.
The best decision I’ve ever made
I am currently two months into The Developer Pathway at Northcoders and I can’t wait to get started on the upcoming project phase of the course. Deciding to leave my job and retrain as a software developer was a big decision, but I can honestly say it's the best decision I’ve ever made.