After trying coding at home, Claudia discovered a better way to learn programming.
Before CodeClan I was a Creative Manager, the lead graphic designer for an eco packaging company.
I went to university twice; first time round I studied traditional hand-drawn animation, and second time round I studied English-Lit and Journalism.
After being a designer for four years I kept getting asked if I could build websites, or mobile apps, and when I thought about it, it was actually something that I was interested in and really wanted to be able to do.
I hadn’t done very much coding. I dabbled a bit with some tutorials online just to see if it was something I could do/would be interested in and was worth giving up my current life for.
I went to a CodeClan info session and once I decided it was something I wanted to seriously take on I made a plan, made a budget and found a timeline that was feasible. I wanted to give myself enough time to complete the course plus a couple extra months in case the job search wasn’t initially successful.
I continued at my job for about seven months and did some extra side projects to be able to put myself through it… oh and lots of eating noodles and soup!
Becoming immersed in code
Everyone learns differently. If I’m just at home learning on my own I get distracted a lot, the process takes a lot longer and I have a hard time focusing. The 16-week course was perfect for me because it gave me that working environment I needed to focus and it gave me more of a direct goal with a proper time frame.
I was also keen to move on from the industry I was previously in and this seemed like a good way to properly move on.
My favourite part of the course was the people, ALL the people! From my classmates, to the tutors to all the CodeClan staff. It’s an amazing environment to work in; everyone is so helpful and they make you feel like you can do anything.
It’s really motivating and important especially when you are going through a massive career change which can always be a risk, learning something entirely new which is challenging and all their support and encouragement really makes a difference.
There’s a lot of work, but at the same time you get days off, Thursdays are pub nights and you gain a whole new group of friends to hang out with. I guess it’s not really work if you really enjoy it, right?
You’re also working really hard to gain new skills and as much as there are ups and downs it’s always a great day when something finally clicks.
Reflecting on the course
As mentioned before, I can get a lot done on my own but I get too distracted. It was also helpful to have a whole group of experienced teachers and assistants that could help me when I got stuck.
They found ways to explain things I didn’t understand in a way that the internet couldn’t. There’s no substitute for a good teacher.
Overall I had a really great experience during my time at CodeClan, although it went by far too quickly and I could have easily stayed a couple more weeks.
I now have a job as a developer with a tech start-up based in Edinburgh – we are still in stealth mode so I can’t reveal too much. I help fix bugs and focus mainly on testing at the moment. I also generally help out wherever I can be of use!