My Final Four Weeks at CodeClan

Written by Michael, CodeClan graduate

Sixteen weeks sounds like a long time right? That’s what I thought before I started day one at CodeClan. What I actually found, and I know my fellow students would agree with me, is that the weeks absolutely fly in. Before you know it week thirteen will be upon you and it’ll be time to start polishing up your CV as you prepare for the job application process.

Wondering what to expect from those final few weeks of the course? Here’s a weekly breakdown of my experiences.

Week 13

Final project week. Before the course started, I wondered whether I would make it this far. Thanks to the support (and patience) of the instructors, we’ve made it! It was a week in which we could build anything we wanted. Our lead instructor Jay reiterated that we shouldn’t worry too much about a final finished product and instead concentrate on learning or executing something we’d always wanted to do. I took this to heart and taught myself how to (legally) webscrape using helpers called Cheerio and Xray. On presentation day, I shared my findings by inviting the rest of the class to take part in a scrape-along, where together we wrote a programme to download all the staff photos from the CodeClan website. There were a few laughs when the staff pictures appeared on everybody’s desktops.

Week 14

This week we took a leap into another language: Java. The key difference between Java and the interpreted languages we’d learnt previously – Ruby and JavaScript – is that this is a ‘statically typed’ language, meaning there’s a compilation process that allows the programme to be used in lots of different devices. Our instructor Sandy broke it down into three steps: Create, Compile, Run. Java initially seemed much more complicated than the other languages we’d been using. But the principles were similar. Once you’ve learned one language, others become easier to learn. That’s one of my key learnings at CodeClan. And one of the biggest reliefs!

Week 15

Things started to feel very ‘real’ in this week. I sensed that collectively as a cohort our thoughts were starting to turn to job applications and interviews. Luckily, the course set us up with interview preparation with industry professionals. I was told to blow my own trumpet a bit more about my previous working experience, which was a good confidence boost. I had three interviews in a week, so it was full-on, but in a good way. Having all these prospects is something I don’t take for granted, especially compared to my situation before joining the course.

Week 16

The highlight of the final week was getting an insight into the world of iOS app development. Given that Apple devices are so popular, this felt like a springboard towards the future and real life work. Matthew from FanDuel came in to teach us about Swift (the language involved) and Xcode (the integrated development environment) where we wrote our code. If we had looked at this in week one, I would have been intimidated. But it all made sense now and was similar to JavaScript and Ruby. It was brilliant to have a lesson from Matthew, given his experience in using these tools every day. Having real-life programmers coming in to CodeClan to show us their code has been absolutely invaluable.

Michael spent ten years working as a journalist and producer before joining CodeClan. Read his first blog, “From Journalist to Developer: Taking the Plunge into Tech“.