Meet our graduates: Chris, from bar owner to Android Developer

A graduate from our 16-week programming course, Chris tells us about his move from behind the bar to full-time Android Developer.

Before CodeClan, I owned a couple of bars. The hours were long and unpredictable and, of course, predominantly evening based.

Days were often from 11am until 2am, some days you may be starting at 8am, others finishing at 5am, and everything in between.

My business partner was keen to move on from the bar trade, so we opted to sell the business. At this point I considered my options, and discovered CodeClan.

If I hadn’t I may well be running another bar right now, with a niggling ‘what if’ in the back of my mind.

During my time with the bars I had always been building systems and spreadsheets to help us with our day-to-day operations. They began pretty basic, generally just macro driven spreadsheets, but over time they developed into fully-fledged systems that other bars were asking to use.

Finding the course

Chris at his desk

When I found out about CodeClan it seemed like a perfect course for me, I have no problem with long hours and intensive learning and actual prefer it to a longer course. I went along to an information evening and it tipped me fully in favour of signing up.

There’s always that worry that you may be making a bad decision before embarking on something new.

There were some moments during the pre-course work where I doubted my decision, but it was incredible how quickly things crystallised once there was someone to directly ask the niggling questions.

Incremental learning

CodeClan is all about incremental learning, it’s one of these things where you may feel you’ve not learnt much in a particular week only to look back on the previous three weeks to realise that you have learned a hell of a lot.

On our last day we went through the class and wrote up everything we had learned across the 16 weeks. We more than filled the wallboard with topics and categories, if you presented the same board to us on day one, we probably would have just laughed, and then run.

There’s a solid support structure in place, but you have to come in with the mindset of putting in the time and effort to push yourself.

As for the difficulties – finance was a challenge. Having no income for four months wasn’t easy, and I have to thank my fiancé for financially propping us up through the course!

There was also never enough time, especially on the project weeks, but if you aren’t working right up to the deadlines then I’d say you’re missing the point.

Life after CodeClan

Chris in conversation

The employer Speed Networking event was great, it was the first chance we got to really see what a variety of roles there were in the industry, and that it’s not simply a case of ‘developer’ at the end.

From the employer event I had a few interviews, and ended up getting hired; I started my new job three weeks after finishing CodeClan.

I’m now a full time Android Developer, I officially problem solve for a living, which is amazing.

My day tends to run from 9 until 5, although the company are very relaxed with flexible working.

We’re quite a small team working on Android, but it’s very hands on. I’m constantly getting to take ownership of features and see them through to completion and have input on the projects at a meaningful level.

Advice for others

Make something. Without a doubt.

It doesn’t matter if it’s advanced or simple, a website, an app or even just a moderately complex spreadsheet. What’s key is how you enjoy the process and overcoming the issues you hit on the way.

If you enjoy this you will likely enjoy the jobs available in the sector.

Find out more about our 16-week intensive course or come along to our next info session in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Want to hire Android Developers like Chris? Get in touch.

More graduate stories

Meet our graduates: Natalie, from travel consultant to UX Analyst

Meet our graduates: Charlotte, from midwife to Junior Developer


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