Meet our graduates: Charley, from midwife to junior developer

Despite a steep learning curve, Charlotte's decision to move into programming proved to be the right one.
Charlotte smiling

Meet our graduates: Charlotte, from midwife to Junior Developer

Despite a steep learning curve, Charlotte’s decision to move into programming proved to be the right one.

Before CodeClan I was working as a newly qualified midwife.

A typical shift lasted 12-and-a-half hours and either started at 8am or 8pm. Usually, you were required to do a minimum of three in a row, followed by three days off.

After three busy shifts, it usually took a few of days to recharge my batteries and catch up on life.

I’ll always hold the midwifery profession in the highest regard and I’m very grateful for the plethora of opportunities and experiences it provided and, with that in mind, my decision to leave was very difficult.

I said to myself at the beginning of my midwifery studies “the moment you realise that you are not enjoying the work is the time you will look for something new,” and surprisingly that’s exactly what happened.

Finding CodeClan

Charley and KatrinaI arrived at the idea of a career in tech through a boyfriend of a close friend. He was already working in the tech industry, and explained to me the possible potential career I could have in tech and that, while it would certainly be challenging, it would definitely be rewarding.

I undertook some of my own research, which led me to learning the basics of Java, CSS and HTML online. From there I had the desire to formalise my training and that led me to investigating and enrolling at CodeClan.

I think a lot of people thought (and still think) I was nuts to leave such a stable profession as midwifery, but I’ve never experienced such self-determination within myself before. For the first time, I had an overwhelming sense of “I can do this, I will prove the risk is worth it.”

I drew a mind map of my goals and expectations so I could actually visualise where I thought this journey would take me and, if it did not, what my ‘Plan B’ was to be in case it didn’t.

I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship from Be-IT Resourcing, which helped out significantly with the cost. The remaining fees were my motivation to do well and prove that the risk of changing career and investing a considerable amount of money was worth it – thankfully this has so far paid off!

The learning experience

The learning process at CodeClan is an intense, almost vertical learning curve – but one that was extremely enjoyable.

As I’d recently graduated, going back to the starting point in a completely new subject was vexing to begin with but there was always someone at CodeClan able to guide you through the process.

Being completely new to coding, there were weeks where I doubted my ability and questioned if I had made a huge mistake leaving my previous career. I’m very fortunate to have a strong support network behind me, so the days I did feel down I had plenty of people helping to pick me back up and encouraging me to continue.

There’s also a great social side to CodeClan – there’s real encouragement to take time out and relax, which is why there’s no homework on Thursday and a later start on Friday.

Watch one of Charlotte’s video diaries:

Moving into work

There’s a dedicated member of staff at CodeClan who helps with CV writing, interview prep and can answer any general questions about the tech industry you may have.

Employer partners who were looking to hire came to Speed Networking and (like speed dating) you’ve just under 10 minutes to impress them and learn as much about that particular company as you can.

I really enjoyed it and came away with a couple of companies that I was interested to learn more about and the one at the top of my list is where I work now!

Life after CodeClan

I’m a now junior developer in a company based in Edinburgh.

We work in sprints, so at the start of each one I’m assigned a mixture of jobs. Mainly I’ve been focusing on bug fixing which has been a great way to work through issues and become more comfortable with my company’s huge codebase.

More recently, I’ve been investigating some concepts which may be brought into the product.

At the end of CodeClan, I felt ready to get going in a real tech environment. I knew before I started at the company that they were incredibly supportive of new starts and junior members of staff.

If you’re looking for an industry which is supportive, ever changing, current, exciting and gives you the opportunity to grow and develop, tech should definitely be considered, however expect to work hard and learn constantly!

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

Want to hire Junior Developers like Charley? Get in touch.

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