Darren Breen gives us an insider’s view of instructing at CodeClan & why he “loves every second of it”.
Tell us about yourself
I love technology. I have worked with Security, Mobile development, Cloud Computing and Microservices in a variety of sectors including financial, heritage, manufacturing and retail. I have only been at CodeClan for 6 months now and I love every second of it. I have a GCHQ certified masters in Advanced Security & Digital Forensics at Napier University.
What inspired you to become an instructor?
I love to learn and I love to teach.
I volunteered as a STEM ambassador where I taught kids in school how to work with and program Lego robots. I enjoy watching those “aha” moments when they figure something out.
What does a typical day look like for an instructor?
We’re all in for 9am for our daily stand up with our students.
Our days can be quite intense with mornings normally dedicated to lessons and afternoons for lab works if possible. Sometimes all day lessons can take place which while exhausting can be very rewarding.
How do you keep in touch with new technologies when you aren’t working as a developer?
Personally, I love to learn. I frequently visit various technologies to keep my skills fresh. Right now I’m practicing Machine Learning & Neural Networks through a series of lectures. I always enjoy a challenge.
“Software is always moving forward, so sometimes the instructors are learning just as much as the students.”
What’s the hardest part about instructing?
People learn with different mindsets, so trying to incorporate that in the learning can be quite tricky. Some like collaborative learning while others prefer 1-1 textbook sessions.
What’s the best part?
The best part about teaching coding is when you’re explaining something, their eyes light up and you see them thinking about all the possibilities they can do with what they’ve just learned. When you teach them a new concept and they go ‘oh wait does that mean I can do this and make that’, and it’s interesting to get that reaction out of them.
What are you hoping to achieving this year?
I’d like to get out into the tech community and do more talks, visit more companies to help reach out to more people. So my aim this year is to help spread the word of CodeClan.
Thinking about becoming an instructor? Check out our careers page for current vacancies.