Meet Emma, from primary Teacher to Front-End Developer

Since completing our Professional Software Development course this March, Emma now works as a Front-End Developer…
We recently caught up with her to have a chat about why she got into coding and what it was like starting a new career as the COVID-19 lockdown started.

What did you do before CodeClan? 

I was a primary teacher for 12 years, most of that time was spent in the Middle East in Kuwait and the UAE.

Why did you decide to get into coding and tech? 

A few years ago I took an art course and learnt about digital design and making collages in Photoshop, which led me onto HTML and CSS which struck my interest in coding. Meanwhile, I was getting burnt out with teaching, I didn’t want to continue it long term and hoped I could transition into something else. While I was looking for an online computer science course I came across CodeClan – I’d just come back from living abroad and was working as a supply teacher so it was the perfect time to go for it!

How did you find day-to-day life on the course?

I really enjoyed learning new things every day, especially the all-day labs where we could get stuck into a complex task and the solo and group projects made me feel like a real developer. I also loved the other students in my cohort, we all got on so well and had a lot of fun together.

Can you tell us a bit about the application process for your new job? 

I got my job as a Front End Developer through CodeClan’s speed networking. I met the Managing Director and Development Team Lead during the session and afterwards they invited some of the cohort to come for an interview. At the interview, they asked me to talk them through an app (they’d asked me to build this beforehand) and then go through the code and explain some of it – which I was used to doing at CodeClan when we presented our projects. The rest of the interview was a lovely, informal chat where they asked about my background, why I wanted to switch careers and what I liked to do in my spare time.

What’s happening right now for your career? 

I worked in my office for just one day before everyone moved to remote working. I’m lucky I have a very kind and patient dev team lead who answers all my questions but it would be nice to be in the office to learn from the more experienced developers. However, I’ve not missed my hour-long bus commute and it’s been a treat to make paninis on my George Foreman grill for lunch!

And finally Emma, what are some of your tips for remote working? 

  1. Make your workspace nice and inviting
  2. Mute your mic when your cat starts contributing to the team meeting
  3. Fix yourself really tasty lunches to make up for all the lovely food you’re missing in the town
  4. Go for a walk straight after work to separate your workday from your night at home

Shift your skills into tech!

Check out our career change and upskilling courses. We also host regular webinars for anyone wanting to write their first lines of code or talk to our team. You can register over on the events section of our website.


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