Marion had worked in the NHS as an audiologist for 12 years when she decided she wanted to change careers and applied for CodeClan’s remote Professional Software Development course.
Since graduating from CodeClan in January 2022, Marion has started a new role as a software engineer at Skyscanner. We caught up with her to chat about how she got into coding and get an insight into her new role:
• Tell us a bit about your career before studying at CodeClan
I worked in the NHS for 12 years, which I enjoyed – I loved my team and I loved working with technology, but after all that time I was ready for a change of scenery and some new challenges. It’s not the easiest career to make a sideways move from though, so I knew it was going to have to be a big change!
• How did you find out about the course and what were your motivations for applying?
I had been aware of CodeClan for a long time before applying – there was a time in Edinburgh when the buzz around tech and startups was really taking off. Places like CodeBase and the TechCube offices were opening, and at that point CodeClan caught my eye.
It stayed in the back of my mind as something I would love to do at some point, but the timing never seemed right. Then when I finally decided to change careers, CodeClan just sounded like a great place to do it. I had been doing some free online courses but it felt like it was going to take a long time to make progress so the bootcamp style of CodeClan appealed as it meant that I could really accelerate my efforts to change my career.
• What are you working on right now and how are you finding it?
I’ve been working at Skyscanner for around a month now. I applied for the role just after careers week. I work in the developer enablement team, so I work on tools that help the wider engineering team to build, deliver and maintain all the different components that make up the customer-facing app and website. I’m really enjoying it – I like to think of our team as the roadies of Skyscanner.
At the moment I still have a lot to learn which is something great about the tech industry, isn’t it? Always something new to learn! In my previous job things didn’t exactly change very quickly, whereas in tech there is fantastic momentum.
• Why did you decide to apply for a remote cohort? How was learning remote?
I initially applied for an in-person cohort, but for various reasons I couldn’t start at that point. The next course date was a remote cohort, which I was apprehensive about but when I thought more about it, it meant that I had a lot more time to spend with my family so I decided to go for it.
It actually had loads of other benefits that I hadn’t anticipated. It prepared me for working remotely, which nowadays, as you know, is a really common way of working but which I had little experience of having come from a clinical background. But definitely the best thing about the remote course was that I could balance my personal life with studying. The time I would have spent commuting, I could write up notes or do some homework and then the rest of my evening was more free to spend time with my family.
The teaching was excellent too, and I didn’t feel like I missed anything in the remote experience. We had a lot of good tools. Our instructors Zsolt, Steven, Craig and John were amazing. They also shared their experience of having worked in the tech sector. We were able to get access to all that even though we were studying remotely.
• What advice would you give to someone looking to change careers right now?
Obviously, it’s a really big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I came from a very secure job, and for some people it might seem pretty wild to walk away from that, but I didn’t have many avenues for development and I wasn’t particularly happy so I felt like I owed it to myself to try to improve the situation.
If something has been in the back of your mind for a long time, there’s a reason for it. Sometimes you need to listen to your intuition and just go for it!