We recently caught up with John Boyle, who graduated from our 17 Glasgow cohort earlier in the year, to discuss his experience with CodeClan.
Tell us a bit about your career before studying at CodeClan.
I went to university and studied Russian history which was a tremendous experience but not one that helped with jobs after the fact. I ended up working to help people from deprived areas into university and then in marketing for an organisation that supports PhD researchers in the arts. Both jobs were challenging in their own way with lots of project management, budget management and creativity in their own way but whilst I was committed I didn’t feel passionate about the work. That made my career feel a little aimless.
How did you find out about the course?
I think that lack of passion in my work just hit a crisis point. I got the point where I was waking up and not wanting to work, which isn’t like me. I’m a naturally quite optimistic, enthusiastic person and I realised that to get that back I’d have to make change rather than waiting for change to happen.
A colleague’s husband went through CodeClan and was full of praise of the course and the change in his life since going through it. That certainly planted the seed, but I was still pretty hesitant to take the plunge and trust that I could take the opportunity and do it well.
I then covered a hackathon as part of my marketing job, and talking to the coding experts there and watching them do their thing was hugely inspiring. It gave me the push to take that leap into the unknown and trust myself, take this huge challenge and be ready to complete it.
How did you find the course and what were some of your highlights?
The course was an incredible experience. Our cohort was so supportive and it felt like a team effort at all times. We were all in it together!
It’s an intense experience, you’re in all day, usually in after the lessons to do your homework, your weekend homework. Basically my life became CodeClan, when I wasn’t in class I was at home studying. But at no point was it not fun. Even the toughest lessons were full of laughter and the support from the tutors made sure that I was always learning, always moving forward and getting better at coding.
Even when the course swung to being online due to Covid-19, the tutors and everyone on the course worked together to make the best of a tough situation. I think that might have been my favourite aspect of the course, the atmosphere and culture which the class had was such a positive space to be in.
The group projects were the highlight for me. I got to sit with, basically my friends and code up some cool apps over the course for a week. It was a lot of work, but I cannot think of a better way to spend my time!
What are you working on right now and how are you finding it?
At the moment I’m job hunting, which is certainly been made more difficult by the pandemic!
One of the best things CodeClan gave me was teaching me how to learn code, frameworks and languages. As such I’ve been busy teaching myself since leaving, I’ve picked up C# and PHP to help round out my skillset. I’ve also been developing apps across the languages I learned at CodeClan to help consolidate and continue my learning.
What’s your career goal at the moment?
Like many, I would like to be in a development job in the future at a company that’s forward facing and innovative. But one thing I’ve learned from doing CodeClan is that there are many paths through this sector. So I don’t think I want to limit myself, whether it’s going down testing, full-stack, back-end engineering, there are things to learn in all jobs that are very transferable.