Learn about CodeClan’s instructor team – their career journey so far, their passions and interests, as well as their day to day work life.
Katie Jeffree is an assistant instructor on CodeClan’s Professional Software Development course in Edinburgh.
How did you become a CodeClan instructor?
I became a CodeClan instructor after I finished the course myself. I studied Psychology at university and worked as a nanny for one year. However I decided that nannying was no longer what I wanted to do as a career, and I found CodeClan and Professional Software Development sounded like something I could do, and their format was exactly what I needed.
Whilst I was still a CodeClan student, the Technical Assistant role was advertised, I applied and got the job. I have since been promoted to Assistant Instructor and enjoy delivering lessons to current students.
What would you say is your CodeClan career highlight so far?
I would say the biggest highlight of my career has been seeing alumni that I have taught coming back to CodeClan for Speed Networking with their employers. It’s always so great to see them again and to see how much they have learnt and progressed since leaving CodeClan. Watching them interviewing current students as potential new employees is always so rewarding as it shows how much trust the company have in the alumni.
What’s the most enjoyable aspect of your job?
There are so many enjoyable things about my job, but a main one is the fact that I get to teach a whole new group of students every 16 weeks, and each cohort is always different. So even though we are teaching the same thing to each cohort, the dynamic of each group really keeps it interesting and enjoyable for me.
Something else that I really enjoy is seeing the learning and development of all the students as the course goes on. The types of questions they ask in class changes as they progress, and we can get some very interesting and thought provoking questions towards the end of the course. It’s great to get these as it shows how much they have learnt from us and we can see the curiosity that has developed within them.
What’s the most exciting thing about software development?
I find the most exciting thing about Software Development to be how quickly the industry can change. It’s exciting watching new tools and technologies emerge that will improve the quality of the products created or provide easier ways for developers to carry out their work. I also really enjoy the fact that with the same tools, you can create vastly different products. We see this all the time when teaching the course, as we teach the students the same things and they are all using the same tools, but the apps they create during their projects are so different and creative, usually coming up with aspects we never would have thought about ourselves.
What advice do you have for someone who is thinking of studying software development at CodeClan?
If you haven’t already, come to one of our open evenings/webinars to hear about the course and ask any questions you have about Software Development in general or about the course itself. The event will have at least one instructor attending, so you can hear from them directly about the course and you can ask them any question relating to life as a student.
I would also say that you need to have a passion for problem solving. Most of the time when you are coding, you are problem solving. You will be given a brief and will need to work out how to build a system using the tools you have learnt about in your lessons to meet the brief.
What do you do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy crocheting. Recently I have started a new project to make a blanket, but previously I have made tiny hats for rubber ducks, there’s a strategy we use at CodeClan called Rubber Ducking – where you talk through the blocker you’re currently facing to a rubber duck, and it helps you to work out what the issue is! So we’re all about the rubber ducks! I also enjoy playing board games with my flatmates. Our favourite game is Catan, but we have a whole collection building up.
What was the last thing you watched on TV?
The last thing I watched was Noughts and Crosses. I have just started watching it, but I’m very excited about it, as it’s based on a book I loved as a teenager. It’s set in an alternate universe where society is split into two groups, the Noughts (people with white skin) and the Crosses (people with black skin), where the Crosses are the ruling class and have all the power. It follows Callum (a Nought) and Sephy (a Cross) who fall for each other which leads them into trouble.
What’s your favourite book?
My first answer is always the Harry Potter series. I love these books so much, I can read them over and over again and still find little extra pieces of information or links between the characters or different meanings on their actions throughout the book. I also love the audiobook series too, Stephen Fry’s narration of them is perfect!
Another book I really enjoyed was Ready Player One. This book is set in the future, where everyone is playing a virtual reality game called the OASIS. The story follows Wade Watts as he tries to find an ‘easter egg’ (a feature hidden in the game), to win a fortune and control of OASIS itself. The book features a lot of references to 80s pop culture, like the Monty Python films and classic video games.
Tell us something surprising about yourself!
At the end of secondary school, before I started Sixth Form, I went on an expedition with some other students to Peru for a month with a company called Outlook Expeditions. This expedition took us into the jungle where we went white water rafting and zip lining through the canopies. We spent a week with a small community where we helped them to make a house out of hand made bricks and cement. We climbed Machu Picchu, trekked down and up the Colca Canyon, and relaxed in hot water springs. This was a fantastic experience and I have such fond memories of the trip. The picture below is of me at the top of Machu Picchu!