What does it take to change your career from sales executive to software developer?
We spoke to Peter about his decision to train at CodeClan and his role with CAS Ltd, a software development company based in Edinburgh.
Here he discusses his time on the 16-week coding course and his path towards a new career as a programmer.
After completing his degree, Peter worked in a couple of sales and business consultancy roles, getting experience with the professional office environment, sales and working with clients.
“It had its own challenges but it’s not the sort of work I wanted to do,” says Peter of his previous career. “There was too much of an emphasis on sales. That was kind of a ceiling and I couldn’t break through that, so I needed to look for a different way, which is why I went to CodeClan.”
Joining the 16-week course
Was Peter happy with his decision to join CodeClan?
“To be honest, when you’re looking into CodeClan and writing down your reasons to join, mine was to switch careers to software. And I have, so I don’t have anything to complain about! I enjoyed my time there, I made some amazing friends and now I’m working in a company that I’m looking forward to every day rather than dreading, so I can’t complain.”
Getting a coding job
What was it like to get a job quickly after CodeClan?
“I’d done my research before going into CodeClan so I was expecting a period of 2-3 months in which there would potentially be that worry of job seeking, so applying to CAS through CodeClan and hearing a couple of hours after we’d graduated on that day obviously was amazing.”
Working in software development
Tell us about your role at CAS Ltd?
“My job title is Workpro Analyst but my role is actually quite varied. Primarily, I’ve been in charge of the helpdesk. We’ve just recently started expanding our client base, so there’s quite a lot of issues to do with the software coming in.
“I’ve been fixing as many things as I can, which means I’m using different technologies and having to very quickly understand stuff that I haven’t done before, which CodeClan helped me prepare for. But on top of that I’m also shadowing some software development, learning some infrastructure and doing some client facing things as well.”
Has anything surprised you about working in this industry?
“I think CodeClan prepared me quite well for the sort of things I’d expect here, but it’s still a surprise seeing them in person.
“The amount of conversations and interaction with people is what I was expecting and hoping for, but it’s really nice to see on a day-to-day basis, because you have this picture of a software company being everyone sat behind their desks, no one talking.
“And if it’s busy, that’s probably what you’ll see, but yesterday for example I almost spent the entire day in a meeting room and hardly any time behind the desk at all.”
What do the next 5 years look like for you, or are you concentrating more on tomorrow?
“I have to admit, a lot of this is concentrating on tomorrow. I’m really happy coming here and learning the technology here, so I think my immediate focus is just building up the languages that I’m comfortable working with and technologies that I can use.
“And I’m seeing where that takes me to be honest. I know here they’re hoping to have me become a jack of all trades so I’m not just going to be doing the software side. I’m also going to be doing some infrastructure and some client-facing things so hopefully I’ll have a well-rounded skillset after a year and potentially look to where I’ll go next.”
You can also find out how other students and employers feel about the CodeClan experience in our Life After CodeClan video: