John discusses his move from teacher to student with our immersive programming course.
Before Codeclan I worked as a primary school teacher. I took a lot from teaching, but after 10+ years I decided that it was time for a new challenge.
I’ve been interested in tech since I was quite young. We had a rubber-keyed Sinclair Spectrum in the house when I was wee. Since then I’ve been keen on computing and tinkering with computers. I could write a modestly complex formula in Excel.
It wasn’t until I heard of CodeClan that I thought about it as a viable career opportunity.
Making the change
The financial side of things wasn’t easy. We had a small amount of savings, but the reality was that there had to be a real belt-tightening to make ends meet. Once we had the budgeting in place though, we made it through OK.
At the campus, it was great meeting and hanging around with like-minded people. The teaching was engaging and well-paced, and I really enjoyed the learning.
I especially enjoyed the project weeks. During those, I had the chance to take all that I had learned during the previous weeks and really apply them in creative ways; those were the weeks when everything really tied together and started to make sense.
It’s not all work; but there is an awful lot of it. Sixteen weeks isn’t as long as it sounds, and squeezing all the benefit I could out of the course meant that I pulled some pretty long days, and quite a few long nights as well! You’re learning a whole lot of new stuff though, and that doesn’t just happen by itself.
For all that, the social side of the course was really good too, and there was plenty of opportunity for taking a wee break now and again and blowing off some steam.
Starting a new career
Leaving behind a good career elsewhere, I was nervous about whether I’d made the right choice or not.
When I finished the course, I felt confident that I could present myself as a software developer to the wider world, and indeed, did. I haven’t looked back.
I now work for the SEEMiS Group in Hamilton. They’re one of Codeclan’s employer partners who make information systems for schools. The Head of Technology, Ian, came out and spoke to us one afternoon during the course, and I was really interested in the work the company does.
Fast forward a few months and I started my job with the company as a Java developer.
My average day is split between system maintenance (fixing bugs etc.), and working with my team to create some exciting new software for schools.
The head start that CodeClan gave me has been really useful, and I use skills that I learned on the course on a daily basis.