Sarah’s Reskilling Story

A photo of Sarah with a white background

Sarah's reskilling Story

As a Business Analyst at JP Morgan, Sarah saw opportunities for improvement that required new coding skills and which led to a new role in the organisation.

Background

As a Business Analyst at JP Morgan, Sarah’s job was to engage with business users to understand their existing processes and new requirements so that technology teams could develop the correct software solutions.

“I transcribed my analysis into user stories with supporting diagrams and summary documentation so that a developer fully understands the requirements and is able to create the associated code,” says Sarah.

Although Sarah graduated with an honours degree in Computing Science over 20 years ago, she’d long ago moved out of a development role. “In my day, we wrote software in procedural languages like C, using command-line build tools and scripts for applications that were installed on main-frames,” notes Sarah.

“I really needed a skill refresh to understand object-oriented development practices and all the latest IDE build tools, libraries and frameworks that are now used to create software solutions that are accessible over the web.”

"...we had learnt and built something really cool... then get to show it off to our classmates and instructors at the end. That was a real adrenalin kick!”

Training at CodeClan

Through her close work with JP Morgan’s technical team, Sarah became aware of a pilot being offered for existing employees working in non-development roles, but with a keen interest in developing code, to apply for CodeClan’s 16-week course. “There were only five spaces available and quite a few applicants: I was lucky enough to get picked!”

Staff enrolling on the course would subsequently return to JP Morgan as T-Shaped Software Engineers, moving out of their previous positions into Software Development roles.

Sarah describes the intensive nature of the course as “a really great experience; definitely hard work, but I loved the fast-paced learning environment and the practical nature of the course.

“We learnt full-stack development in three different programming languages, Ruby, Java and JavaScript, each culminating in a solo/pair/group project. The first four weeks of each language taught us all the building blocks we would need to develop a complete web app. The fifth week was project week.”

Sara highlights project week as perhaps the best part of the course. “This was when could consolidate and expand upon what we had learnt and build something really cool… then get to show it off to our classmates and instructors at the end.  That was a real adrenalin kick!”

Returning to work in a new role

Since her graduation, Sarah has returned to work in her new role, spending the majority of her time coding and problem-solving, rather than on the phone, in meetings and answering emails.

“I can also focus and concentrate on a single topic instead of having to juggle a lot of different topics simultaneously. The added bonus is that I can do my own analysis and I am comfortable speaking to the business about requirements, after having spent over a decade specializing in that area.”

As for Sarah’s advice to anyone else considering signing up for the course, whether through their employer or on their own, she says “Go for it! There’s a huge shortage of developers at the moment. If you have a passion for problem-solving and learning, then you’ll find software development a very interesting and intellectually-rewarding career.”

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