March 20, 2020

What was Eithel Anderson's experience at Makers Academy?

We're pleased to announce one of the winners of SwitchUp's gift card giveaway, Eithel Anderson!

Eithel is a graduate of Makers Academy, with a background in criminology. With an underlying interest in tech, Eithel decided to switch careers and pursue a UI/UX developer role. After initially self teaching, Eithel discovered a need for a more structured learning environment - which led her to Makers. With help from Makers Academy, Eithel landed an exciting new role as a fullstack developer!

We sat down with Eithel to learn more about her experience at Makers, her advice for students considering enrolling in a bootcamp, and more!

1. Tell me about your background. What was your educational experience before joining Makers Academy?

I studied at the University of Greenwich and graduated with a degree in Criminology. After my time at University I spent a couple years working for Santander then I went on to work for Transport for London for 4 years before joining Makers Academy.

2. What made you decide to pursue a career in tech?

I always found the tech industry interesting but had a misconception that the only way to get into the industry was by getting a computer science degree. It got to the point where I was no longer getting any job satisfaction from my role and began researching into UX/UI and realized there were quite a few people who were self taught. This then led me to researching in to becoming a developer.

3. Why did you decide to attend Makers Academy? What were your goals for the program?

I initially began my learning journey by self teaching, using resources like Freecode camp and enrolling in courses and workshops such as Django Girls and Code first girls. I felt like I needed some form of structure and after attending Afro tech fest conference in London and speaking to a Makers alumni I decided to look into the curriculum. I also reached out to a few other Alumni’s from Makers on Linkedin as well as other bootcamps. Makers won me over by how much support they offered after completing the course. I really wanted to secure a role once completing the course which i’d say was one of my main goals aside from learning to code - so job support was a huge factor for me.

4. There are an increasing number of available bootcamps. Why did you decide to choose this program over others?

I went for Makers mainly because of the fact that they seemed well known within the industry and everyone I had spoken to only had good things to say about them. I also soon came to realize that some bootcamps do not offer career support once the course is done, and for someone like me who is completely new to the industry I felt this was important as I needed guidance.

5. For you, what were the pros and cons of attending a bootcamp?

The pros would be that the curriculum was very structured and covered a lot of important fundamentals in programming. Another would be that you also have amazing coaches that offer support during the course and what sets them apart is that they don’t just feed you the answers but they ask you questions that allow you to explore things for yourself and understand it much better. Another pro is that you have your cohort to lean on which is a great form of support.

I don’t know if it’s much of a con but its fast paced so may not be suitable for all and it’s quite easy to fall behind.

6. Tell me a little bit about the course structure. What did you like best about the environment and teaching style?

In terms of course structure you have a month of pre-course material to complete which ensures everyone is at the same level before starting the on-site course. Pre-work consisits mainly Ruby quizzes (Depends on what language the bootcamp covers) that you work through to develop your understanding and problem solving skills. I loved that the course eased us in and wasn’t complex from the get go. The course is structured in a way that week by week you are gradually increasing your knowledge and by the end of the course you’re at the point where you can build a full project from scratch.

7. How did this program prepare you for a career in tech?

The program prepared me greatly, not just bt learning how to code but also pushing me to identify my transferable skills from previous roles that can be applied to my role. The course covers a lot of areas in terms of planning projects which is also important. We worked in Agile ways which a lot of tech companies do.

8. What challenges did you overcome to get where you are?

I’m a mum of two and for me it was difficult. I had to sacrifice a lot of time in order to study, which was challenging but I knew it was what I really wanted to do and it would pay off in the end.

9. Tell us about what’s next. How do you plan to use your newfound skills as you build your career?

I managed to secure a role within ⅔ weeks of finishing the bootcampas a Fullstack Developer with Clearscore so now the plan is just to become a well rounded developer and hopefully get into a position where I can give back to others that want to change careers, either through public speaking and sharing my experience or coaching coding classes.

10. What advice do you have for people who are interested in attending a bootcamp?

I'd say:

  • Make sure you research all bootcamps also be open minded
  • Reach out to alumni as their experience can give you an idea of what the bootcamp is like
  • Be kind to yourself! Bootcamps are fast paced so ensure you take time out to recharge. Makers do daily meditation and also do yoga!

Are you a bootcamp student or alum? You could be our next giveaway winner! Write a review of your program, and you'll be entered to win an Amazon gift card.

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