Giveaway Winner Spotlight: Sam Culley, Makers Academy
We're pleased to announce one of the winners of SwitchUp's gift card giveaway, Sam Culley!
After completing a degree in Philosophy, Sam was headed for a career in law when he decided that coding suited his interests more than legal work. Hoping to break into software development, Sam jumped into a bootcamp with Makers. Despite being away from an education environment for quite some time, Sam thrived in Makers' weekly format, and ability to collaborate with his peers.
We sat down with Sam to learn more about what he loved about Makers Academy, and his goals to become a developer.
Tell me about your background. What was your educational experience before joining Makers Academy?
I've got a degree in philosophy, and I started a course for legal work. However, it's been years since I've done any formal education.
What made you decide to pursue a career in tech?
I was working in a tech environment, and I found coding more and more interesting as I was exposed to developers.
Why did you decide to attend Makers Academy? What were your goals for the program?
My workplace at the time offered an apprenticeship that involved Makers, and I was impressed with it's good reputation.
There are an increasing number of available bootcamps. Why did you decide to choose this program over others?
I primarily chose Makers because my workplace was providing an apprenticeship framework.
For you, what were the pros and cons of attending a bootcamp?
Makers Academy is quite intense, but it's really good to be able to spend months focusing on educating myself, as it is rare to find the time to do that as an adult.
Tell me a little bit about the course structure. What did you like best about the environment and teaching style?
It was structured in a weekly format, where each week we'd focus on a particular topic, and build on what we'd learn the previous weeks. This meant by the end we were building large applications and knew how each piece slotted together, which I really liked.
How did this program prepare you for a career in tech?
There was a heavy emphasis on how coding worked with other people, and how you could pair, review and version control your work so that you knew how to work in a large organization.
What challenges did you overcome to get where you are?
To be honest, I did not encounter many challenges, however, I did graduate during the recession so it was really hard to get good work then. I worked as a waiter for a while, and it's hard to break out of a role that makes you so exhausted.
Tell us about what's next. How do you plan to use your newfound skills as you build your career?
I'm hoping to become a permanent developer at my current workplace, as it's super interesting. I'm also working on side projects with friends, and maybe one of those will blow up!
What advice do you have for people who are interested in attending a bootcamp?
It's a good industry to get into because it's so new, and everyone is keen to encourage learning. People tend to appreciate that you did a bootcamp, and you want to make sure that you're not doing it for the wrong reasons - don't expect to make loads of money instantly, or a smash hit app!
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.