Before Makers Academy I was a graphic designer and illustrator and I'm now working at New Bamboo - an agency with an amazing work culture and philosophy that is very much in line with Makers Academy's.
I wanted to learn to code as I had a desire to acquire new skills and learn new technologies. I felt limited by my design skills and wanted to open up new doors and expose myself to different opportunities. I also wanted to know how to make things and explore a new creative medium. Coding ticked all the boxes!
I came across Makers Academy after I Googled around for courses - Makers was up there as the best. I read countless student reviews and was really impressed by the unique classroom teaching style. I was also won over by the placements team who seemed to be putting graduates into insanely good starting positions at some awesome companies.
I did have many difficult moments during the course. To begin with, I found pairing with other people quite hard and frustrating. But then halfway through the course, you learn how to do it well and it's the best experience. I also found the fast pace quite difficult to keep up with. It didn't bother me so much though as I knew by putting in extra hard it would eventually make sense.
My biggest worry during the course was whether or not I would actually be able to learn anything of any value. Will I understand the content? Will I actually be able to sit down and make something from scratch? Would I become more employable? Will I get a job? Nothing is guaranteed on the course, but I can say that with enough enthusiasm, positivity and hard work there is no reason to worry.
After graduation I hit the ground running with back-to-back interviews and technical tests. The placements team are incredible and so supportive so I landed a job four weeks later at New Bamboo.
My life has turned around since graduation. I didn't take this course with the intention of becoming a developer. At the time, I was interested in acquiring some front end skills so I could push forward my design work and take things from there. I ended up loving Ruby and getting a full stack role at a brilliant agency. I have a job that I love with clear focus, direction and endless possibilities.
My biggest advice to people thinking about a career change is do it. The direction of your life is never set in stone. Make sensible decisions, follow your heart and enjoy the ride.
For students interviewing for developer roles my biggest advice is be yourself. Students from Makers Academy are not the same kind of species as normal developers out there and it's your background and experiences that don't necessarily relate to coding that will give you an edge. And TDD everything.
To sum up my Makers Academy experience? It was emotional, exhausting, exhilarating.