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Reviewer Name Review Body
Jenny A-T

I left my job in Sept 2020 (in the middle of Covid... perhaps not the soundest decision but it turned out very well!) to attend iO (or Mayden Academy, as it was named at that point. The name changed, nothing else!). Before iO: I did some research on coding generally, some short courses on Codecademy, some of the free tester sessions you can find online. I wanted to be as sure as I could be that I actually would *like* coding - nothing I saw put me off, so I started researching bootcamps in my area. I was optimistic that I would be able to find one I could attend in person (at this point we were in between lockdowns, it was summer and it sort of felt like that would be feasible... yeah, I know). Anyway I did a lot of reading reviews, lots of digging into old blogs and so on, and I interviewed at two bootcamps. I already had iO pegged as my favourite and the interview confirmed it. There was also an entrance "test" - I got really hung up on this beforehand but would reassure anyone reading not to get too worried. It's not the kind of test you can revise for, and if you're the kind of nerd who's considering a coding bootcamp, you're probably going to find it fun. I took it online, in my own time, and had my face-to-face informal interview later. During iO: We did actually start in person, which was really nice. We were masked and behind plexiglass, but still. We moved to remote working in week 4, I think. I was worried about it but honestly it was actually really easy, and working in pairs over zoom is actually much more intuitive than working in pairs through plexiglass..! So if your cohort look like they're going to be fully remote, don't worry. The course is intense. It is fast, and if you've been out of education for a while, like I had been, it might take some getting used to! I would advise you to do any and all of the prep work you get sent beforehand (I did it for about half an hour an evening for a month or so beforehand, just to get to grips with things). You do a week or two of theory, followed by a project week. The first couple of projects are solo (you can obviously ask for help and so on, but what you make is personal to you), and then the rest are group based. Programming in a group was probably the biggest learning curve for me; it was so not what I was used to, but by the end our final project was something none of us could have achieved by ourselves, and we were all really proud. There are well-timed talks throughout the course from people in industry; these range from broad overviews of how certain companies work to fairly in-depth looks at how certain software works. Lots of the speakers are ex-students and it's really nice to see them and how happy they are in their work. After iO: Well, I'm only just after iO now, and I start my new job in two days! I had a few interviews during the final couple of weeks and the role I have accepted is a Masters degree apprenticeship - I do not have a computer science degree, I have a very doddery Film & Media degree from the dark ages, but in a couple of years I will be a software engineer with a masters degree! It would have been unthinkable to me this time last year, I'm thrilled. iO have lots of hiring partners within Bath / Bristol, and they will introduce you to whoever is hiring at the time you graduate. We graduated at Christmas, during covid lockdown, during a time when it is really hard to get work, and still had a handful of partners keen to interview us. Other notes? There were eight people in my class. We were all totally different in terms of learning styles; and all of us were accomodated. The size of the team means you get to know each other well and you get to learn how to work effectively with people who have different styles to you. It also means your tutor can take the time to give you each the individual support you need.