We often get asked who joins our Softwire Coding Bootcamp and the answer is: People from all walks of life and background. Here’s one story about Tom, who joined us for bootcamp training in the sunny Summer of 2022.
Making the move away from Maths teacher
Tom, a dedicated Maths teacher, decided to switch careers and dive into the world of coding because he loved software projects and had a burning desire for a change to a new and thrilling career. “I was enjoying teaching enough,” Tom said, “but had also really enjoyed several hobby software projects I’d done. I liked learning new languages and techniques, problem solving, creating something real out of an idea – at some point I just decided that I wanted a career change more than I wanted to stay in teaching!”
Tom knew that changing careers was going to be a big leap and he didn’t want to leave anything to chance. He chose to apply to Softwire’s Coding Bootcamp to take advantage of the structure and support on offer, and having someone to keep him accountable so he could make a proper go of it.
What Tom found when he joined
Tom wasn’t alone in this exciting journey. The bootcamp was filled with a mix of aspiring career changers, including an Immigration Officer, a Painter/Decorator, an Architect, and others looking to reignite their tech careers after a break. Tom was pleasantly surprised by the diverse backgrounds of his fellow learners. “I think I’d built up in my head that the bootcamp would be full of super-competitive career-driven computer science graduates fresh out of university and that I would feel very out of place as an older career changer, but it wasn’t like that. The people were extremely lovely and had a huge range of different experiences behind them.”
Fast forward to the 12-week bootcamp — a whirlwind of intensity and exhilaration. “The tasks on the course are great but they needed some thought to work out what is going on and get into them! When you start a new task it can feel ambiguous, like you don’t even know what the question is you want to ask, let alone the answer. At the time, this was definitely the most frustrating aspect of the course, but probably the one that most closely represents my day-to-day experience of being a software engineer!”
When asked about his favourite aspect of the bootcamp, Tom shared that “there are lots of highlights to pick from: highly knowledgeable instructors, excellent support in personal and career development, interesting and well-structured tasks… I think my favourite aspect was pair programming. We were pretty much always working in pairs on code writing tasks, which was very different from my previous coding experience. I think I gained more from this – getting used to communicating thoughts and listening to others and drawing out their thoughts – than I did from any other single aspect.”
Where’s Tom now?
Tom’s newfound skills and confidence opened doors he never thought possible. “Learning an entire tech stack, working closely with other people, taking part in design tasks, as well as coding all gave me plenty of fresh examples to talk about in job applications and interviews. It also gave me the confidence to apply for a much wider variety of jobs than I would have done otherwise.”
Since attending the Softwire Coding Bootcamp, Tom has successfully landed a job as a Software Engineer for a well-known online grocery brand. “I started my new career as a Software Engineer about a month after the end of the course and have been doing that ever since.” Talk about a triumphant finale!
Want to follow in Tom’s footsteps?
If you’ve been inspired by Tom’s journey and you want to embark on your next adventure in your career, have a look at our Softwire Coding Bootcamp page for more information and everything you need to get you started.