Why would you make yourself struggle? Why leave your perfectly okay (ish) job that is making you money every month? Why leave your comfort zone to do something that feels completely alien to you? Well, in January, that’s what I decided to do.
Before joining the course, I had been a Digital Marketer for 2+ years. Things had gone stale and I decided a change was necessary. I learned basic HTML and CSS when I was doing A Levels, and did ask to train to learn HTML and CSS when I was in my early days of Marketing but it didn’t ever come to fruition. So, when I spoke to Peter this time, got an initial feel for the course and had a try at coding with Craig, I decided this was the place for me.
I say this as if it was an easy decision. When you do these things, you must consider everything – can you afford to not earn money for 3 months? Are you prepared to jump so far out of your comfort zone, that you might not find it again for a while? What if I can’t do it? These we’re all thoughts that went through my head. In the end, the risk seemed worth it.
I’m sure you didn’t just come to this article to hear me ramble on about what thoughts I have though, so I’ll move onto my first week here at _nology.
Monday – 1st Day
First days are always nerve racking, right? I wish I could tell you I felt anything different, but I can’t. I was a nervous wreck. Having said that, it’s worth remembering that it wasn’t just me that felt like that, quite a few of the others on the course also felt the same. Everyone arrived pretty sharpish for 8:30am and off we go. The first day to the rest of our lives.
Sounds dramatic – it wasn’t that bad. We grabbed our seats and waited to be introduced to the team. First up was Liam and Shea. Liam has been in the industry for years, working for the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence, the NHS, IBM, Nationwide and many more. The list is literally endless. Shea was on the last intake and was so good he was hired permanently for _nology.
We we’re then introduced to Craig who is the Head of Technology for _nology along with Peter, the co-founder. We also met and spoke to Amy Golding, co-founder and the CEO of Opus Talent Solutions. They were all very friendly and if Football is your thing, like me, then Pete supports QPR and Shea supports Leeds. Do with that information what you will (mainly tell them Bristol City are better like I did.)
After this, we started a game. I thought I had reached the pinnacle of my career when Craig explained we had to make paper airplanes. Not only was I going to become a web developer, I was now off to become an Aircraft Engineer. Jack-of-all-trades! I won’t spoil the game just in-case you play it but it taught us a lot about development stages, even if we did find it a bit strange at the time!
Having completed the game, it was fairly standard stuff for the rest of the morning. Setting up laptops, getting everything installed etc. Some GIT command learning followed and then we had a rest after a (very) long day.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
On Tuesday, we started the real Web Development stuff. Liam took us through basic HTML and we deployed our first web-page live on the internet. This sounds scary, but with Liam and Shea’s help, we did really well. Everyone was using either VS Code (the tool we use to write code) or the Command Prompt and although it took some time, we all got there in the end.
Wednesday was focussed around basic CSS and we all coded some styling while working on our personal project, our online CV’s. Our personal CV’s are a great chance to test features and work well for us to learn and make mistakes on. This is where we started building features and I built my first parallax feature.
Thursday was focussed on Flexbox. CONFUSING! But by the end of the day we had got the hang of it. We were all very surprised to see how far we had come in just 4 days. But this is just the start of our great journey.
Friday’s are a little different at _nology. They are known as presentation or demo days. Again, this might seem scary but it’s necessary, especially in the tech industry these days. You may be presenting to clients about the work etc so it’s always good to practice these skills. We presented to Rich, the Head of L&D at Opus who gave us tips on the content of our CV’s and some on the layout. This was important to hear from someone who trains recruiters on a daily basis as this will help us going forward to attract attention to our CV’s.
Overall, the first week has been very long but very interesting. Everyone on the course has had high points and low points but we’ve always been helped by Liam, Shea and Craig who are always on hand to help. Let’s see how we get on going forward!