Some useful things to know before you start

Lee Allen, 40, has worked in the corporate world and been self-employed. He came to _nology to broaden his skills career options and says there some key things you should know before joining a bootcamp like this.

Written by Nology Team - 12.04.19

I came to _nology looking to broaden my skillset and give me a bit of job security after over ten years of being self-employed. Since 2014 I’ve been running my own IT business, renting hardware, implementing operating systems and selling them on.

To start with I was busy and paying myself a good salary. But there were some quiet times last year with a few rockier moments. It made me come out of my self-employed bubble and question what I was doing a bit more.

A new challenge

Prior to launching my IT business I was a Personal Trainer. I’d been a fitness instructor and managed a gym before eventually setting up on my own. I still love fitness, particularly running and I spent all of my twenties and most of my thirties working in fitness before I kind of hit the ceiling and realised I needed a new challenge, which is when I set my IT business up. Both IT and fitness are passions of mine and both started out as hobbies.

Once I’ve got the skills I can go into any any role

After_nology, I’d like to take on a permenant role in a corporate environment, to have a break from being self-employed. It will be nice to have a bit of stability after so long working for myself. But I’ll also have the skillset to look into some projects for myself. For example, I’ll have an understanding of how gym databases work, the client details, fitness tests and gym programmes – so it could be I go back into the fitness industry in a different way. I’ve also got an idea for an app to do with running and training. It’s a saturated market so I’d need to make it unique – but once I’ve got the skillset and I’ve learnt to get all this code down I’ll definitely have a bit of a brainstorm about exciting side projects I can be creating.

You need dedication and time management

I’m really enjoying learning and being back in a working environment. The first week of 8am starts and 6pm finishes were a bit of a shock to the system after being self-employed for so long but its great being in an office with so many different people. There are some things I think it’s important to know before coming on a course like this. The main one is to know how dedicated you’ll need to be and that you’ll probably have manage your time even before you start.

Investing in your future

Just before I started _nology was training for the Manchester marathon and running between 30 and 60 miles a week. I knew I’d have to be flexible with that and potentially adjust my running – but I definitely had unrealistic expectations. After week one I realised there was no way I could do the course and train for the marathon and run my IT business – which I’m still squeezing into my time. So anyone considering this should realise you will need extra time to do the studying. It’s not going to be 9-5pm and that’s fine – because ultimately, you’re investing in yourself.

You don’t need a background in IT or tech

Another piece of advice would be not to worry if you’re from a background that’s not IT or technology. That has nothing to do with your ability to apply yourself and your willingness to learn, which is what this course is about. We’re all from very different backgrounds and have different personality types and its actually one of the things that makes the course so good.

A supportive enviroment

Finally I’d say – prepare to have a few wobbles. I had one in the first week and just thought, ‘am I ever going to get this?’ but that’s when the group come together to support you and again, you can do a bit of extra study at the weekend to feel more sure of yourself. We’re learning Javascript this week – I call it squeaky bum week! But we’re all in it together and that makes it so much better.

The best thing by far about the course so far is the way everyone has helped each other. As a group we’ve totally clicked, which happened on about day two and it’s good to know you can turn to any of these people for help and support. It really does feel like we’re a family.

It’s good to know that our students feel supported throughout the course by the trainer’s and their peers. If you want to learn how to code in 12 weeks then find out more here.


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