Altering careers: my journey to turning into a software program engineer

If you happen to’d have requested me firstly of 2022 what job I’d be doing in a years’ time I most likely wouldn’t have stated software program engineering. I’ve been in numerous accounting and finance roles all through my profession and final yr I made an enormous resolution. I joined Made Tech’s software program engineering Academy. 

The Academy teaches you the fundamentals of coding and also you don’t want skilled expertise to affix. It runs for 12 weeks, and then you definitely go on to work with purchasers on wonderful initiatives that make a distinction. By no means in one million years did I feel I’d be capable of do this in such a brief house of time. 

I wished to take a second to replicate on how far I’ve come and share my journey. I really hope it evokes others to suppose, “I can do this, too”!

Don’t accept jobs that don’t fulfil you

What I used to be doing earlier than becoming a member of the Academy wasn’t fulfilling for me. I used to get the Sunday dread about going to work every Monday – nobody needs that. We spend a whole lot of time at work and it’s exhausting and demotivating to do one thing you don’t get pleasure from. 

In my earlier roles, I typically discovered myself watching the clock and counting down the minutes till the top of the day. That doesn’t profit you, the organisation or your purchasers. I imagine being captivated with what you do makes you higher at it. 

I felt caught, like I’d dug myself right into a gap that I couldn’t get out of. The pandemic cemented how I felt about my profession. It took away the little issues that have been nonetheless nice about work, just like the social features. However in hindsight I’m glad, because it gave me the motivation I wanted to make a change. It got here to a tipping level once I thought, “OK, Emma. You’ll be able to both settle for that is your life now, or you can also make a change and begin once more.” In fact, I selected the second choice.

Discover what you get pleasure from and don’t be afraid to fail

I’d be mendacity if I stated it was tremendous straightforward to seek out what I get pleasure from and make sure I may make a profession out of it. So I did it in phases to make it rather less overwhelming. This actually helped me and I hope what I’m about to share will make it easier to, too.

Section 1

If you happen to can’t determine what you do get pleasure from (like me earlier than becoming a member of Made Tech), write down what you don’t get pleasure from. For instance, I do know I don’t like doing the identical factor on daily basis. I like selection in my function. I additionally know I really like working as a workforce fairly than independently, so I’d want to enter a profession that may enable me to collaborate with others. 

Figuring this stuff out obtained the ball rolling. I realised how a lot I really like drawback fixing and frequently studying new issues. And that’s what I really like most about being a software program engineer.

Section 2

Look into profession paths that relate to what you discovered in part 1. Don’t be afraid to strive new methods to assist get you there – like programs or coaching programmes. But in addition, keep in mind it’s okay to fail or settle for you might not get it proper the primary time round.

After I did this stuff, I got here to the conclusion {that a} profession in tech can be an ideal match for me, and extra particularly, a profession in software program engineering. 

Being a girl in tech is a superpower

Altering careers will be actually scary, particularly as a feminine wanting a profession in an business that’s dominated by males. In line with Tech Nation, 50% of staff within the labour market are girls. In tech, it’s about half that, at 26%. However being a girl in tech will be your superpower.

There could also be extra males within the business, however there’s a lot help on the market to assist girls. I began my studying journey with an organization known as Code First Women (CFG), the biggest supplier of free coding programs for ladies within the UK. I accomplished their Net Dev Coding Kickstarter course and inside 8 weeks I used to be in a position to construct a easy web site which had me hooked on coding. If you wish to take a look, it’s known as North West Escapes

I beloved each minute of it. So I took the leap and accomplished a CFG diploma. This was by far essentially the most difficult a part of altering careers as I used to be working full time as a finance officer through the day then spending my weeknights and weekends studying to code.

One of many greatest challenges was the foremost work/life imbalance that comes from deciding to work full time whereas doing an intensive course. I normally play netball 3 occasions every week. For 3 months I used to be unable to play whereas I accomplished the course. However if you’d like one thing sufficient, you make it work.

I visualised the long-term positive factors I’d get from doing this and the way I’d lastly really feel glad with my profession. In fact, I didn’t need to burn out. So I made positive I used to be nonetheless caring for my wellbeing, whether or not that was stress-free in entrance of the TV when time allowed or taking my canine for a stroll across the park. 

You’ve extra transferable abilities than you suppose

If you happen to’re pondering of adjusting careers however imagine you don’t have the best abilities to your dream job, in a whole lot of instances, you’re most likely unsuitable. There are such a lot of transferable abilities you’ll be able to draw on, after which you’ll be able to fill within the gaps.

Organisations like Made Tech actually worth these transferrable components and admire that it’s not simply your technical abilities that make you an awesome engineer. For instance, I had native authorities expertise which is an enormous focus for Made Tech and I’d additionally developed a steady enchancment mindset which is very valued right here too. 

One other transferable talent is my consideration to element given my heaps of finance expertise. Trying on the small particulars actually helps if you’re racking your brains making an attempt to determine what your code is lacking – it may find yourself being one thing as minor as a comma. 

Rising my confidence

My confidence has grown so much since becoming a member of Made Tech. I’ve been given the coaching and time to discover my working and communication kinds. It’s given me extra perception into what works greatest for me. I’ve been given alternatives to develop the talents I used to be much less assured in earlier than, like presenting and facilitating conferences. 

I’ve labored alongside some wonderful folks on the identical journey into tech, which has made me really feel actually supported. And I additionally need to give a shout out to the extra skilled engineers who’ve shared their information and expertise with me. Studying from my teammates has been a game-changer.

I’ve been placing into practise what I’ve discovered to this point, together with new laptop languages and programs. It’s been superior seeing how every little thing comes collectively to construct one thing nice.

The subsequent a part of my journey 

I can’t wait to begin engaged on a variety of various shopper initiatives. For now I’ve a while to work on my abilities and achieve some further {qualifications}.

It’s a frightening however thrilling place to be. There are such a lot of totally different routes to discover. I’m excited to get caught into initiatives which might be serving to make society higher. Don’t be scared to take the leap and alter careers if it’s one thing you actually need to do. I promise, it’s price it! 

Fascinated with becoming a member of the Made Tech workforce? Study extra about what life’s like in our Academy and see our open roles.

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