First of all, let’s start with a little bit about me.
I'm Cal (Calogero), I'm a 34-year-old passionate about tech, solving problems and love learning new stuff. For the past 9 years, I have worked for a major travel company and decided in 2020 that it was time to do something I've always been curious about, coding.
Prior to that I had no knowledge about software development, no seriously… I had no clue. I didn’t even know where to start. I had done a little bit of html about 13 years ago but that’s it. I also didn’t know that many people who had a developer job which could have helped me to get on the right path faster. However, we all know someone that has the answers to everything (well, almost everything). That’s right, Google.
I started my research about software developer roles and I was faced with hundreds of different programming languages and tools that developers use on a daily basis.
The confusion level had increased so much that I started looking for apps and courses I could use to figure out if I even liked it.
At that point, I had downloaded Mimo and Codecademy and started my coding journey. Most of these apps seem to start with HTML and CSS. Which was great! I love being creative and I love visuals, let’s do this! I quickly fell in love with the fact that I was able to create something with simple code. Weeks after, I knew that this is what I wanted to do for a living. Every time I opened my apps I was so happy to learn something new. I knew I couldn’t do this while working full-time. I wanted to be fully committed into learning how to code. I then decided to leave my job in the middle of a pandemic.
Crazy, right? Yes, crazy about coding.
At this point I wanted to do a real course, something where I could interact with people, ask questions, share ideas and be part of a team. I continued researching and I was soon faced with another obstacle… Which course do I choose?
I spent so many hours doing research and found so many negative reviews I didn’t feel like I wanted to make a choice. I started wondering, which one is genuine? Do they just want my money? Will they forget about me once I have paid them?
I then decided to speak to a careers coach. The person I spoke to knew someone that had previously worked as a careers coach at one of these bootcamps (“I always say everything happens for a reason”). She immediately got in touch with them and a few days later I received an email of them telling me about 2 bootcamps she knew had good reputation. One of which I had heard of before and found some not so positive reviews of and the other one was Northcoders. How could I have not seen these guys before? First thing… let’s find some reviews! Wow! Every review I found was talking about how supportive they were, lots of praise to the tutors and the overall positive feel of the bootcamp.
Let the learning continue! After 2 weeks of non stop freecodecamp I was able to write some basic code and resolve some katas (katas are challenges where you write code to resolve a problem or get to the expected result). I never had so much fun! I was loving it!
I then started joining their weekly sessions where one could bring some more challenging katas and a tutor would coach you to get to the answer yourself or with the help of other people who also wanted to join the bootcamp. This was possibly the bit where I was able to learn the most before doing my entry challenge. The tutors took their time to explain and go through how and why but not without you getting to the solution first. I loved how passionate everyone was and the high level of support that was available at this stage.
4 weeks later it was time to do the entry challenge. It was 1 hour long and I had to resolve 7 challenges. I was very nervous! I really didn’t want to mess up. I didn’t!
I was offered a spot in the march cohort and now I’m 8 weeks through the bootcamp!