Although Oskana did have some coding experience, she subscribed to the Complete Web Developer Course and went through the video tutorials to not only to refresh her skills but find a new job with these skills.
It was exactly a year ago when I got interested in web development. I had done a degree in teaching IT which included some programming but forgotten nearly everything after 8 years out of practice, and was teaching English in a language school in Oxford. Before leaving for France for 5 months, my partner, who is a developer, suggested signing up for a Complete Web Developer course on www.udemy.com and I thought ‘Hey why not, and it is discounted as well’. So began the long winter of 2014, with my boyfriend seasoneering in the Alps and me learning to code everyday after work. I guess because he was away I managed to get through a lot of the course and learnt more than in 5 years of being at university! By the end of the course I was determined to change jobs – with my thirst for knowledge I knew that web development would suit me as I would need to keep abreast of changes in this constantly evolving area.
I must say that getting a job with no experience whatsoever was not easy at all, and I was very sceptical of Rob’s claims that you can earn money while learning to code. I registered on various websites, sent a lot of applications for junior positions and internships (which paid half of what I was earning) to no avail, or just to get a reply that I didn’t have experience (unfortunately, a lot of Junior Dev positions require some sort of commercial experience). On the positive side, I did receive a lot of calls from recruitment agencies who were looking for experienced coders, and realising how many jobs there are made me persevere with applying and further developing my skills.
I finally managed to get an interview for a Junior Developer position in a small marketing agency and as they work in C# I thought I wouldn’t get the job -my knowledge of C# was non-existent.In the interview I was asked why I wanted to change jobs so drastically, if I had any experience, what kind of things I´ve been working on in my free time. Of course, I mentioned projects like Weather Predictor and Secret diary and explained how they work. I think the interviewers probably realised that I´d only gone back to programming recently, but I like to think that they saw how passionate and determined I was about web development.
Imagine my surprise when I got the job offer! I was ecstatic and a bit scared at the same time – teaching English and coding are so different and I only knew the basics of web development. I accepted the offer and I haven’t had any regrets despite longer hours and travel distances, lower salary, a few days less holiday and pushing myself way out of my comfort zone (which a lot of people are afraid to do, I guess). I now maintain existing websites and am currently building a store locator using GoogleAPI.
Well done Oksana! Not only did you complete the course but you have built on those skills by getting a job that lets you learn other web developments skills and more importantly, you enjoy it!