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Graduate Stories

A full-stack coding bootcamp contains the same material no matter who studies it. But every student has their own approach, their own ideas and especially their own story.

One of our favourite things about Code Institute is hearing graduates’ stories. Everyone comes to a coding bootcamp for their own reasons, and everyone benefits in different ways.

Here are some of those stories…

Ciaran Darcy – “I was working in a bank with…no coding experience at all”

Like many of our students, Ciaran was a newcomer to coding. He opted for the classroom bootcamp. Since graduating, Ciaran has landed a job with a tech multinational.

“I decided to go into Code Institute for a couple of reasons,” he says. “The first one was that they have a classroom. I wanted a course where I could treat it like a college course, treat it like a school. The other thing was the fact that they pushed a lot back and it was up to you [the student] to learn, made it your responsibility. I liked the teaching style – hands-on and practical.”

“I was working in a bank with a background in science and physics and no coding experience at all. Since Code Institute’s bootcamp, I’ve joined IBM. I’ve been to conferences in Madrid and working as a technical advisor for IBM for the past six months.”

Nakita McCool – “What stood out to me was their focus on employability”

“If you really want to change your career to coding, do it. It’s well worth getting into.”

Despite having a good job already, Nakita was ready for a change. She was hoping for a course that would address her lack of technical skills, and one that taught relevant, in-demand disciplines.

“Before the bootcamp I was living and working in London,” she says. “I was a management consultant. Whilst that was a great experience, I was worried about coming into the bootcamp with no coding experience. But actually coming into the classroom I noticed that guys on the course came from really diverse backgrounds. That put me at ease because you didn’t need that technical experience. You were able to get up to speed quite quickly.”

“What stood out to me was their focus on employability,” she says. “The most valuable thing for me was coming out with industry-relevant skills. The reason for this is the Industry Advisory Council, who work with Code Institute to help them understand what skills and technology [employers] want from junior developers.”

“The class was kept quite small and at all times you had a teaching assistant and mentor to help you. There was a good mix of coding exercises and practical examples.”

Maria Hynes – “My reason for doing it was to upskill and refresh my knowledge”

Maria has had an interesting path to our course, and career afterwards. Working for a major bank, she wanted to refresh and future-proof her existing skills. She opted for the online learning option, allowing for flexible learning and minimal work disruption.

“I actually did study computer science,” she says, “but it was 15 years before this bootcamp. My reason for doing it was to upskill and refresh my knowledge because of all the developments that have happened since in web and app development.”

“I’m still in the job I was in before I started,” Maria says, referring to her job at an international bank, “but they are starting to use the technology that I’ve learned.”

Megan Emily Duffy – “I wanted a solid skill and to push my potential further”

Catering was not Megan’s first choice as a career, but she had been working in it for years by necessity. She chose the mentored online course to allow her to work while she studied.

“It was a way to continue what I was doing and further my education and broaden my horizons,” she says. “I went with mentored online because it gave me the opportunity to keep working. I couldn’t afford to take a few years out to go to college, so that was really important to me. I was able to work on my own time and at my own pace.”

“Before this, my background was catering. I’d spent three years in the industry and wasn’t happy in it. I wanted a solid skill and to push my potential further. If you break down the barrier and take a look at how your initiative can take you further, that can be transferred in so many ways. It can be used in all kinds of industries.”

“Since completing the mentored online, I’ve attained a job with a hosting company. They wouldn’t have looked twice at me previously with just my catering experience, so [the course] really gave me a leg up in the industry.”

Darragh Browne – “You can change your life”

Darragh had tried conventional, third-level education in the past, but the teaching style didn’t suit him. He was making sandwiches for a living when he decided to take part in the classroom bootcamp.

“I was working in a supermarket deli,” he says, “so I didn’t have a lot of opportunities. I tried college and dropped out. I went for Code Institute because of the project-based way of learning. You learn by doing and building things.”

“What I liked about the teaching style was that there was always someone on hand to help me with any issues. I liked that it was interactive, so you weren’t just sitting there listening.”

“I’m proud of getting my life and career in a much better direction than it was before I started. I’m super happy with the trajectory my career has taken since I left Code Institute.”

As well as acquiring enough skills to become a software developer, Darragh learned a lot about himself during his time at bootcamp and in the months that followed: “I’ve achieved a lot. I’ve recently joined one of Ireland’s biggest tech startups so I’ve completely changed my life. What I learned about myself was that if you put the work in and go for something, you can change your life.”

Alun Price – “I’m most proud of getting into the door”

Alun had worked in science and vaccines, and had dabbled in IT courses prior to Code Institute. But he needed a more focussed approach before he could change careers.

“I needed some sort of structure,” he says. “At the time I was doing some courses online but I don’t know how close that was getting me to my end goal, which is getting a job in the IT industry.”

“The deciding factor for me [studying with Code Institute] was going to an open evening and hearing Brian O’Grady [course director] and others talking about the company. I was convinced that [Brian] knew what he was talking about. I loved the fact that the curriculum was dictated by industry and that’s what I was looking for.”

“My background before the camp was I was a scientist, working to PhD level and developing vaccines. I’d done a course in big data and I wanted to learn more about the IT industry. And Code Institute allowed me to do that. I love the teaching style – it’s informal and relaxed, but very intense as well. If you need any help in any regard, they’re always there to help you.”

“I also love that it was set up like a simulated work environment. It teaches you the fundamentals you will need in any entry level IT position.”

“I’m most proud of getting into the door and becoming a proper, bona fide IT person.”

Adrian Rus –  “I had a business degree but technology was always my passion”

“I decided to join Code Institute because of the flexibility they offered,” says Adrian. “I did a course online. So that gave me time to work full time and do the course.”

Adrian had studied another subject altogether, but wound up working in catering and wanted a change: “Before I started bootcamp I had a business degree but technology was always my passion,” he says. “This course was very practical – you learn by doing. Working with new technologies, it’s very relevant for the careers market.”

“Because I did it online, it helped a lot to book sessions with a mentor and having questions answered. The most proud part is actually getting a level 6 diploma, in less than a year. So I think it’s a great advantage. Since completing code, I had a job as a QA tester and now I’m going into Accenture as a graduate technologist. So it opened up so many doors for me.”

And would Adrian recommend Code Institute to a friend? “I actually did for a few already!” he answers with a laugh.

Ben Chadwick – “I could take an idea and build it myself”

Ben studied a business degree in UCD, but the jobs on offer didn’t appeal to him. He liked the independence and creativity that came with coding and appreciated the velocity of Code Institute’s bootcamps.

“The short timeframe meant that I could go from zero to programmer in a really quick space of time,” he says. “The intensity of the course lends itself to moving quickly and going from nothing to being able to work as soon as possible. I also saw that they were using the latest technologies instead of some of the older technologies that some universities use. That appealed to me.”

“I didn’t want to go back to college and have to learn over a long period of time. I wanted to learn quickly and start building things as soon as possible.”

“Before bootcamp I studied business for three years. I wanted to do something different. What appealed to me about coding was that I could take an idea and go and build it myself straight away without having to rely on anyone else.”

“Since graduating I’ve been working as a full stack developer full time. I’ve expanded on the base of what I’ve learned in Code Institute and learned more and more. I’ve started to develop in more areas like APIs and machine learning.”

“Something Code Institute gave me was the ability to take a new technology and give me a head start in learning that.”

Jodie Gardiner – “I enjoyed the process of learning so much”

“Having worked in a different industry altogether, and been out of the workforce for years, Jodie was ready for a new challenge.”

“I decided to learn with Code Institute because at the time it was more or less serendipity,” he says. “I was looking to change career and get back to work after a long period of being out of work. I looked at various options and Code Institute was the best one.”

I chose Code Institute over a university course because time was a factor and the fact that I could turn it around in 12 weeks was really positive. Again, university credit-rating was also important. I’d done some research and the languages covered were very much what was in demand with employers, so they’re important reasons why I chose Code Institute.
Before the bootcamp I was mostly employed in the content side of things – not particularly techie. I had no specific coding experience. Even after 20 years out of the education system, I still really enjoy learning. I love encountering new tech and new ideas and I’d forgotten about that part of me – that I enjoyed learning so much.”

The self-respect get from achieving something and getting back into work is important and it feels good. Since getting my qualification I got, more or less, a job straight away from my first interview.”