Coding the Future: Developer Spotlight – Ryan McNally

Author:

Coding the Future: Developer Spotlight – Ryan McNally

In November 2022, Ryan McNally joined the Level 5 Diploma in Web Application Development programme, delivered at City of Bristol College by Pasquale Fasulo and Ben Smith using the Code Institute learning platform.

The course equips learners with full-stack software development skills, preparing them to enter the digital workforce in various roles.

We asked Ryan’s instructors, Pasquale and Ben, for their thoughts on Ryan as part of this spotlight:

Pasquale, the college’s director of Further Education, said, “I would say that Ryan was an absolute pleasure to work with. His determination, approach, and attitude to work were highly professional from the start. 

He was always prepared and actioned his targets in a timely manner that enabled him to be focussed and clear on what he needed to do. 

He was always prepared on what he needed to get from his sessions with us and was just an exemplary student in terms of taking ownership and responsibility for his learning.”

Ben Smith, computing lecturer at City of Bristol College, said:

”Ryan was an exceptional student who produced work that went way beyond the course’s needs. We wanted to hire him here! 

Thankfully, he has gained employment at a top tech company (Version 1) that recognises his skills. It’s rare but exciting to have students as talented and motivated as him.” 

Ryan has completed the programme and has recently joined Version 1 as an Associate Consultant, working as a software developer on their various projects.

Ryan’s Interview

Tell us about yourself and how you found your way to this programme.

Hi, I’m Ryan McNally! I worked my way through Code Institute’s Full Stack Development course and then their career masterclass videos. Using these tools and speaking with Jade and Jane from the careers team, I constructed my CV, LinkedIn profile, and Cover Letter.

I regularly looked at the job alerts page on Slack and continued to go through roles on job sites, looking for ones that suited me. I also found the addresses of some companies and went to introduce myself in person.

While adding recruiters, at some point Hannah Cumpsty and I connected on LinkedIn. I had already applied for a couple of roles at Version 1, and she looked over my profile and dropped me a message, offering an interview for a different position.

There were five stages, including a personality quiz, maths questions, a team call, and eventually, a day at the office, where we all met and took part in some team exercises. From the 20 people who went, 14 were selected, including myself. I’d like to stress that throughout the process, I did not believe I would find this opportunity, but I kept plugging away, and things worked out.

What are you passionate about (in general)?

I love football, gaming, and music. I’m most passionate about creating things. As a musician, I created and released an album, and nothing was more fun than putting that together. I particularly liked putting the videos together and working on songs from writing to production. Seeing the physical result of something you created in your head is the most rewarding thing in the world.

My passion for football comes from watching Arsenal with my stepdad and playing Sunday league football. My love of gaming has made me naturally more technically minded, from my teenage years playing FIFA, Fallout, and Minecraft to my late 20s playing more or less the same games!

What appeals to you about coding?

As a former musician, I enjoy creation, watching a project come along knowing you’re physically contributing to the world. The idea that I can delve deeper into technology, and really create anything I want, how I want it, is incredibly exciting, especially as we are about to enter a new age of AI-driven technology which will change the world.

What can you say about your experience with City of Bristol College as part of this journey?

They were fantastic. Pasquale and Ben from City of Bristol College provided great support throughout.

What are the main things you learned on the course?

I learned fundamentals of both markdown and programming languages, from simple CRUD functionality to creating and accessing databases and creating my own E-Commerce website. 

I learned HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python and used Bootstrap, Materialize CSS, Flask, Django, and MongoDB.

How has the course helped you to progress?

I came into this course knowing practically nothing, and now I’m working for a large tech company who are continuing to train me up for a career in code.

What are the main challenges you have had to overcome while learning?

The only issue I experienced was finding time around my job. I at times had to work overtime shifts but still meet deadlines. Code Institute and my college were very understanding during these times.

What do you like about learning on the Code Institute platform?

I could do this in my own time, in my own environment, without wasting time travelling anywhere, and give it all of my effort and attention.

What are you most proud of developing so far?

My favourite website was always the last one I created! I really enjoyed creating the JavaScript game in my Little Strings project and thoroughly enjoyed working with Flask on my Sunday league project. 

But most of all, I impressed myself with my E-Commerce site when I figured out how to search through previous orders for dates and times of sessions that were already booked and change CSS regarding results.

What would you recommend to other learners considering learning to code?

Enjoy it! Work part time if possible, and always reach out for help, the resources are great!

What is your long-term goal with these skills?

I want a career that stretches as far as I can possibly push myself. I want to see what DevOps is like, learning new languages and keep up to date with AI. After that, who knows!

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

The careers team are incredibly helpful after you’ve completed the course in readying yourself for the technical working world. They helped me mould my CV and LinkedIn so much that I was hired by Version 1 only five months after completing it. 

Learn Web Development

Many thanks to Ryan for sharing his journey with us. If you are interested in learning web development, you can register for our 5-Step Coding Challenge here. Or, if you want to learn more about our training services, you can email partners@codeinstitute.net.

Coding the Future: Developer Spotlight - Sian C.

In October 2022, Sian C. joined Code Institute’s Level 5 Diploma in Web Application Development programme, which is run in association with Cardiff and Vale College and is funded via the Welsh Government’s Personal Learning Accounts (PLA) initiative. The course aims to equip learners with full-stack software development skills, preparing them to enter the digital […]

Coding the Future: Developer Spotlight - Nathan Parsley

In May 2023, Nathan Parsley joined the Level 5 Diploma in Web Application Development programme, delivered at East Kent College Group (Ashford) by Rachel Furlong using the Code Institute learning platform. The course equips learners with full-stack software development skills, preparing them to enter the digital workforce in various roles. Nathan has completed the programme […]

Coding the Future: Developer Spotlight - Wendy Bovill

In March 2023, Wendy Bovill joined the Level 5 Diploma in Web Application Development programme, which is delivered at Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) using the Code Institute learning platform. The course equips learners with full-stack software development skills, making them ready to enter the digital workforce in various roles. Digital Academy leader Candice Fanning […]