Coding the Future: Developer Spotlight – Wendy Bovill

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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 recommended Wendy for this spotlight piece, stating she was a fantastic learner with a unique story.

“I was struck by her engaging personality and her bright, creative mind. She clearly envisioned her career goals and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to achieving them. Wendy’s journey is an inspiring example of resilience and passion, serving as a testament to what can be achieved through determination and hard work. 

Throughout the course, Wendy faced significant personal challenges, including the stress of moving house. Despite these obstacles, she remained committed to her studies, meeting coursework deadlines and completing four milestone projects. Westminster Adult Education and Code Institute combined provided crucial support during this period, aiding Wendy in navigating her personal and academic responsibilities.”

Wendy has progressed to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science at Wrexham University, further advancing the software development skills she has learned on the programme. She has kindly agreed to share her story for this developer spotlight.

Wendy’s Interview

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

I have always had a fascination with technology and coding. I did my first course in Web Authoring in 1998 at a renowned company where I was employed. In 2000, I got a job as an Application Developer focusing on Front-End Design, Storyboarding, Wire Framing and User Experience design,  as well as basic Development with html, javascript and Flash Animation  (with Actionscript). 

I then took a career break in 2006 to focus on my family. I returned later and began upskilling and also ran a Minecraft server. I then decided that although I have the experience, I need to consolidate that and get a qualification that would be relevant now. 

I found Code Institute on Facebook and participated in a ‘Coding Challenge,’ which I scored 100% for. Then, I was inspired to apply for the Full Stack Development Course through WAES.

What are you passionate about (in general)?

Finding Solutions and helping others find solutions.

What appeals to you about coding?

You can be creative in being technical and providing solutions to challenges.

What can you say about your experience with Westminster Adult Education Service as part of this journey?

The Westminster Adult Education Service staff were encouraging and supportive. The tutor was helpful and insightful but gave us the space to develop our own solutions whilst providing background knowledge which would aid us in finding them.

What are the main things you learned on the course?

I was new to Python with Flask and Django and the Template Tags for Flask and Django. I also enjoyed using Gitpod and Containers as an online developer environment. 

I am used to working offline with my own local host and visual studio code. I also enjoyed learning to deploy with Heroku and using AWS Bucket S3. I am used to shared hosting or VPS hosting, using CPanel and Command Line Interface/ Powershell.

How has the course helped you to progress?

It has helped me learn new code languages and skills, refresh and consolidate what I already know, and broaden my toolset. I have also now got a formal qualification: L5 Web Application Development and L6 Full Stack Development. I have decided to progress further and am now studying for a Master’s in Computer Science.

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

I had to move twice while studying and help a family member who was having a hard time. 

I found life really stressful during these times. It was hard to keep to a schedule, and I even had to go without internet and rely on my mobile broadband, which sometimes didn’t work due to bad signal areas. 

I then had to travel around with my Ipad to find a signal, and would sometimes have to visit my parents, who lived an hour away, just so I could use their internet.

I also struggled a lot with ‘Imposter Syndrome’. I had to remind myself of what I can do. And just take it step by step. I was determined to complete the course and do as well as possible.

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

It is easily accessible, and you can pick up easily where you left off when you took a break. The tools used were excellent, and the Tutors explained things clearly and were not boring. I very rarely had to look elsewhere for further understanding.

What are you most proud of developing so far?

The last project I did was a full stack website, which includes using template tags so a user can change the content themselves, and styles if they wished. Its a shop that can also be used as a membership site. 

Recently, I have been working with a popular CMS building a site for a client who has set up a charity, and will be using it as a volunteer training site, as well as a call center database to log calls and signpost to other services. I have completed this but it is not ready to launch yet as the client is in process of gathering volunteers.

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

You need to be excited about learning to code and about creating solutions. You need to practice, practice, practice. And learn how to use the DevTools in your browser! It helps you identify what needs to be changed or fixed. It can save so much time! Make sure you make lots of backups. 

And keep notes of what you are doing in case you need to look back. Github helps with what you have done, but not ‘why’ you’ve done something unless you put detailed information in your commit messages. Plan your work first. It will help you streamline your code and process before starting, especially with databases. Design your schema before you even start to code. 

What is your long-term goal with these skills?

As an end goal, I’d like to lead a team of developers or train future developers. I currently work self-employed as a Full Stack Developer, I also run a business as a hosting reseller. I intend to complete my master’s degree and develop my software engineering skills further, branching out from web development into systems development and cyber security software solutions.

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

The whole experience has been amazing, and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat! 

Learn Web Development

I’ve loved doing the Code Institute course. It’s really made a massive difference to my life. I never thought I would do a Masters’s Degree, but I’m now inspired to go further than I thought I could!

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.

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