Coding the Future: Developer Spotlight – Melissa Buckingham


Coding the Future: Developer Spotlight – Melissa Buckingham

In March 2023, Melissa Buckingham joined Level 5 Diploma in Web Application Development programme, delivered at North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT) by Jonathan Jacobsen 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.

We asked Melissa’s instructor, Jonathan, for some words about Melissa as part of this spotlight:

“Melissa’s dedication to excellence and remarkable display of creativity and critical thinking have truly stood out. Throughout the course, Melissa demonstrated a profound understanding of the subject matter and showcased significant improvement in assignments, particularly in ensuring clear information flow and interaction feedback. I was particularly impressed by Melissa’s adept integration of interaction and code, as well as her initiative in proposing project enhancements. Melissa consistently demonstrated a strong understanding of ethical considerations and attention to detail. Overall, Melissa’s performance sets a commendable example for her peers, and I have full confidence in her capability to excel in future endeavours.” – Jonathan Jacobson.

Melissa is about to complete her programme, having just finished her final project. Using the skills she gained in the course, she has already secured some clients and kindly agreed to share her story for this developer spotlight.

Melissa’s Interview

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

I’ve had a very unique life experience up until now. I grew up in a small village in the middle of nowhere on the west coast of Canada. I was homeschooled, and this let my brain develop in a very unique way. I guess I’ve always seen things a bit differently from others.

I soon found I loved communication, enjoyed giving speeches, and, more especially, loved learning languages. I believe it gives an insight into the thinking style of the community of its speakers.

I saw an ad online for the 5-Day Coding Challenge. I thought I should give it a try, seeing as I am proficient in human languages. Why not try computing languages, too?

I did the 5 Day Coding Challenge, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t long before I signed up with the Code Institute and NESCOT to take on the Level 5 Diploma in Web Application Development. I haven’t looked back since!

What are you passionate about (in general)?

I obviously love language learning, I spend on average 2 or 3 hours a day, learning anything there is to learn on Duolingo. My other passions are Church and Cinema. 

What appeals to you about coding?

I just love the way that I can talk to the computer, using the linguistic area of the brain to create beautiful code, which leads to a beautiful, finished application. 

What can you say about your experience with NESCOT as part of this journey?

My experience with NESCOT has been an absolute dream. My teacher, Jonathan, has really brought out the best in me. He’s an amazing teacher; I couldn’t recommend him enough! And any support I’ve needed from NESCOT has been prompt and helpful!

What are the main things you learned on the course?

I think what’s been most awe-inspiring is the realisation of how much I can do with code! This course has been an absolute revelation for me, opening up a world of possibilities. 

I guess before this course, I was oblivious to how much code we use in our day-to-day lives, from the phones we use to the smart TVs we watch to simply signing in at the doctor’s surgery. Code is all around us! Thanks to this course, I find myself thinking about how I would write the code for our everyday applications and appliances.

How has the course helped you to progress?

I had very little experience (virtually nothing) in coding before starting this course. Now I feel like I have the building blocks to build anything I want: websites, databases, apps, games. The sky is the limit. I already have clients who want me to build their websites, and I’d love to go further, too and build some amazing projects. 

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

I’ve been struggling a lot with my confidence (in general), and at the beginning going on to Google Meet with my class mates was really tough, and I had to really give myself a pep talk before each session. 

Over time, it got easier, and I became a very active and vocal member of the group. Eventually, I even joined a hackathon, which I hadn’t even imagined was something I would be able to do. We had a great team and great communication, and we even won first prize! I can’t believe how far I’ve come!

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

The Code Institute platform is so simple and straightforward to use. The mixture of learning and hands-on coding is just perfect! I knew this was perfect for me when I did the 5 Day Coding Challenge.

What are you most proud of developing so far?

I can’t believe I built a full-stack e-commerce store. If I had looked at the finished product before I started the course, I wouldn’t have known what I was looking at. It’s so intricate and, in its intricacy, so beautiful!

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

Try the five-day challenge! I think you’ll love it. And if you do love it, do the diploma! 

What is your long-term goal with these skills?

I am not 100% sure what I want my future to look like, but I know code will play a massive role. I’ve got a couple of clients already lined up to build websites for them. But I also have a very explorative mind, and I’d love to see what it’s like to work in Google, or for a big PlayStation game… I don’t really know yet. It really feels like the sky’s the limit at this time in my life. It’s really quite exciting!

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

Many thanks to Mellissa for sharing her 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

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