In 2021, Code Institute interviewed many of our students and graduates regarding their time on our Full Stack programme and their career change journey. One such interviewee was Liga from Latvia. Liga now works as a Technical Support Engineer for Adyen in the Netherlands.
What did you do before Code Institute?
My background is in Science. I did my bachelors in AstroPhysics, but I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to continue to pursue that path. So, I went travelling for a little bit, and when I came back to Ireland, I decided to find a job, and I wanted to pursue coding more. Funnily enough, I found a job in a bank. My idea was like, “I’ll eventually move into a coding job”. So, I worked in finance for two and a half years before Code Institute.
Why did you decide to change careers, and why did you choose software development?
I guess they both go hand in hand. I never felt that my career was going to be in finance. That was never the end goal. I was always interested in code. When I was doing my bachelor’s in physics, I had a little bit of a taste for code. But I felt like in physics, at least, it was more of a translator-kind of job. You would, especially in astrophysics, observe something, you would get back that data, and then you would use code to analyse that data. I felt like that’s you acting as a translator for it. I wanted to do something creative with it.
When I went travelling, I lived in China for a bit, and Shenzhen is basically the capital of tech. I saw loads of code and loads of open source stuff, and I thought, “yeah, this is really cool. This is really interesting.” Then I did a bootcamp online, and I realised that that’s something I’m really passionate about, something I really liked. I decided that when I came back to Ireland, I was going to pursue that. So, that’s when I decided that coding was going to be my career and that software development is something that I’m really passionate about. Then, when I came to Ireland, I got a job in a bank, and as I said, my goal was to work my way up to a software development role eventually. Then, when I found Code Institute, I was just so excited because that gave me an opportunity to study software development, get a proper diploma, have something to show for my knowledge, I guess, and that was a gateway to change my career to software development.
Why did you choose Code Institute?
I chose Code Institute because, first of all, I was looking for a way to educate myself a little bit more or get a diploma to prove that I know what I know. I saw an ad for Code Institute; I can’t remember where. It could’ve been YouTube, it might’ve been Instagram, but I saw the ad for the 5 Day Challenge. I decided to try it out. It looked really interesting. I tried the challenge, and that was that. It was set in stone, Code Institute is exactly what I was looking for, and that’s why I picked them.
Would you recommend potential students do the 5DCC?
It’s for free. It’s amazing to try it out. You don’t have to commit yourself to anything. It’s a free resource. It’s free knowledge, so I definitely would recommend trying it to anyone who’s even thinking about pursuing coding in general. There is nothing to lose. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in software development or coding in general.
Was the course intensive?
I found the Code Institute course intensive, but I would be disappointed if it wasn’t. I think for you to learn, and for you to actually achieve something, you have to put in the work. You have to be challenged. If you wouldn’t be challenged, it would be easy. You wouldn’t retain the knowledge. You would be bored, so it was intensive, but in a good way.
Did you have any struggles on your journey?
I think there were a couple of struggles along the way like for every project, there was definitely something that I was stuck on even for a little bit, but nothing that you can’t overcome, nothing that you can’t find out through using any of the supports that Code Institute provides. Nothing that I would say was a deal-breaker.
What did you think of the support structure?
I think that Code Institute’s support structure is really, really great. For me personally, obviously, there’s a mentor, a one-on-one mentor, and my mentor was brilliant, absolutely amazing. I learned so much from him, and he gave me so much real-world knowledge and examples. We also have Slack, which, obviously, with all the students, you can ask questions which I’m sure someone already asked. They will be able to help you. I didn’t really use tutor support, I didn’t need to, but I’ve only heard great things about them as well, and every time I would email student support, they would answer straight away. Like, there’s no issue, I was never waiting around, or felt that I was left behind or anything like that.
What were the high points of the course for you?
Highpoints of the course were definitely getting back my results and getting a distinction in my projects. It was just an amazing feeling. You know that you’re validated in a sense that what you thought you knew, you knew. What you thought you did well, you actually did well. But, also, funnily enough, if I had a bug in my code, I would spend hours and hours, maybe even days on fixing it, and then finally, I would get it. It’s such an amazing feeling. It also signifies that you’ve learned something.
Has the course changed your career prospects?
I think that the course definitely changed my career prospects in a way that the course itself has so much career support and even the section in the Code Institute site where they would have different jobs available or even on Slack, the careers channel. So, I don’t think I would’ve found even a fraction of the possible jobs and roles that are advertised if I was looking for them on my own. But also, the knowledge that I gained and the diploma will bring my opportunities forward for sure.
Do you feel the course was worth it?
Yeah, I think the course was worth it for me, especially. I actually went in thinking, “I’m gonna get a diploma out of this, and I already know so much”, but actually, I learned way more than I expected. It was harder than I expected – but to me, that’s a good thing. To me, that’s definitely a good thing. So, yeah, it’s worth it.
Did you use Career Services?
I went to all the careers webinars that Jane was hosting, and they were so helpful. That’s where I actually met my current employer, Adyen, that’s where I heard of them, and without them, I would never have gotten this job, never have even known about the company that is so amazing. Also, I had my one-on-one chats with Jane, and she helped me loads with my CV and cover letter, how to approach companies, and how to work LinkedIn. So in that way, I used career services, and they were super helpful.
What do you do now?
I recently moved to the Netherlands for that job that I got, because of Jane, as a technical support engineer for Adyen.
Would you recommend the programme?
I would recommend Code Institute’s course. I think it was exactly what I was looking for and exactly what I needed. Coding is just one aspect of it. Coding is great. Obviously, you get to build your projects, but I feel like the career services, in particular, are what made a world of difference. In my opinion, I would have never gotten this job. So for anyone who is looking for a change in career or software development knowledge in particular, or maybe just to expand their knowledge.
More graduate stories
If you want to read some more stories from Code Institute graduates like this one from Liga, then read Daniel Ellis, Kira Estrada, Adrian Rus, or Simen Daehlin’s stories in our recent career change whitepaper.
Free Coding Challenge