One week to go

I told a little lie. Makers isn’t actually 12 weeks. It’s actually 16 weeks as we have a 4 week ‘precourse.’ First week was command line which I found relatively easy, it was more a case of remembering what the different commands do. Second week was Github which I also found okay. Third week was meant to be Ruby but uh oh it was actually skiing which in retrospect was a bad idea as I have basically ended up falling somewhat behind at the toughest point.

Snow covered mountains
Snow covered mountains

I just need to focus on dedicating the whole week to study, study, study and hopefully I can claw back some lost time!

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A little about me & my journey to Makers

So my first post is a little about me and why I decided to become a Maker.

For those who don’t know Makers Academy is ‘a highly selective, 12 week, full-time course in web development based in London’s Silicon Roundabout.’ Basically it’s a bootcamp in web development that aims to make you an entry-level developer in 12 weeks. Makers isn’t about spoon feeding you information, sitting behind a computer all day listening to lecture after lecture. Instead they provide the tools to learn and it’s up to you to create your own journey. With a few yoga sessions thrown in for fun of course!

I studied film & television at university but didn’t feel that it was really for me. Not being one to sit around doing nothing I got a job in a restaurant. Time went by, I moved to London and transferred to a central London location but I was realising more and more that this job that I sort of fell into, was not the job I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

The problem was that I didn’t know what I wanted to do! There was no way I was going to do a job that didn’t interest me especially as most decent jobs I would have to go back to uni for. Friends tried to help…police officer? Nurse? Graphic Designer? Every suggestion given just frustrated me more and more. There was NOTHING that I wanted to do.

It was around the spring of last year that I took a bit of interest in my new flatmates job – front end web developer. It was like something in me just ‘clicked.’ For some reason I thought it sounded so interesting, appealing to both my love of technology and my creative side.

I went on a week long course in HTML & CSS (in which I created my first ever website!) which I really enjoyed though I found it slow paced. I then tried to teach myself online through Treehouse. I found it so useful but the problem was that I found I would study away and then I would be busy for a few days and I would just forget what I learnt. Sometimes I would go a whole month without studying. Even though I felt I had a solid base, I knew there was no way I could even get a job as an intern with my knowledge level.

I knew the best way for me to learn was in a classroom environment so I looked for a course, one that would be for at least a few months. One of the first places I came across was Makers Academy. From what I initially saw I thought it sounded great. Then I saw the price. £8000 for 12 weeks of study. Immediately I knew I would not be doing the course, I mean that was ridiculously expensive?! I also wanted to become a front-end developer, whereas Makers focused mainly on back-end.

But for some reason the thought of it kept on coming back to me. The more and more I thought about it, the more I realised that actually, it wasn’t that much money for how long it is and what you get out at the end of it. Put it this way, my week long course (10am – 4pm) was £600 and it moved sooo slowly. I would get a concept and if there were a few other people in the class who didn’t get it, we would have to go over and over it until they did.

I was also starting to like the look of this back-end thing more. I mean you can create so much. The apps on your phone are programming. ATMs are created with programming. Those lights that are voice activated? Programming! Everything is this day and age is all about software. The world is your oyster and if you have a good idea you can create it.

After some research (reading a lot of Makers blogs!), I bit the bullet in November, applied and was invited for an interview. The interview involved logic tests and a bit of coding. Anybody that knows me will know that I get very nervous. I suffer from with anxiety and in the interview I was an absolute mess. Part of a logic test involved me having at one point to minus 15 from a certain number in my head. I could. not. do. it. I felt like I was on the verge of a panic attack. It didn’t help knowing that they only accept around 10% of applicants. Luckily I calmed down and the coding part went well.

I few days later I was left in a state of shock as I received a phone call telling me that I had been accepted. They thought that I seemed passionate about coding and personality wise I would be a good fit. As long as I studied hard in the run up to the course I would be okay. I took the plunge and paid my fees. I was to be a future maker!