Our students are the heartbeat of our organisation. We love hearing each and every one of their stories from where they have come from to what inspired them to join a coding Bootcamp. We recently caught up with Ana Lastoviria, a Web Development Student currently enrolled in our Standard (10 months duration) Bootcamp at our Melbourne Campus.
"Doing this Bootcamp has been very hard but so rewarding. I’m nowhere near being a good developer yet, but the amount of growth I have experienced in these few months has been mind-blowing. I’m extremely motivated to find my first role as a developer and can’t wait to see what lies ahead for me on my career change journey!"
Coder: What Bootcamp are you currently enrolled in?
Ana: Melbourne Standard Web Development Bootcamp
Coder: What was your motivation for doing this bootcamp?
Ana: The first COVID lockdown made me reassess my work and life priorities and gave me a kick to follow my passion for software development. Bootcamp seemed to be a quicker way to change careers, still get a student environment, opportunities to network and get help when needed. And it takes you out to a recent graduates pool, which gives opportunities to apply for grad positions, so those things sealed the deal for me.
Coder: Had you had any previous coding/web development experience before doing this bootcamp?
Ana: Not really. I did write some HTML at work ages ago, but that was it. When I made a decision about switching careers to tech I started learning basic HTML, CSS and Ruby ease into coding. That was around 2-3 months before starting the bootcamp.
Coder: Tell us about any misconceptions/fears or barriers you had in regards to doing the bootcamp before you decided to do it!
Ana: I had concerns about finding a job and my financial position after I spend all my savings on the bootcamp. What if I won’t find a job right away? Will I have to get back to customer service/singing lessons until I do? What if I NEVER find a job in tech? And so on.
Those concerns are still there but in a much milder form: I’m actively interviewing for jobs now and hope to land one very soon!
Coder: When researching which education provider to go with - can you remember the deciding factor for choosing Coder Academy?
Ana: The length of the courses: CA had the longest one among the competitors, and I feel like the longer it is, the better in terms of material sinking in. Also, CA offers a recognised qualification on completion, which is more of a confidence thing for me, but it also gives opportunities to apply for more jobs: some of the job ads have a requirement of a minimum of TAFE qualification in IT.
Coder: If your study was impacted during COVID. Can you tell us a bit about your experience during this time?
Ana: I didn’t expect it to be when I applied, but our cohort was extremely affected. We did the first 2 terms online, then went on campus for a couple of months, and then went back online with another lockdown. The hopes are up for the last couple of months to be back in person.
The educators in CA are extremely professional in teaching online and facilitating the conversation space, but I do feel like I missed out on a lot of networking and bonding in the cohort, as well as outside of CA (tech meet-ups are still online to this day in Melbourne).
It is nobody’s fault though, it is what it is and it will take time for things to get back to normal, but the CA team has been very supportive and professional throughout these difficult times.
Coder: If you’ve decided to change careers as a result of doing this Bootcamp - what was your main reason for wanting to change?
Ana: I had 2 jobs before COVID took off: guest service at a hotel + vocal coaching in a singing school. With balancing these 2 jobs I had no free time: working 6 days per week, phones, scheduling, admin on the 7th. This was the main thing that prompted the change: I was getting burnt out from working so much, barely had any social life and the income I got from all of it didn’t reflect the amount of work I was doing.
After completing the Bootcamp I’m hoping to get a role as a software developer, get my work-life balance in order and be fairly compensated for the work I do.
Coder: Tell us about a project you completed while doing your course or something you’re super proud of that you achieved.
I built it for term 2 Ruby on Rails assignment. It’s a social network aimed to bring musicians together for gigs and therefore help music industry on its feet after it’s been so hardly hit by the pandemic.
It was a back-end-focused project, so the design is a bit basic, but the back end is quite complicated and has some cool features that I’m very proud of.
I hope to someday develop it into a real app that real-life musos could use to put shows together.
Coder: What skills from your previous career or study have been invaluable during your course?
Ana: Definitely the organizational skills. Especially with studying online, you have to self-organise, stay focused and hold yourself accountable. That can’t be done without proper planning, making to-do lists, setting deadlines, scheduling, etc.
Also, the self-study and research skills. Bootcamp can’t and won’t teach you everything, the big thing about working in tech is figuring stuff out, so I was quite happy to apply the research skills I gained doing my first degree in history ten years ago.
Coder: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Ana: Working as a full-stack dev in a funky company, building cool and meaningful projects with all the hot latest tech :)
Coder: Any study tips for anyone thinking about doing a coding bootcamp?
Ana: Start teaching yourself to code right now. Go onto FreeCodeCamp or Codecademy and take a free HTML/CSS, Ruby, Git, CLI courses. That will help heaps during the bootcamp, you will be able to focus on the concepts rather than syntax.
- If you haven’t already, install Notion or similar software to keep on top of all your notes, links, todo lists and other admin stuff. There is going to be so much going on, you’re gonna need it.
- You’ll feel overwhelmed most of the time, the bootcamp is a lot. Make sure you develop some mental techniques to ground yourself and remind yourself of your goals and progress.
- Breaks are instrumental in brain work, so make sure you take regular quality breaks while working on assignments/self-studying.
- When you start coding, do a 100 Days Of Code challenge on Twitter or similar. This will help you hold yourself accountable, keep track of the progress and join the community of people in the same boat as you.
Coder: Finally… we’d love to know…
Last song/music you listened to?
Ana: Ambient Chill playlist on Spotify - my go-to coding music
Last Podcast you listened to?
Last TV show you watched?
Ana: Jupiter’s Legacy on Netflix. Don’t watch it, it’s terrible.
Last social media site you visited?
Last thing that made you smile 😊?
Ana: Facetiming my papa back in Russia on his birthday the other day, he’s doing well 😊
If you've been thinking about a career change into web development the best place to start is our online info session! These sessions are a great way to learn more about the curriculum and timetable, employment outcomes and hear all about our optional internship program. Register here for our info sessions or learn more about our coding bootcamps here.
Coder Academy is the #1 ranked Australian Coding Bootcamp provider according to Course Report. Our accredited Web Development Bootcamps will set you up for a new career in tech via our Accelerated or our Standard Bootcamps. Our immersive courses help students acquire in-demand skills through hands on, project-based training by industry educators and experts.
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