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Student Focus: Leanna Lucas

Written by James Adams

Tech Educators Student Leanna Lucas

Where do you currently work or where did you previously work?

I used to work in generic customer service jobs just to pay the bills.

Why did you decide to start coding or consider a career in tech?

I've always loved tech from a young age, whether that was gaming, editing or problem-solving - it's always interested me. I didn't think that I was smart enough or clever enough to work in tech until I learnt of a woman I went to school with who had recently had a career change as a software engineer because her boyfriend taught her at home. She now has a secure job she loves and is making a good living wage. This made me reflect on my own work and how unhappy and unfulfilled I was in my current role.

Why Tech Ed and how did you find us?

The free taster session (101 Code Bootcamp) confirmed how much I enjoy coding and that I have an itch to learn more. I learnt more in 8 minutes of the taster session than I did in 3 days online and learnt that a lot of what I was reading was no longer relevant in the industry. I left the session feeling a contagious sense of excitement to learn and most importantly, left feeling confident that I can be something and that Tech Educators can turn my life around. Their dedication to education and helping others is what made me choose Tech Educators!

Before starting the Tech Ed course, did you have any prior coding experience?

I wanted to attend the free taster code 101 session as I had been struggling to make sense of coding lessons online and I wanted to see if a career in software development was right for me. Before attending the course, I had skimmed a few HTML lessons online and had no coding knowledge.

If not, what made you consider starting a career in tech? Were you worried about it?

Naturally, I was worried before starting the course that I would not be able to keep up with the pacing or would get too many questions wrong and feel embarrassed or 'not good enough'.

How do you feel about it now?

Since starting the course, I no longer feel worried about my progress, I'm learning new things every day and am surprised at just how much I know already. Tech Ed teaches you to have a growth mindset, which I now apply to everything in my life, work environment or not. I know now that I can learn anything, and that talent and intelligence play just a small part in learning.

Briefly, what have you learned so far? Is there anything you particularly enjoyed?

So far we have learnt HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I have enjoyed CSS the most so far and find JavaScript the most challenging. I can't wait to learn the rest of the full stack course such as react and node.

Do you have a preferred area you would like to work in after the course ends?

I think I'm still learning what my niche is. I'm hoping to have more of an understanding of what that is once I dive deeper into coding as the course continues.

What advice would you give women interested in getting into the industry?

My advice to women looking to join the tech community/industry would be to join as many groups for women in tech as possible and to surround yourself with positive people who recognise the gap in employment and network as much as you can. Also, not to be afraid of this community because everyone has been so welcoming to me so far.

About the Author

James has 8 years with Fortune 200 US firm ITW, experience of managing projects in China, USA, and throughout Europe. James has worked with companies such as Tesco, Vauxhall, ITW, Serco, McDonalds. James has experience in supporting start-up and scale up companies such as Readingmate, Gorilla Juice and Harvest London. James completed his MBA at the University of East Anglia in 2018.

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