Latest Posts

Student Focus: Elisa Edson

Written by James Adams

Student Focus Elisa Edson

Having graduated on the 16th November, 2023, we were delighted to get the update that Elisa hand landed a new role within tech after completing the tech Educators software development coding bootcamp. Elisa, as always, was kind enough to give us time out of a busy schedule preparing to start a new career, to speak to us about the coding bootcamp experience, preparing for a career in the industry and some general advice about the program. Congratulations Elisa, and as always, thank you for your time.

Can you share your overall experience during the 12-week coding bootcamp? What were the most challenging aspects, and how did you overcome them?

Most of my time during the course consisted of turning on my computer in the morning and getting settled in with everyone on the course, followed by a walkthrough of what we were going to be doing today.

I enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere where it felt like the staff and everyone on the course were on the same team, rather than a traditional student-teacher relationship.

I think one of the biggest challenges for me was that nobody is there to make you do the work, or show up on time. You need to motivate yourself and actively want to succeed.

Can you walk us through your job search strategy? What platforms or methods did you find most effective in landing interviews?

It was important for me to split my time between searching for jobs and building my skills. I applied for a few jobs a day at least, mostly looking on the government search for apprenticeships service, civil service jobs and conventional job sites. I noticed which skills I was lacking in job descriptions and focused my time on adding those to my CV. While this meant I met more job requirements, it also demonstrated an eagerness to learn which employers consider valuable.

How did the bootcamp contribute to the development of your technical skills? Were there specific languages, frameworks, or concepts that you found particularly valuable in your job search?

We went through specific technologies in detail at first, before learning how to tie them all together in one project. Specifically my troubleshooting improved on the course as working on novel problems every day helped refine my method for approaching errors and issues. I also learned multiple ways to approach web development to suit the needs of a particular project, broadening my horizons.

My new job role is in Javascript so the web development course was perfect for me. The most useful concept I learned was the idea of the tech stack. Working on individual technologies in isolation is useful but understanding how you can fit multiple technologies together to create larger projects really helped me understand the process of development in depth.

Facing challenges is common in the tech field. Can you share a specific challenge you encountered during the bootcamp or job search and explain how you addressed it?

Like a lot of people, I learned programming in school and as a hobbyist so I mostly learned how to code in isolation. This is not how coding at work or in the bootcamp will usually work. It can be very challenging to get used to pair programming and shared projects with other people, I struggled especially to work with people on code I was invested in. I had to address the mindset that code was 'mine' and work more collaboratively and openly.

For individuals currently enrolled in coding bootcamps, what advice would you give them to make the most out of the experience and increase their chances of securing a job?

It's tempting to believe that once you do the course, you'll get job offers but it's not quite that simple. Tech is a very competitive field, especially for junior positions so the only way to be sure you'll get that job is to keep making progress, see the boot camp as a starting point or a stepping stone.

Ask your course leader how you can develop your skills and what you can do to build your portfolio. Maybe see if your coursemates have any bright ideas you'd like to work together on after the course or continue to refine projects from the course when you finish.

Reflecting on your interview experiences, what were some common questions or challenges you faced during technical interviews, and how did you prepare for them? Any tips for others going through the interview process?

Every time I had a technical assessment I was faced with multiple criteria, known or unknown, for my code to pass. This is to ensure your code actually works and doesn't give the correct answer in an unintended way. It was really helpful for me to start using testing frameworks in my own code so I was used to coding to standards when I faced challenges. It also teaches you to write better code in general.

My best advice for technical questions is to just be honest about what you do and don't know, there will be someone in the call or in the room who has spent years working on the technology you're being asked about.

What would you say to anyone thinking about doing a coding bootcamp?

I'd say have fun! I would also say everyone on the bootcamp is there to help you, don't worry about asking for help.

You should also know that you're going to hit wall after wall of issues and roadblocks and stuff that feels impossible to solve. This happens to everyone so don't let it get you down. You’ll feel like a genius once you crack it.

If you think a career in tech may be for you, why not sign up to one of our FREE taster sessions? You can join our software development bootcamp taster session or our Unity game development bootcamp taster session.

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.

Similar Posts: