I’ve always had an interest in gaming and wanted to make games for a living since I was young. But I didn’t think it was something I could realistically make a career or decent salary from. I also assumed that all major tech companies were in America – it’s only in the last year or so I’ve realised that tech companies are everywhere.
I didn’t know what to do with my degree
I did a degree in maths because I was always good at it. I didn’t really think about what I wanted to do with that degree or how it would lead to a career. I think the education system pretty much drills into you to go to University. No one really ever sits you down and tells you there are other options. When it comes to Uni, you choose what you know and what you’re good at and you don’t really know what else is beyond that. And what your good at comes from the finite number of subjects at school and in college that are on offer to you.
After graduating I couldn’t really find a job and was working in a pub when one of my fellow students, Chloe, who I knew before the course, told me she was going to an event for something called _nology. I couldn’t get the night off work so she went along and met Pete (Anstey Nology co-founder) and Amy (Golding, CEO and _nology co-founder) and when she came back she was really enthused about it. She ended up convincing me this is what I should do and the thing that sparked my interest the most was the variety of backgrounds people were coming from to study. Also reading about and hearing from the previous batch of students that had done it was really encouraging.
Applying previous skills to a new challenge
Parts of my maths degree have been helpful with _nology. It’s quite logical which is similar to web developing so some of the skills have been transferable but to be honest, I don’t remember much of what I actually did at University. I do know there are many differences in how we’re taught here, for example the class sizes. If you’ve got a problem here, there’s pretty much always someone on hand to help you go through it. We’re a small group of students and there are three tutors which is very different to University.
The course provides a real-life insight into the tech industry
Another thing that’s different is that with _nology you gain an insight into the industry itself. You get a taste of how things are actually done on a day to day basis within a software development company and that’s really good. It’s a bit like the difference between being taught maths at school and knowing what an accountant actually does every day. There’s the skills but then there’s the actual work environment that you’re using those skills in.
Also you’re actually doing something productive here – in terms of the hours and the environment. At University you might go to a lecture hall full of people, lots of them still smell of alcohol from the night before and you’re there for an hour. Then you go home and don’t do anything for three days. With _nology you’re here from at least 8.30am until 5pm and you’re expected to be here and to work hard in that time. I think it’s going to be less of a shock moving into a job after this course because we’ve got used to the long hours during the training. I think Uni actually makes you a bit lazy – going straight to a job after it would have been a huge shock!
Now I’m learning tech skills my job prospects will be much better
I’m not surprised by how much I’m enjoying the course because I’ve always known that I like coding and tech. But I am surprised by the speed we’re learning. I feel a lot better about my job prospects than I did before I joined _nology because I wasn’t really going anywhere. Now I feel I’ll have more options. I’d love a job at the end where I can continue my learning and in time, it would be great to make games, which is what I’ve wanted to do since I was young. The difference is that now I know I can do it.