I didn’t think tech was for me – I was wrong

Three weeks into her _nology course and Sian Richards, 23, is realising there’s no such thing as the ‘ideal’ tech applicant and that whatever your interests and background, there’s a tech role to suit you .

Written by Nology Team - 24.04.19

Before joining this course I’d never really thought about a career in tech or considered it to be for me. I just wouldn’t have thought I’d be the ideal applicant for those kind of roles. I think some of that is because I’m female but also because I haven’t come from a STEM background – I studied Philosophy at University. And that’s what initially drew me to _nology, the fact they were saying you may be female, not have a standard 2:1 in STEM subjects and have no prior computing experience and you can still get a role in tech after this course.

I came across an advert for _nology and applied

After finishing my Philosophy degree my plan was to work for a year then move to London and get my Masters. Then I came across an advert for _nology and the more I thought about it, the more appealing it sounded. It didn’t have to be this but I kind of turned it into either _nology or the Masters and decided it was more sensible going for the course that was geared towards finding you a job at the end. I kind of thought a Masters would enhance the skills I already had whereas _nology would mean starting from scratch and building a whole new skillset.

Although philosophy and coding may seem like worlds apart, I knew a few graduates from my course who had gone into software development roles. There is a very analytical side to philosophy. We’re doing javascript at the moment for instance and it weirdly relates to a module I did in the first year of Uni which was all about logic. Having said that, they’re also opposite ends of the spectrum as I’ve come from a very academic world, that’s very abstract and deals with big ‘up there’ social concepts to something that’s very vocational and also practical.

_nology gives you a desirable set of skills that enables you to work in any industry

But the reason I don’t think it matters what background you’re from or what passion you have is that this course isn’t just about roles in technology. It spans the board. It’s likely that wherever you’ve come from – whether its music, philosophy, whatever – there will be tech jobs within that field. In that sense it’s not a limiting course at all. I think it’s a good foundation that gives you a highly desirable and sought after set of skills and ultimately makes you much more employable. It gives you more tools in your arsenal. If I wanted to combine my tech skills with my degree there’s all kinds of big issues in society at the moment I could focus on like developing policies for AI safety or data usage for instance.

It’s a supportive environment to learn in

There are so many things I’m enjoying about the course but one of the highlights has been getting to know everyone and the social side. We all went out for burgers last week which was fun and also a lot of your learning comes from your peers too. This week with javascript has been interesting as the five or six people who come from more computer science backgrounds have been helping others who have been struggling. We all work together which is how it would be in the outside world. The tutors Liam and Shea often say we should consider this course as our first development job.

The course is varied, one day we’re presenting the next we’re meeting big clients…

I’ve also enjoyed the emphasis on the soft skills you need to become a successful web developer. So as well as all the HTML and CSS we’re doing demonstrations and presentations every Friday, we have different clients coming in, we have lots of group work and access to people around us who are recruiting people like us day in day out.

It may sound cliched but I’d say to anyone considering a course like this that they shouldn’t feel they can’t do it because of factors which are irrelevant. Things like the kind of degree you have, whether you even have a degree are not important. Having the right characteristics, attitude and self-awareness is much more important. The final thing I’d say is that the more you learn the more interested you become. A course like this just naturally instills that kind of fascination in tech in you. It gives you a real sense of purpose.


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