If I can do this course…anyone can

Siobhan Falvey, 22, has always wanted a career in the world of fashion. Three weeks into _nology and she’s realising that tech skills could be how she stands out in such a competitive industry.

Written by Nology Team - 25.04.19

Most of my friends laughed – and still laugh when I tell them I’m on a tech course.

They’re like, ‘you and technology? But you break printers!’ I do see the funny side as I’m probably the least tech friendly person to consider doing a course in it. But I am learning – and I’m enjoying it too.

Tech skills are vital in every industry now… especially fashion

I studied English Lit at University and have always wanted to work in fashion. I’m particularly interested in the buying side of the industry and was advised to get lots of work experience, which I’ve done. But when it came to getting an actual, paying job it was proving extremely difficult. Fashion has the opposite problem to technology in that it’s completely oversubscribed.

It was when I was having a think about what to do next that I came across this course. And after speaking to Pete (Anstey, Nology co-founder) I realised this could be an interesting way into the fashion industry. Loads of people want to get into buying because it’s fun and creative etc. But if I get myself some different skills to those people, I could make myself much more attractive to a potential employer. Also the tech side of the industry is possibly more stable than the retail side with how the high street and everything is right now. For example, e commerce is a huge part of most fashion brands and I imagine they outsource the building of these websites. So if I’m on board and can talk about the design and look and feel of the site or app but I can also physically build it…that feels like a good place to be.

I’m enjoying overcoming the challenges of the course

Coming from an English Lit background has presented some interesting challenges for me on the course so far. In fact, as soon as Liam (Farrell, Nology trainer) saw my background he said, ‘you’re going to struggle.’ And he was right – code is written in American English and it was initially very hard for me to drop random U’s and A’s. I’d be getting frustrated like ‘why isn’t this working’ and then realise I’d spelt it the English way. It’s the same with the commands, sometimes I’ll switch the way the words go around because they’re not grammatically correct – and it won’t work. I am slowly learning not to do this but after three years of studying, it’s a hard habit to break. Most times when I’m frustrated that something isn’t working is as simple as a single letter or space.

The environment is so supportive

I think there have been points in the last three weeks that all of us have had to go through something tricky and come out the other side. You’ll have a real moment of ‘I don’t understand this and I’ll never be able to do it,’ and then you talk to the other students, work your way through it and suddenly you see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then there’s another tunnel – which this week is Javascript! But even there I know the light is there. Liam just asked me how I was getting along and my response was, ‘if you asked me to write it on my own, I couldn’t. But if someone writes it for me then I can understand what they’re doing and why.’ And for me right now, that’s enough.

When I look back to the start of the course I realise just how far I’ve come

It’s strange because it’s taught in such a short amount of time and you sometimes think you haven’t come very far. But when I think back to day one and think at what I can do now versus what I could do then, I realise it’s huge progress. In the first week we had to present back the coding we’d done and show off the online CV’s we’d built. Mine was basically just a bright screen with some text on it and wasn’t particularly complicated, but if you’d told me a day before starting this course that I’d be able to build that I probably would have laughed in your face! For me, the fact I’d managed to get something online that wasn’t just an error message was a huge victory.

To me, this course is like having a rudder. I came out of University with a humanities degree which is great, but it doesn’t lead to anything. The idea of gaining skills that I can apply to something is very appealing. I have a sense of direction for possibly the first time and it’s not going to get knocked off course. To have a skill that is going to be really, really useful and really desired by people is hugely exciting to me.

Learning tech skills will open up a whole host of career opportunities, starting a career in tech gives you the skillset to follow any career route in any industry. If you are interested in finding out more click here.


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