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Dig Up A New Career

Case Study


Michael's story

Michael Cleary had a varied career before he decided to take a training course with We Got Coders.

He trained as an archaeologist at Birmingham University, worked in the civil service, and then worked at a haulage firm before realising that he could use computers to make his job easier.

After teaching himself the basics of coding and doing some odd jobs for museums and charities, he enrolled with We Got Coders to make the next step and get his foot on the career ladder.

Michael gained a job through our course, and is now the in-house developer for HandsHQ, a tech startup that runs a web-based application that automatically generates health and safety documentation for building contractors. The company is based in trendy offices in St Katherine’s Dock, London, and Michael is guided by Jamie, one of the founders of the company.

Why did you decide to get into coding?

I didn’t really have a marketable skill to offer the world: archaeologists do not make a lot of money! I see the automation of the office and office activities as the next logical step in our ongoing industrial and digital revolution. It frees up people from repetitive tasks so they can concentrate on the creative aspects of their jobs, which is a big inspiration for me.

What made you look for a course?

While I could teach myself coding, it was going to be a very long process and I didn’t really have the knowledge of the industry to know what I should learn, so I looked to a course to help me quickly learn how to code.,/p>

Why did you choose us?

I wasn’t confident in the value for money of the big code school boot camps. They have very large classes and no investment in your success. I worried that I might end up paying a lot of money and not receiving any support in helping me find a job.

We Got Coders removed this anxiety. I could see from the class size that we’d receive a lot of personal attention, and Dan had a real incentive to help us learn and to help us find a job afterwards. The set up meant that his priorities matched mine exactly and I found this very reassuring.

What was the best thing about the course?

Definitely the small class size. It meant we got a lot of one-on-one tuition from Dan if we were stuck on something, and because we all knew each other well we weren’t nervous to interrupt a lesson to ask a question. The quality of the teaching was very high and the focused help made all the difference.

How did you feel your level was at the end of the course?

After the course I felt pretty confident in tackling a range of problems, and in my ability to find out how to solve anything I didn’t already know. The course taught us where to look if we didn’t know the answer to something and how to use those resources. It was as if we’d been given a toolkit for solving any problem rather than taught a few tricks.

How did working with a senior developer help your output?

Having a senior that knew me and my strengths during the placement phase was amazingly helpful. It gave me the confidence to make my own mistakes. He also acted as a fallback if I came across a problem I had no clue how to solve, suggesting alternative solutions or putting me on the right track. The mentorship was certainly the best thing about the whole package as it let me keep the training wheels on in the real world long enough to settle in and realise that I could actually do this!


Hands On Development

Jamie Carruthers is the co-founder of HandsHQ and is responsible for the look and feel of the product that they offer. They launched in 2013 and were using a number of off-site contract developers, but felt the time was right to hire someone full time and bring the development in-house. They looked to We Got Coders to help them with this task.

How has working with Michael helped your business?

Since Michael joined as our first full time developer, we’ve been able to react quicker to the demands of our customers, improving our product and landing bigger clients.

Did the We Got Coders consultant meet your expectations?

Dan made sure that Michael had all of the support he needed during the first three months. Dan exceeded our expectations and he felt like part of our team throughout.

What concerns did you have at the outset? Have they been addressed?

My biggest concern was that a junior developer would be too inexperienced for us. By the end of the three months Michael was more than proficient and after six months is more of a mid-weight developer.

What was the best thing about using the We Got Coders service?

Now we know that the We Got Coders model works, we know we have an exceptional source of talent to draw on when we need to expand our team. In fact, we have already hired our second developer from them!

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