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Hostelling International Hire Two We Got Coders Trainees

Case Study


Joe & Jason's Story

Jason Hooper and Joe Dickinson both studied with We Got Coders before successfully moving into web development jobs with Hostelling International.

Jason decided to take a step in a different direction after he was made redundant from his previous job. Having had some experience of programming before, he decided this was the perfect opportunity to gain some new skills and get back into an area he really enjoyed working in previously.

Joe had been working in IT for around five years offering first line support to customers, but yearned to do something more creative. After being advised to attend a Ruby meet up in London, he met the founder of We Got Coders and was encouraged to take our course, which he happily signed up to and excelled on it.

After completing their courses with We Got Coders, Hostelling International offered both Joe and Jason jobs in web development and system administration where they both happily work together.

Why did you get into coding?

Jason: It’s something I’d done before I got my previous job as a database administrator. After I was made redundant from that job, I decided to reassess my career and get back into coding.

Joe: I was working in an entry level IT support job and eventually I got tired of resetting passwords all day! I had the desire to be in a job where I had more creative input and could make a lasting difference. A lot of my friends are web developers, and I’ve always been really blown away by the apps they build. They inspired me to change career direction to do something creative, lasting, and where I could see the results of my work.

What made you look for a course?

Jason: I got interested in Ruby and web development, but realised after a few attempts that placing myself back into a professional role was nearly impossible. That’s why We Got Coders really appealed to me, as the course focuses on getting you employed at the end of it.

Joe: I was advised by my friends who do Ruby to attend the London Ruby meetup and network with the people who attend it. I went along and wasn’t sure what would come out of it, since I had limited knowledge of Ruby and no commercial experience, but I liked the idea of making some more friends who were professionals in the field. After going to a few of the meetups I met Dan and the more he talked about the course the more it seemed like the next logical step for me.

Why did you choose We Got Coders?

Jason: The main attraction for me was the fact that you do an internship after the course. I really didn’t want to invest in a course and then still be stuck without a job!

Joe: Before committing to We Got Coders I researched into a few other courses to get a sense of what I could get for the money. However, none of the others offered such a complete package as We Got Coders does. The prospect of going straight into a job at the end of it, under the supervision of a senior developer, sounded ideal.

What was the best thing about the course?

Jason: It was great to mix and interact with like-minded people and to learn together too. It really made a difference that everyone was at the same level.

Joe: I really enjoyed the mentoring stage, where I got paid to work with real clients for three months and had a senior developer to back us up. It was a great transition into working on our own. The coffee machine was also excellent!

What did you feel your level was like after the course?

Jason: I learned a lot but reinforced what I already knew even more. I had self-taught myself a lot of the material of the course before I started, but I hadn’t implemented or practised it nearly as well as I could have done with We Got Coders.

Joe: After the course I was under no delusions of being a Ruby expert but I was confident I knew enough to make practical contributions. Even now I’m still learning, and discovering new and better ways of doing things. I expect this will be the same years from now: it’s one of the things I most enjoy about the job.

How did working with a senior developer as a mentor help with your coding output?

Jason: I learnt a lot from it, and it was especially useful: I could take the praise for good work and blame him for the bad work!

Joe: It was enormously helpful as there are no senior Ruby developers at our company: Jason and I are responsible for the entire Ruby codebase, which is a lot larger than anything we’d dealt with on the course. It was a really scary thing to take on at first, but our mentor helped us to break down the problems, and pretty soon every issue felt no different from problems we’d work on in the course. It gave me a lot of confidence that I was always headed in a sensible direction.


Hostelling International's Perspective

Ivan Salcedo is the Operations Director for HiHostels, which is a global federation of hostel accommodation providers.

After a large-scale multiple-supplier software build, they found that the return on investment with the agency model wasn’t working for them and so looked to We Got Coders to help them find a solution to this situation. After hiring Jason and Joe they have recently completed a project to migrate their bookings and point of sale platform onto a modern, API-backed, service-orientated architecture.

What made you turn to We Got Coders?

We were having difficulty on a major e-commerce project and was running behind schedule, getting low on budget and still had a huge amount of work to complete before launch! Our web agency weren’t helping us and weren’t delivering value for money, plus other agencies we looked to wanted to rebuild the whole project from the ground up. That’s when we looked to We Got Coders to help us get out of this difficult situation.

How has working with Jason and Joe helped your business?

They have been an asset and never flinched when faced with the challenge we put to them. Within a short space of time Jason and Joe were making direct contributions and improvements to our codebase, meaning I had no hesitation in offering them both full time jobs at the end of their placements.

Did the We Got Coders consultant meet your expectations?

Dan came highly recommended from people I trust in the industry, and I was impressed by his passion for web development and his faith in his students. He assessed our codebase before committing to the project and was confident that his junior developers would be up to the task. Most impressive was the commitment, dedication and talent of the developers he had been nurturing.

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

We were safe in the knowledge that a senior developer was on hand to mentor and guide our employees, so there was less risk when offering Joe and Jason full time contracts. By using We Got Coders we could control costs, build a brand new team and bring a new perspective to the company. In addition to this, the developers brought wide industry experience, and a resolute approach to coding to our company.

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