It's crazy to think that my Northcoders course ended a week ago, this blog was a cathartic way for me to think retrospectively each week, about the tasks and experiences that each week of the course holds. If you want to find out about the final project me and my team worked on, you can check out the recording of our graduation!
As a well deserved break (in my opinion 😅) I haven't wrote a line of code in a week, and I feel so much more recharged and refreshed. 14 weeks is a long time to work without a break, even in a 'real' work environment, and anyone will feel burnt out and tired after a marathon like that! So I spent the weekend after I finished with my partner and went to visit family for a birthday. It was really nice to visit family especially after not seeing anyone for a long time COVID-wise. I also got a car this week, I passed my driving test a few weeks ago whilst on the course and haven't had the chance to arrange anything to do with it!
This week I signed all of the paperwork for my first developer job! I'm very excited to start and from the team that I've had the pleasure of speaking to so far, they all like their roles and all seem lovely. I'll talk a bit more on the interview process in the next section.
I'll be starting as a Junior Developer, and I can't wait to learn more about how to be a developer in the workplace and get stuck in with my new team! The bootcamp was remote, aside from a few days here and there, so it's kind of exciting to be going into my new office and seeing what everything is like.
If you've been reading any of my blog and have been considering a coding bootcamp then I can wholeheartedly say absolutely go for it! I can obviously only attest to the quality of the Northcoders bootcamp, with that being the only one I've been on.
However, the quality of the tutoring from the classroom team is unparalleled in my opinion and the passion that they put in everyday is very apparent, and very very appreciated by the students.
If you have any doubts about bootcamps or Northcoders in general when you're thinking of applying, then just reaching out and asking all of your questions is a great idea.
The main thing I'll say is that it is far more affordable than it may seem at first. I chose the deferred payment option to spread the cost of the course out over two years with no interest applied to that loan.
I think there's a lot of worry around interviews and especially tech tests so I'd thought I'd share my experience, the good and the bad!
I'd applied for a grad role at a different place in Leeds a few weeks ago, the process was very impersonal, all email communication and online forms, and their tech test was the embodiment of everything I'd worried about. It was a list of super difficult abstract questions under a strict time limit that didn't really allow me to showcase any of my skills. The whole process left me feeling really dejected because it was very unfriendly and me not passing made me question whether I'd be able to get a job.
Luckily they're not all like this in my experience and from doing it I've learnt that my performance on these kind of arbitrary test doesn't define what I know. If anything, having experienced this I know that this kind of interview process would be a red flag for me when job hunting in the future!
For the job I have been offered the application process was super friendly and personal, there was an initial phone call with the internal talent team who tell you a little more about the role, followed by a first stage interview where I got to meet two of the managers and talk a little more in depth about the role. This was great because it meant I could get a bit of a feel for the people that I could be working with and see if I thought I was a good fit.
Then came the tech test, for my tech test I was asked to create a digital calculator, I had just over a couple of days to complete it and I was given a lot of freedom in the tech choices I could make for the test so I could really showcase what I could do.
I decided to go with React and TypeScript as React is something that we cover on the course, but TypeScript is something that I was using in my final project for the course, so I thought why not?
My second interview was great, we got to go over my tech test and my decisions and getting to meet existing members of the team was ace, and I get to talk to the people that could tell me even more about the day-to-day of the potential job!
This was such a positive interview and tech test experience and I was overjoyed when they offered me the role! I wanted to share how good it was so other new devs know that tech tests aren't all awful and there's some really good places out there that have interview processes really well thought through and suited to juniors, keep looking and you'll find the right place for you!
I start my new job on the 17th August, and I'm going to devote a lot of time to getting settled into the team and up to date with the code base I'll be working on.
Other than that, I'm certain this will be my last blog post in this series as it has fulfilled its purpose in many ways. I wanted to mainly do it to keep myself motivated throughout the course, as well as for potential employment purposes.
I've enjoyed the blogging experience a lot more than I thought I would, and might return to it after a little while, with some newly found wisdom from my first dev job.
A huge thank you to anyone reading to the very end, and an even bigger one if you've read each instalment of the series. Keep your eyes peeled for any more in future and of course, follow me on Twitter, GitHub, LinkedIn, and here on Dev.to.