As a recent maths graduate I was unsure what career path to take. I knew I wanted to make the best use of the skills I had to offer but was wary of falling into banking/finance like many others. I started to learn to code as part of some work experience and soon fell in love with it. Not only did it offer the similar challenges that I had relished as mathematician but also a chance to use my creativity to provide solutions to real world problems.

I began introductory courses in Computer Science and Data Science but struggled to keep motivated with the lack of peer interaction and no direction. When you are beginning a simple trivial bug can halt your progress altogether and be very demoralising. I then discovered Founders and Coders. An opportunity to learn with the support of others at a very fast pace was something I couldn't miss with the added bonus that it was free!

The prerequisites were the first hurdle. They are tough but I feel very necessary. During this time I became confident that software development was something I'd enjoy and I knew the more I put in then the more I would get out of the course. The application was therefore enjoyable and I'd recommend anyone who just wants to get into coding to use the list as a base to start learning especially the codewars element.

Starting the course was big jump up. I felt very overwhelmed the first week at the amount of work involved and felt very inexperienced compared to some of the other students (Everybody felt this!). However, very soon things started clicking into place and I thoroughly enjoyed the accelerated learning with a group of people who were there to support each other at every step and push each other further and further. Each week starts with a project brief and some guidance of what tools to use and then we are left alone to tackle it in teams of four. It was quite amazing seeing what we had achieved by the end of each week and I found that this style of group learning really suited me. Each person had a specific role in the project and whatever they learnt was fed back into the group. We gained lots from pair programming together and it was great to have the chance to work with everybody.

Alongside the weekly projects morning challenges and tips of the day allowed us to explore other parts of javascript while jigsaw days gave us expertise in various APIs, frameworks and databases. There was also a variety of guest speakers who were all very inspiring and gave a glimpse of where we could be in a couple of years time.

But this is only half of the story. The people here are what the makes the course so special. Each cohort contains a huge range of people from a variety of backgrounds and countries, each offering something special to the space. Everyone is kind and caring and works for the greater good of the coop. The teaching staff offer so much and whatever your interests are you are sure to find someone who'll want to learn with you or help you with your project.

I'm no way near ready to leave this space and will now take on freelance projects with fellow classmates. I look forward to helping with the teaching of the next cohort whilst continuing my own learning. Founders and Coders is a really special organisation and I'm so glad to part of its future.

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