A Career-Changer’s Guide to Seeking a New Horizon

December 11, 2023 | Student Life, Updates

After ten years in personal banking, Keeley found himself at a crossroads as the routine had lost its allure, prompting him to reassess his career and seek something more stimulating. The spark for a shift into software development ignited when a friend, already immersed in coding, shared his plans to upskill at Dev Academy. For Keeley, this was more than just a career change; it was a chance to explore a new and more promising world.

As Keeley contemplated shifting his career, he realised that diving into a four-year degree didn't sit well with him, especially with his 30th birthday on the horizon. Seeking alternative options, Dev Academy's accessibility in Wellington, remote integration, practical aspects and the good vibes he gained from our website convinced Keeley that Dev Academy was the right choice for him. Discovering eligibility for the Fees Free fund further solidified Keeley's choice and relieved him of the financial burdens often associated with career transitions.

"If I was in a position where I was trying to toss up the option of Dev Academy but didn't think it was something for me in the sense that it might be too intensive or too expensive financial commitment, do whatever you need or can do to put yourself in the position to do it."

Keeley entered the August intake of the full-time program. He found the first phase, called foundations, which is remote and six week long, to be the most challenging part, but it also made him ten times the coder he was. Transitioning from the financial world to coding felt like learning an entirely new language—literally and metaphorically. Once he entered Bootcamp, the second and in-person phase of the course, the environment provided a different dynamic. Here, he learned the value of reaching out for help, not only from facilitators but also from fellow students.

Keeley's cohort at Dev Academy isn't just about coding and intense learning; it's a vibrant community that balances work and play. Whether it's beers on a Friday at one of Cuba Street's many bars or on a Minecraft server, everyone interacts, creating a supportive backdrop for each individual's unique journey. The reassurance of a friendly cohort has added that extra layer of support to make deciding to change careers less daunting.

Keeley mentions the daily rhythm at Dev Academy. Each day begins with a morning lecture, followed by coding exercises and challenges. These challenges are designed to make students apply what they've learned, using new concepts and previously acquired knowledge. The versatility gained at Dev Academy has prepared him well for whatever will come next. Not fixated on a specific part of the tech stack for his next job, he values the transferable skills acquired, be it JavaScript or any other language.

"I'm just excited, if I'm going to put it bluntly, to work for a place that cares about me."

Unanticipated by Keeley, the program strongly emphasises human skills and personal development. Addressing issues like gender disparity in the tech industry and the strong use of Te Reo in the learning environment adds to the inclusive nature. The commitment to a supportive and inclusive environment goes beyond industry stereotypes. Keeley appreciates the institution's efforts to create a balanced gender ratio, focusing on stress management and human skills development. Despite the intensity of the course, he finds it to be a more manageable and fulfilling kind of intensity, contrasting with the high-stress experiences of his previous career.

As you navigate your professional trajectory, take heed of Keeley's strategic counsel: position yourself with foresight for success, view challenges as strategic milestones, and seek out a community fervently dedicated to fostering your professional development. The voyage toward a gratifying tech career commences with just that pivotal initial step.

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