“Changing, Learning and Working in Teams”

Jeremy Jonas at Enspiral Dev Academy’s Auckland campus

After a two year computer course failed to gain him employment, Jeremy Jonas went into an office job that bored him to pieces. Eventually, tired of the monotony of the work, he decided to give tech another go. He looked at the different tertiary programmes on offer, and determined Enspiral Dev Academy to be the best option. We talked to him about his time on the course.

“I used to work in retail at The Warehouse. During my last year at the Lyall Bay store I began a computer course at a private education provider. That was a Diploma of Systems Technology, which is a general entry into computers and everything. It took about two years part time, on top of my full time job. I already had an interest in computers, so a lot of the content in that course was stuff that I was somewhat familiar with. But when I finished I actually found that it was really difficult trying to get a job.

“I was just bored at work. It was way too routine for me. Everything was just the same, always the same.”

The computer course had a career placement programme. But it wasn’t particularly helpful. I graduated in November but we couldn’t start until January. Then I found that most of the places that they were trying to get me into were just three month contracts. It wasn’t something that I felt comfortable doing, because at that time I did already have a full time permanent job. Although it was in retail and not what I wanted to keep doing, I didn’t want to leave that for a three month contract.

So after job searching there for about 6 months I moved up to Auckland, and searched again. And still didn’t really have any luck up here. So at that point I got an administration job for a real estate company. And I did that for around about a year.

Towards the end I was just bored at work. It was way too routine for me. Everything was just the same, always the same. So I knew that I needed to make a change. I talked to a few friends about it and one of my friends who works in tech said that development might be worth looking at, because although the core technology remains relatively similar, every project you work on is for something completely different, so it doesn’t feel like you’re doing the exact same thing day in day out. I liked the fact that tech is always changing, so to be successful you have to keep learning. It’s not just, you learn this and then do it for the next ten years.

“I liked the fact that tech is always changing, so to be successful you have to keep learning.”

One other thing I liked about tech was working in a team rather than by myself. Before I looked into it, I didn’t realise that a lot of coding is done in teams. And when I started researching the different options for study, I found it interesting that Dev Academy was about the only place where you actually worked in teams and groups, and you basically didn’t work on anything by yourself, except for your big Personal Project. But even then you have a lot of help from your classmates and teachers. So that was one of the factors in my decision to actually study here.

Another big thing for me was the fact that the whole thing only takes 9 weeks. And although it is pretty intense, it’s a lot better than having to devote an entire year or even 3 years if you do a university course. Because I couldn’t justify going back to university for another 3 years.

“I found it interesting that Dev Academy was about the only place where you actually worked in teams and groups.”

So I went on the Dev Academy website and signed up for a interview. I had a phone interview with Jack. And he basically explained what the programme was, how it worked, what we’d be doing. I came in to the Auckland campus to meet him in person, had a look around, and after meeting a few of the people, having a quick chat with Dougal and seeing some of the graduates and everything, I pretty much decided that it was the right way to go.

One of my favourite things about Dev Academy was just how different it was from a traditional school learning environment. I felt like I learned a lot more because there was no stress of exams looming at the end and trying to cram in everything. The other difference was that the tutors really felt like peers and mentors, there was no “them / us” or “teacher / student” feeling at any point during the course.

“It is pretty incredible, I guess, that I can have some vague sense of what AI code is doing after only 7 weeks on the course.”

I did my Thunder Talk on AI. It uses completely different code from anything we’ve learned here, most of it looks like Python. I looked at some snippets of the code just to see what it actually looks like and it kind of follows the same sort of structure as JavaScript. Some of the code — no idea. But other things kind of made sense, I could kind of see the structure of the code resembling what I thought was basically a giant if/else statement. Apparently if you’re learning one language, quite a lot of the other languages actually become a piece of cake to pick up. It is pretty incredible, I guess, that I can have some vague sense of what AI code is doing after only 7 weeks on the course.

Before I looked into it, I wasn’t 100% sure it was what I wanted to do. Because I thought I’d probably get bored staring at words all day. But since I’ve actually started coding, I can honestly say that I’ve never been bored starting at words on a screen. It’s always using your brain. And the speed of the course and the variety of everything just doesn’t leave time for boredom at all. Once you actually start to get familiar with everything and it starts to flow, it becomes really fun.

If you love technology, have a passion for learning and the tenacity to work hard, Enspiral Dev Academy is for you. Our upcoming cohorts in Auckland and Wellington are filling fast. Don’t miss out — Apply now: https://www.devacademy.co.nz/apply-now.