“I Was Wasting My Skills”

new zealand women in tech learning to code
Maya Ningsih, Dev Academy graduate, presenting her final project at graduation

Maya Ningsih was working in Marketing but always had a passion for technology. After finding that her job wasn’t using all of her abilities, and deciding that she didn’t want to miss out on the opportunities in tech, she took the leap and joined Enspiral Dev Academy in late 2018.

“Back in 2015 I was thinking about doing the course, but I held back for too long, and now I’m kind of regretting it. I should’ve just done it then.

I was thinking, ‘programming is not my kind of thing, I’m not smart enough to do this.’

When you think about programming, you think it requires logic, mathematics, algorithms — and it does require a little, but you can work your way around that. There are tools out there that can help you! I started learning on my own from a JavaScript book and it was all variables and complicated language, so I just thought ‘I can’t do it.’

“I wanted skills for the future…I just felt like I was missing out if I didn’t do the course.”

Eventually I was encouraged to check out the Dev Academy course, because I wanted skills for the future. I’ve always loved technology and I wanted to get hands on to take this big opportunity of working in tech. I thought I’d be wasting my skills if I don’t do it, plus I wasn’t enjoying my role or utilising the resources and knowledge that I have. I like being able to solve problems, and I like making things beautiful. So I thought I’d just do it.

I took a few days off work to just really think about what I wanted to do — whether I wanted to carry on with my marketing career, and where it was taking me. I thought that at least if the Dev Academy course didn’t go the way I wanted, I wouldn’t be losing anything — I would have gained all this knowledge, and I could potentially do anything! Even if I don’t get my dream job I could at least still jump into tech.

“My advice to someone who was thinking of doing Dev Academy is: Just do it, because it’s one hell of an experience.”

Bootcamp is hard. The learning keeps going, you don’t even have time to revisit what you’ve just studied. But I have my own plan, where once I finish this, I’ll go all the way back and redo the content myself just to embed it a bit more. I don’t expect to get a job right away, but I want to have those skills solidified and behind me when I go into a workplace.

For personal projects, I used MaterialUI and this awesome library, and I had no real struggle until we got to the backend programming. But I know how to get help and I know how to utilise the existing tools — there are lots out there for you to us! When I managed to put a map API into my personal project, that was a huge achievement. Bryce, the teacher, came along and said “Oh shoot, that looks legit,” and I didn’t want to brag about it, but that was a huge high!

Continuing education technology nz
Maya with her classmates and teachers at Dev Academy Auckland

My dream job is to be a front-end developer. So, if you give me a design, I’ll turn it into the product that you want me to build. I love that. I could play around with CSS, play around with the look of things, making things dynamic, and so on. I think when I speak about it I have a real passion for it. So I’m very excited about this.

My advice to someone who was thinking of doing Dev Academy is: Just do it, because it’s one hell of an experience. It’s hard, but I think of it as a retreat at the same time because you won’t get this experience elsewhere. If you want, you can do a course online, on your own, but it’s not the same experience. All the yoga, meditation, all the tools that help with your wellbeing as a person, it means you’re becoming a real, well-rounded developer.

So if you want to do it, do it, because it’s not all about being pushed to your limit technically, but gaining human and social skills as well. You get to bond with people that you never have before. But my favourite part is actually coming out of the course feeling like programming is my kind of thing, and I am smart enough for this. Now I’m so excited to go out into the world and see where these possibilities take me!”

Dev Academy — Now with Student Loans! If you love technology, have a passion for learning and the tenacity to work hard, this is for you. Suitable for all levels of experience. Cohorts fill fast so don’t miss out – apply now

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