Navigating a 180° Career Turn

In a remarkable turnaround, Chris, once an archivist, embraced a total career shift to become a full-time developer with the help of Dev Academy.

February 16, 2024 | Graduate Profile, Student Life

Chris's deep love for history, culture, and heritage guided him into a significant position at the New Zealand archives. However, limited prospects for long-term career advancement led Chris to ponder a strategic shift.

With friends pursuing tech and recommending Dev Academy's program, Chris realised this was a path where he could work overseas in a creativity-fueled problem-solving role. 

Chris had done some coding and making video games growing up, so having an idea of concepts, like what a variable or a function is, was helpful to him, but using JavaScript, TypeScript, and React was new. 

"There were different levels of experience on the course. Some people came in completely cold, never really having  used computers for much else than browsing YouTube and writing emails."

Transitioning from a full-time job to dedicated study at Dev Academy offered Chris a more gratifying rhythm, with the emphasis on daily immersion in substantial learning over the incremental learnings of a typical full-time job. Logging on for a day and being paired with people who better grasp the particular exercise or vice versa created a growth space for Chris to learn, practise, have fun, and be around people in the same boat. 

"You can trust the process; the course has been around long enough and had enough iterations that it is well curated in getting people from having little or no technology experience to being competent and capable developers quickly."

Dev Academy’s careers week shifted Chris’s focus to what he wanted to make out of his newfound skills.A month after graduating from Dev Academy, Chris was employed in a developer role, coding in React and TypeScript. Dev Academy's full-time program has been a "game changer" for Chris. It allowed him to complete his career transition quickly; the alternatives he was looking at required years of retraining.

 "As I was applying for jobs, I was thinking about the advice I've had through careers weeks. Focusing on companies hiring people for the right reasons".

Chris has learned that an open, growth-focused mindset matters more than any resume bullet when venturing into software development. While coding newbies can certainly develop hard technical skills, Chris highlights that crucial ‘soft’ attributes—like curiosity to push beyond the familiar, perseverance through unfamiliar territory, and willingness to collaborate closely—are what truly enable career changers to evolve into confident, seasoned developers

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