In our spotlight series, we showcase and celebrate our students! Megan was a student from Cohort 2. After graduating with a degree in Biochemistry and spending some time volunteering across the globe. Megan made the leap into software development. She is now employed full-time on a Level 4 Software Engineering apprenticeship!
OS: Since finishing the deeper programme, you have started an apprenticeship. Can you tell us some more about it?
MM: I am currently employed by Waters Corporation through an apprenticeship supported by Manchester Digital. During my first four weeks on the program, I have been working through a coding boot camp to learn the fundamentals of coding practice. With the knowledge I have gained throughout the boot camp, I will then start to work directly with my employer over the course of the apprenticeship. I will be continuing to build my skillset and knowledge with the aim to become a skilled developer. Throughout the apprenticeship, I will build a portfolio that will be used to demonstrate my coding abilities, which I will use, along with an interview to gain my L4 software developer qualification.
OS: Tell us a little about yourself from before you became a software engineer.
MM: Before securing a place on the apprenticeship programme I had gained a degree in Biochemistry, however, I was unsure of what career path I wanted to follow and had a hunger to travel and explore the world. Since University I have volunteered in Burkina Faso, traveled South East Asia, and spent multiple seasons working abroad in both Ski and Summer resorts. After returning from my fifth and final season abroad, I explored various career paths until I came across software development and was captivated by the coding practice and ever-changing field.
OS: Before starting with us on the deeper program what coding experience did you have?
MM: Upon realisation of my intrigue for software development, I used an online platform to learn the basics of Java then used various other platforms, such as Pluralsight, freeCodeCamp, and many more, to solidify this knowledge. From my own self-learning, I knew that software development was a career that I would continue to love and flourish in, so I started applying for various programmes to help me progress in my learning.
OS: What was the most valuable part of the deeper program for you?
MM: With only having self-learnt before joining the DEEPer programme, I found it extremely helpful to have an experienced developer delivering the content and being present to be able to answer questions at any stage. The DEEPer team were there from start to finish, for any issues or queries you may have had, I feel this support mechanism was instrumental in my learning and more so development. In addition, I believe that building a website from start to finish, allowed me to put the theory into practice and was key in ensuring I understood what it was I was implementing and why.
OS: Why an apprenticeship route?
MM: Having already been through and achieved a degree, I felt a degree route was not right for me. This was then solidified when looking into apprenticeship programmes, where you directly apply and adapt your knowledge and skills in your chosen role. It can be easy to say you understand the concepts behind something but putting that into practice is a very different thing! In an apprenticeship, you are constantly learning new things on the job and I felt that this would be more suited to me.
OS: Where do you see your apprenticeship taking you in 5 years?
MM: My goal is to become an experienced developer and a valued member of my team. I will be making meaningful contributions to my workplace and society and would love the opportunity to influence and encourage others into the field.
OS: Which parts of your coding journey would you recommend others focus on?
MM: Practice! As previously mentioned, you can go through a wealth of different languages learning the theory, but I definitely recommend ensuring you can implement theories you’ve learned into your code before moving on to something brand new.
OS: Can you show us something you have been working on?
Megan has completed the Digital Engineering Education Programme and is now employed as an Apprentice Software Developer. DEEPer was established to fill the Digital Skills gap in Lancashire; equipping students like Megan with the skills and knowledge that employers need. If you would like to find out more about the programme and discuss any opportunities you may be able to offer our students, please contact Gaby (firstname.lastname@example.org).