From Mechanical Engineering to Full-Stack Development

Alumini Interview Stephen


We recently caught up with Stephen, one of the inspiring alumni from Codeworks, who successfully transitioned from a career in mechanical engineering to becoming a full-stack developer. Stephen’s story is not just about a career change but about determination, problem-solving, and embracing new challenges. 

A Mechanical Engineering Background


Before getting into the world of coding, Stephen worked as a mechanical technician at a factory in Leeds, England. His role involved hands-on work, fixing machines, and solving technical issues. Despite enjoying the problem-solving aspect of his job, Stephen felt the urge to relocate to London, where opportunities in his field were scarce. The necessity to move pushed him to explore new career paths.

The Decision to Change Careers


Stephen’s partner lived in London, and he was eager to join her. Realizing that the type of mechanical work he did in Leeds wasn’t really available in London, he decided it was time to retrain. The tech industry, particularly software development, caught his attention. Stephen began teaching himself to code, leveraging his problem-solving skills honed as a technician. However, self-teaching had its limits, and Stephen needed a structured program to gain the confidence and skills required for a career in tech.

Discovering Codeworks


Stephen discovered Codeworks while browsing online forums and Q&A sites. What stood out to him was the personal engagement of Alessandro, the CEO of Codeworks, who actively responded to queries about coding bootcamps. This personal touch and the rigorous curriculum convinced Stephen that Codeworks was the right choice.

The Codeworks Experience


Stephen’s time at Codeworks was intense and transformative. The program required a strong foundation in coding, so Stephen had to pass a challenging pre-test. “I had been learning JavaScript for about eight months, so I felt prepared, but it was still intimidating,” he recalls.

During the bootcamp, Stephen worked on two main projects: a solo project and a team project. For his solo project, he created a scuba diving logbook app that integrated geo-coding and photo uploads, merging his passion for scuba diving with his new coding skills. The team project involved building a bug tracking app, akin to a simplified JIRA, which gave him valuable experience in collaborative coding and project management.

Challenges and Successes


Transitioning to a new career was not without its challenges. Stephen faced the competitive job market for junior developers, but with Codeworks’ support, he learned to navigate job applications effectively. “The community and cohort support, along with LinkedIn optimization techniques, were crucial,” he notes.

After graduating, Stephen’s first job was with a digital agency that developed software for the NHS. This role was stressful but rewarding, providing him with the experience and confidence to advance his career. Today, Stephen works at  &Dine, a food delivery company in London, where he has significantly contributed to building their tech infrastructure from scratch.

Reflections and advice


Stephen reflects on his journey with a sense of accomplishment. “Coding is like problem-solving without physical constraints,” he says, comparing it to his previous mechanical work. His advice to those considering a career change is straightforward:

  1. Start building: Don’t just learn theory. Build projects, no matter how small. Practical experience is invaluable.
  2. Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The tech community is collaborative and supportive.
  3. Leverage your background: Skills from previous careers, like problem-solving and hands-on experience, can be incredibly valuable in tech.

Stephen’s journey from a mechanical technician to a full-stack developer is a testament to the power of dedication and the right training program. For those looking to make a similar leap, his story is a beacon of hope and a roadmap to success.

At Codeworks, we are very proud of Stephen and eagerly anticipate where his skills will take him in the future.

Thank you, Stephen, for taking the time to talk with us.

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