The national lockdown has proven to be one of those incredibly tough times that push people to rise to incredibly tough challenges. But even in the lead-up to this lockdown, the economy was in a ditch: GDP shrank more than 2% in the end of 2019, and unemployment had grown to nearly 30%, the highest it has been in over a decade. South Africans everywhere are finding themselves in a constant struggle to improve themselves and grow towards a better future.
One of those people is 39-year-old Craig Wentzel, a Capetonian who joined HyperionDev’s Full Stack Web Developer bootcamp after he lost his job in the lead-up to the national shutdown. The sudden shock left Craig devastated.
I came from a background with extensive technical training in SharePoint, and worked in the IT sector, doing projects for a large bank. I thought of myself as the resident joker and also the life saver of many projects where I worked – and I lost it all in one single day. On the day before the Rugby World Cup Final, I had to tell my wife that I was out of a job.
Faced with terrible news that he’d been retrenched from a job he had worked hard at for years, Craig decided it was time that he built himself a skill set that would open up new career opportunities, in technology and full stack web development.
I had a choice: I could accept that I had no job and sit around feeling sorry for myself, or I could do something positive that would help me to grow. I took up the challenge to redefine myself and my career by enrolling for the Full Stack Web Development Bootcamp.
Craig started his Full Stack Web Developer Bootcamp with us, completing his course work part-time on our online learning platform.
I joined HyperionDev 3 weeks after losing my job and this course is the only thing that has kept me going. I have learnt a tremendous amount of code and grew in this course. From every sleepless night to every Unexpected Error it has been an unforgettable journey! In fact, in the 6 months with HyperionDev my mind and thinking has been challenged. The ‘I can’t’ that always tries to sneak up has become a strong ‘I can’!
Not just a bootcamp: a future
Our bootcamps focus on giving students real skills in coding, so that they can learn to build programs and solve problems on their own. It’s an environment of constant challenge and growth – and one that Craig found himself enjoying immensely.
The challenge of coding was highly rewarding. I liked it because you can’t just sit around and guess the answer; you really have to think, research, ask questions and have a desire to grow, grow, grow. It is hard work yet rewarding. If you are not willing to sit and put in the time, then you cannot reap the rewards.
Whenever Craig was stuck on a problem, he had access to his peers, teaching assistants, and his 1-on-1 mentor, Tavonga, to help him to understand his errors, and write better, more efficient code.
As he learnt more about code, he started to look at the tech industry and his situation in a different light. Today, Craig feels confident and excited for his bright future in technology.
COVID -19 has thrown the door wide open for more online and cloud-based platforms to evolve from simple business, as training institutions and large scale businesses have had to find alternate ways to work under the new regulations. With more and more web solutions needed, it is a great space to be in, to really take hold of this opportunity. It may seem impossible to get there, but all you need is a desire and hard work.
He already has plans for his future: in five years, he sees himself running his own successful business – where he can pick his hours and work from wherever he wants – and building his local community.
I would love to get back into the Corporate Sphere or even start my own consultancy named Craig Ryan Consultants, after my late brother, Ryan.
Are you facing your own, similar uncertainties in your career? The tech space is one of the few industries that has not been ravaged by the national shutdown, and demand for talented programmers and junior developers is as high as ever.
Learn skills to join the high-paying field of web development, software engineering, or data science through one of our dedicated coding bootcamps. We specialise in mentored, 1-on-1 learning that is designed to get you writing industry-standard code for real problems, so that you can join the tech industry and find your coding career in less than 6 months, and without spending years of your life and hundreds of thousands of rands studying.
Our bootcamps can be taken online or on our campuses in Joburg and Cape Town, full-time or part-time to fit your schedule. Best of all, they focus on job skills and practical learning so that you can do what professional programmers do.