These are difficult times for any career. Cancellations, cutbacks, work hour reductions, partial pay, furloughs, and retrenchments are sweeping the economic landscape. With all these challenges threatening the livelihoods of thousands of career professionals, and so many companies embracing a ‘new normal’ of remote calls, zoom meetings, and digital services, many are considering switching careers to tech. However, deciding to switch careers to tech can be confusing and scary – but you’re not alone. Hundreds of people are successfully making the switch with the help of our specialised mentored coding bootcamps.
One of these people is HyperionDev Software Engineer bootcamp student Natasha Lopez, who signed up to learn programming with us full-time online during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Economic slow-down, and the news no-one wants to hear
When the coronavirus outbreak began, and lockdown was announced, her job in the oil and gas industry was one of the many thousands affected. Her industry was hit hard: the global shutdown and a significant decrease in global economic activity lead to a drop in demand for gas and fuel. With businesses all over shutting down, her industry was forced to cut back.
“Before lockdown, I was a process engineer on contract carrying out design engineering. I worked from home during part of the lockdown, but my contract was terminated earlier than expected because the project scope was reduced.”
Normally, a person facing retrenchment would just job-hop to a similar company that operates in the same industry. However, these are not normal times, and so the normal job search was impossible: companies just aren’t hiring as much, and the job market is flooded with thousands of talented professionals vying for the same positions.
Natasha knew she had to think about her future. Instead of seeing the changes in her life as an obstacle, she tried to see the opportunity they presented.
“The lockdown and restrictions helped me make up my mind to pursue this new skill set because so many companies shifted to working from home. This new way of working that every company is adopting needs a whole bunch of digital technology to stay working properly. That’s where I saw my opportunity. Plus, my brother is a software developer (now Technical Officer) at his company and said that people are in demand in the tech industry and that a lot of the people that they are hiring are straight out of bootcamps.”
With time on her hands due to her unemployed status, Natasha decided to devote the time she had to learning an entirely new, in-demand skill set. She signed up for our full-time bootcamp in software engineering.
“During the lockdown, I saw that I had the time to dedicate to an online bootcamp course because there was very little else to do. Because I worked from home for a couple of months it showed me that I can focus on working for a full day on my own, so I knew I could do the same for an online course.”
Taking the leap and switching careers
Switching careers wasn’t an easy decision for Natasha to make: switching your career and everything you know to enter a totally new field is a big decision, and it was one that had her worried and uncertain about her future.
“I thought that learning to code would be very intense and difficult since I don’t have a background in tech. At this stage of the course, the novelty of it poses the greatest challenge, because it’s so many new concepts; getting through it depends on one’s determination to learn something new and engage with what is being taught.”
Natasha’s Software Engineer bootcamp is teaching her structure, and to take a methodological approach to solving problems. Best of all, when she was stuck, she could always turn to her personal mentor for guidance and advice on writing better code.
“When solving a coding problem, I try to write some semblance of pseudo code, then a skeleton code, and then the code itself. I then get to the bit that I enjoy the most: testing the code and troubleshooting if it doesn’t work as planned. It’s amazing to have a mentor. It feels like I have an ear when I’m stuck on a task. My mentor gives me words of encouragement and explains the problem in a way that I can solve it myself. I think this is useful since I still get the satisfaction of feeling that I did it myself.”
Natasha has big plans to use her new-found skills in software development to improve and expand her existing field of expertise.
“After I graduate and receive my certificate, I would like to get a job as a software engineer or integrate my knowledge in my current career as a process engineer. That’s the beauty of a tech skill set: it fits into everything you already know. For example, software development can be used by process engineers in the niche field of process simulation programming.”
Are you facing your own difficult decisions in your current career? Has the lockdown made you think you need to switch careers to tech?
Our bootcamps will get you job-ready for your developer role in less than 6 months. Our part-time and full-time bootcamps teach real developer skills you’ll need on Day One at your new job, with specialized 1-on-1 mentor support to get excelling in software engineering, web development, or data science.
Join Natasha, and hundreds of other HyperionDev students, who are making their successful switch to tech by signing up for our free trial.