06 December 2015

Maker's Academy Ronin

About Me

I have created this blog in order for me to have a place to come and look back, both after & during my Maker's Academy experience.

A bit about me, I'm a 21 year old male from Manchester, i'd describe myself as a true Northerner. I'm never more than an arms reach away from a cup of tea and I moan about the weather a lot.

Up until this point i've achieved lots of different things in my life. I am a skateboarder of 11 years, something which I have always loved to do, it's given me a chance to travel parts of the world as well as meet some amazing people along the way.

I graduated from college after studying photography and went straight into a role at a studio where I worked for a year. After this I started working in the skateboard business in a sales role before getting my most recent job working for one of the best skateboard retailers in the UK.

The thing is I like to think of myself as a technical person, I've been brought up around computers my whole life. My Dad has always worked in the tech industry. I got my first PC aged 6 and computer literacy is something that has never really left me. I try to keep up with modern technology as best I can and I always like to know how new technology works even if its something that is in no way relevant to my day-to-day life.

So with that I guess something in the back of my mind has always strived for more, and about 3 months ago I read an article about Silicon Valley and how people from all different walks of life were dropping their day jobs, signing up for coding bootcamps and making their debut as developers & computer programmers all over the world.

I wanted a piece of it... Straight away I looked for UK based bootcamps and came across Maker's Academy. Maker's is an intensive coding bootcamp that takes people with no knowledge of programming to a junior developer level in 12 weeks. I decided their in-person course wasn't for me as I couldn't justify moving to London for 12 weeks whilst not earning! Thats when I found Maker's Ronin programme which means you can study from home using skype, screenshare, google hangouts etc. I applied that evening and the next day was greeted with an interview date in my inbox.

The interview came after a few weeks of waiting and after studying various different materials including codecademy.com and Chris Pines's Learn To Program book I thought I was ready.

Turns out the interview went awful, or so I thought. I was constantly trying to remember syntax instead of just sitting back and solving the problems they presented me with! That night I received an email telling me that I had a place on the course (much to my own surprise) I was stoked to say the least!

The next step was to leave my job at The Black Sheep. Something that wasn't easy and I was gutted to do. An awesome job that I loved and I was sad to leave. However something I had to do in order to further myself as a person. I have started to see my upcoming experience at Maker's as a way of learning a new set of skills rather than focussing on the daunting prospect of getting a job at the end of it. This is helping me deal with the pressure, which is something that will come naturally with the intensity of the course.

So here I am writing this blog which will hopefully help others in my position in the future. I know reading the blogs of other Maker's students has helped me put my mind at ease on more than one occasion.

I hope to post my daily discoveries on this blog alongside a few photos and the odd uplifting house tune incase it all gets a bit too much haha.

Im sat here in the kitchen one night before the pre-course starts which requires 15 hours per week (MINIMUM) worth of input to ensure I am up-to scratch when my Ronin Cohort starts in mid-January.

So yeah thats me, and here's to shitting your pants when embarking on something new!

The original NY Times article that sparked my interest.

Further information of Makers Academy's Ronin course.

A goofy looking me, taken by my friend Paddy.

Skating at Vert Attack in Malmö.

Digging for tunes with my Dad in LA this summer just gone!