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Hi Ali, tell us a little about yourself. I am a 23 year old trainee software developer at the Mayden Academy, and until about 3 months ago I had never even considered a career in software.

How did you find your way to Mayden Academy? After graduating with my mechanical engineering degree in 2015, I took the opportunity to do a final bit of travelling whilst it was still socially acceptable for me to put off joining the real world (by the way, if you ever get the chance to do the Mongol Rally, please do it!).

Upon returning to civilisation I secured an IT recruitment job in London and was full of excitement. The excitement was fairly short lived, as was my career in recruitment, however, it did give me a brief insight into the professional IT world.

I reluctantly retreated back home to my parent’s house in Bath and began to look at some graduate engineering roles, none of which particularly grabbed me. I soon grew tired of feigning excitement during interviews and, judging by the lack of offers I received, the interviewers saw through my emphatic hand gestures and ‘ever since I was a kid…’ anecdotes. I have never been a good actor.

As my hopes of finding a career that I was enthusiastic about dwindled I stumbled upon the Mayden Academy on a job website. Having completely overlooked pursuing a career in software until that point, it suddenly seemed obvious! I was very quickly sold on the idea of becoming a software developer in just 16 weeks. It was hugely refreshing to finally be excited about an opportunity and having found the advert just a week before applications closed, it happened just in time. After going through the assessment and interview processes I was fortunate enough to be offered one of the spots in the academy and I keenly accepted.

And how is life at the academy? So far, so good. We have completed the teaching part of our first module (HTML and CSS), attended a two day course to become certified scrum masters, and are now two days into our first sprint, where we’re building personal websites to display our portfolios. As you can probably tell, the course moves at a fast pace, but that keeps you on your toes and creates a great working environment.

I think we have all been surprised at how quickly we’re able to progress with Mike’s guidance and how satisfying it is to practice what we have been learning. It really is somewhat addictive! Having been at the academy for just under two weeks I realise there is still a very long way to go, but if things continue in a similar fashion it should be a great 16 weeks.