Ben's Blog - A Journey from teaching to software developer


Ben's Blog - A Journey from teaching to software developer


My First few weeks in industry

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Ben Gristwood
·Sep 24, 2020·

5 min read

So, I’ve up-skilled, I’ve been teaching using scrum methodologies, I can knock out and A-level computing project in a week and my code is clean. I’ve also learned to translate my code into different languages (JS, C#, Java to name a few), I’ve even done some frameworks(if you don’t know what these are….look up react, node.js or symphony if you have a PHP bent) I am that good….

First day in industry

The irony of so much stuff we teach in school is that we have removed the web from our teaching.....HTML is old news. well, no, it’s not. It’s very much the news! Everything is built on a HTML/CSS frontend and all the C# in the world still rests on a .Net core (which is a kind of mesh between C#, HTML, CSS - please I know there is more to it, but it’s a bracket!).

All applications(now-a-days) are built on the cloud using serverless computing, now there is your "hardcore" coding which is where your VB's, C#'s and other things come in.

In some respects I’m lucky, I was web before I started teaching, so I can knock out CSS and HTML quick. Everything runs on containers, but this isn’t taught in school, how to make sure you have online repro’s for Git and then link it to a web service such as Azure/AWS. I was already teaching repros and committing code, but there is so much more....

There is a lot of stuff in here that is so old, yet so new. Linking functions in massive serverless environments. And teaching students to produce their own sprint backlogs is good, but how do we get people to work together to make a solution, this is key....and how you teach this in the time we have(much bigger question)

So, if you are a computing teacher/A-Level Student, thinking “hey, I teach/I’m a good coder at GCSE, I could do that” make sure you are constantly looking to industry to see what they are doing in your challenge to up-skill and if you are not, do it anyway, if not for you, but for your students who are looking for a career in code and really want to make a it in development, so of their first day, they walk in like this:

Not this

Imposter Syndrome

This is something that gets talked about a lot. It’s something we avoid in education, but in the real world is a big thing and in computing circles is massive. Possibly the reason why is because we are all just getting on with it, committing code from various different places and getting on with our jobs. Doing that remotely as well never lets you see what others are up to. Plus the acronyms for computing are insane (people, please think about the posts you write Async REST API with a JSON backend….please)

I get this a lot, it could be the constant changes in education, it could be being beaten down by it, but I know I have to learn this stuff. You have to remember, people don’t hire you because of WHAT YOU KNOW, its the POTENTIAL OF HOW YOU CAN LEARN and what you COULD do for them. They know (as with any company) you are not going to come in knowing it all, so what can you learn that will make you suitable for this company.

I’m lucky (in some respects) that I’ve entered in lockdown and been given the time to look at certifications and training. Each exam I entered with a feeling of dread (“what if I fail”, “im not what they were looking for”), but it’s small wins and confidence boots. Every time you read a doc with something someone has mentioned in a meeting and you get it, you smile. Every small win when you commit a code, means you can do it.

in some ways, it's a negative, you can't pair code, you can't sit in on projects to see what others are doing while you have 10 mins....that i think i need and miss.

It’s been nearly a month now of the new job and in that time I’ve become scrum certified , Azure Fundamentals and will soon have the Associate Developer and I'm doing AWS certifications too.

Now, looking at this, you think “yeah, but he’s worked hard to learn this”, I entered this with a little background and a good idea, but it wasn't all there. I’m not stupid, but I don’t know it all. I had to learn(I’ll cover more about what’s in some of these in another post later!)

I’ll say one other thing, if you have time, go back to code Kata (see previous posts). When you are feeling low, see how quick you can solve an “easy one” in a new language you are using, it gives you a little pep and seeing “other people’s solutions” really builds on your own knowledge.

It's where i'm going, because I also need to keep my confidence in code as many languages as I can

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