Before SPICED I was living in Essen, a town in west Germany. I had a decent job, a good salary, a great relationship with my girlfriend, and great friends at home and in Germany. On the surface, everything seemed to be going my way. That’s how I thought I should feel, anyway. Perhaps it was some kind of mid-life crisis in my 30s, but something felt wrong. I felt empty. It took a while for me to admit to myself, but the reality was that at that time I was deeply unhappy.
And, so, I quit everything.
After a period of reflection, I had come to terms with myself and decided I had to leave it all (except the friends). I began to understand that only a job that would allow me to be creative was going to make me happy. No job in an office crunching numbers or trying to sell products to a customer was going to achieve that.
I realised that coding could fit that gap and, so, around March 2017 I started taking coding courses. Since I really wanted to change my job and my career path as quickly as possible, a coding bootcamp was the ideal solution for me. I didn’t have time to spend 3 more years studying, so the 3 months it takes to do a bootcamp was ideal.
Doubt takes over
Nonetheless, I was still scared.
Was I too old to change my career? Was I too old to enter the tech world? Was I taking the right decision quitting my job and going back to school, with the current unemployment situation throughout Europe?
These fears were ultimately fuelled by my own insecurities. I overcame them by having faith in myself, believing that I could finish the program and studying a lot (a little blind faith in the current tech scene and its demand for developers helped too).
I moved to Berlin in September 2017, the weekend before starting at SPICED. I had already found a flat online. I rented a car in Essen, put all my stuff in the trunk and drove to my new address on a Friday. Monday morning I was taking my first lecture with David at SPICED.
Life at SPICED
SPICED was hard work. I had almost no social life during those 3 months, but that was the only way I could manage to learn and work as much as I needed in order to finish the course successfully. I wanted to give myself the best opportunities for the future.
Now I’m working as a developer in Berlin, and it’s great to call myself a coder. For me, this job is a mixture between being a writer and an architect. Like a writer, you work with words and symbols, which have a particular meaning and you have to know how to use them. Some words may have the same meaning as others, but depending on the context it sounds better to use one or the other. Like an architect you use your tools to build structures, but following rules and principles. You cannot just let your imagination flow and type things willy-nilly and expect the application not to crash – just like an architect cannot put ceilings and pillars and walls in a structure wherever it pleases him/her without considering forces and materials.
My advice is for anyone considering a coding bootcamp is, if you can afford it and you do not want to spend years in university, do it. Never let fear or insecurity keep you from doing it. It’s not a walk in the park, though! It disrupts your life almost completely during several weeks, but if you’re motivated I think almost anyone can do it.
If you are not sure whether you want to change career, just think if you are really happy right now with your current job… Also think how much happier you would be with a job that is challenging and that keeps you on your toes every day.
That’s where I am right now.
It feels great.