As one half of techno outfit Brothers Black, Jamie was making waves in Berlin’s electronic music scene when he decided to balance his music career with a coding bootcamp. Here we caught up with him to discuss his experience learning at SPICED Academy and his current career path.
What were you like growing up?
I was pretty academic growing up and opted to study Maths and the sciences as soon as I could (for my A levels). After school, I went on to study Biomedical Sciences at university in London.
How are some of those traits helping you learn to code?
I found a familiarity with Maths to be extremely helpful, particularly algebra. Data is constantly being saved to variables when coding to be manipulated, and this workflow is shared in algebra.
Where were you and what were you doing before SPICED?
I was working as a music producer and working at a tech startup part-time, working with WordPress to manage online content.
What was your job? What was it about your situation that made you want to change?
I still work in music on top of my coding work, but while I was mostly doing music I definitely missed engaging my brain in a more academic way. A large part of coding is problem solving and researching, so it felt like a natural choice! And of course financial security working in tech vs music.
When did you think about starting to learn to code?
It had been on my mind for a while, but not until 2017 that I started really thinking about taking a course to pursue it.
What made you want to take the plunge and learn to code?
At the tech startup I was working at I was confronted with basic HTML and worked pretty closely with the developers there, so being faced with it on a regular basis definitely tipped the boat.
What makes Berlin special for you?
I moved to Berlin in March 2016. Berlin is amazing. It has everything a major city has to offer but with a uniquely laid back environment, plus it’s incredibly multicultural.
What piece of advice has helped you the most in life? And how would you apply it to your SPICED experience?
Ask lots of questions. I had a few friends who took on intensive courses and that was the common piece of advice, aside from working hard of course. Throughout my time at SPICED, I constantly asked questions and it helped me a lot with understanding core concepts from the course.
Before starting SPICED what were your biggest fears, and how did you overcome them?
My biggest fear was being unemployed. But by taking on the SPICED course, I was kickstarting a new career path.
What did being a “coder” mean to you before the course? What does it mean to you now?
Before, to be honest I’m actually not too sure. I guess writing programmes with a mathematical mindset in a foreign language. Now, I would say it’s tackling problems, with more creativity than initially anticipated finding solutions and ways of bettering them.
What have you learnt about yourself during your time at SPICED?
That it’s amazing how much can be learnt in a short space of time.
What was the biggest challenge for you in learning to code?
Being resourceful outside of the classroom.
Now you’ve finished at SPICED, what are you up to?
I worked for 9 months creating internally used UIs with React.js and Redux at a jewellery company in Berlin and now I’m about to start a new job in London for a fast growing tech startup called Attest, in Vue.js.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking about making a career change and thinking about attending a coding bootcamp?
Have a crack yourself and if you enjoy it definitely do it!