I couldn't make it to London myself to bang Makers Academy's ceremonial gong, as is customary when a graduate gets hired, so my coach Sam banged it on my behalf, and I couldn't think of a better person to do so.
The process of applying for this job was very different to my previous attempt. Whereas the previous position was with one of Makers Academy's hiring partners, this one isn't, and was simply found on a public job site. For full disclosure, the position was actually brought to my attention by Will from the Makers Academy team, a fact for which I'm hugely grateful. Once I'd applied for the position I was in regular contact with the co-founder of the company. This was a nice change from what I've seen from larger companies, where you tend to bounce between hiring departments and HR people. With such a small startup all contact took place directly with the company founders themselves.
A small startup with a big vision
The startup in question, Circular Wave, was founded in order to create products and services that aim to resolve some of the problems the NHS is currently facing. The company was co-founded by an ex-doctor, who upon experiencing those problems within the NHS first hand, decided to do something about it. He took some time out from work to teach himself to code, and together with a friend who is an experienced developer, founded the company.
An invitation to interview
After submitting my tech test and waiting for a day or two I was told that Circular Wave wanted to invite me for an interview. Being a brand new startup whose only staff at the time were the two founders, Circular Wave don't currently have an office, and as such my interview was scheduled to take place at a restaurant. The interview was really informal, the most relaxed interview I've ever experienced. It didn't take long for me to realise that the two co-founders were great guys, and what really struck me was both how well they'd done their due diligence and market research in planning the product, and how passionate they were about it. For the first half of the interview we discussed standard interview type questions regarding my experience, plans for the future, etc. Even though the questions came thick and fast, the encounter still felt more like a friendly chat than a job interview.
Proceedings then turned more technical, and my tech test submission was opened on a laptop. I was asked about my code, to step through it line by line and explain how it works. I honestly wasn't expecting this, I'd kind of assumed that the technical assessment had already been taken care of, but it absolutely makes sense, after all Circular Wave had no proof that I even sat that test myself, I might have had somebody else complete it on my behalf.
A long wait
The end of a chapter
And with that comes an inevitable conclusion to this chapter of my story. Makers Academy does work. Four months ago I was still working at my non-coding job with no real coding experience to speak of, and now I'm actually employed as a developer.
I'm very grateful to Circular Wave for giving me this chance. I'm aware that several more experienced developers had applied for the job, and still they chose to take a risk on a brand new developer. I'll now make it my priority to become as experienced as possible, as quickly as possible, so that I can start to help them realise their vision.
I still have a bit more to say about Makers Academy, so I'll be writing a retrospective post in the coming weeks. But for now, it's time to celebrate!