Birth of Tech Journey

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

The saying is true that "It's never too late for a new beginning in life". Mine began in April 2018 when I started this Tech Journey through the AWS re:Start program offered for Service Leavers and which is now also being offered to young adults by AWS as a way of starting a career in Tech. There will be different opinions and views about the course, but, I just wanted to share mine and lessons learnt which could be helpful for those that might be wondering what to expect.

When I did the course, it was a 4 weeks one offering base level training on SQL, Agile Project Management, Scrum, Linux, Python(we did Web Development) and AWS Cloud computing. This was all condensed into the 4 weeks which for me as a total beginner resulted in some head scratching, deep thoughts of how the desktop would look like when smashed on the wall, but, in order to be successful in something, you need to put in the effort and the time and thankfully that was what I did. It did not even help that 1 of the course members walked out just in the first hour of the course. I believe the 12 weeks being offered now is more than enough for a new beginner to start work in a company with base level knowledge to help teams out in real live projects.

If you are a total beginner like me, it could be stressful at times especially when given tasks to complete. Remember you are not alone. There will be people in the course that have a bit more experience and can help out in getting those tasks completed or explaining more on what you do not know. My advice would be to go on the course with an open mind and the will to learn. Now that it is 12 weeks, you have more time on your side to learn on the topics taught.

The course overall provides you the base level knowledge you need and the opportunity to begin a career with a partner company. This comes through a paid work placement programme which could lead to a potential permanent role with the company. Just to be clear - do not think this is given to you at the end of the course. You will need to pass the interview and prove to the company that you will fit in with the team and the company's values, ethos and culture. There's also the Wednesday's Pizza to look forward to and as I did my course in Manchester, dinner was sorted.

After being accepted into Hive, I made sure to learn everything from the SRE team(which were made up of senior experienced members who have spent the last 15 - 20 years of their lives in this profession) and put it into practice. After 2 years as an SRE Engineer, I am still learning new things which am going to try and document as a sort of guide for those just beginning. I am now ticking off qualifications as I go along to solidify my learnings with my GOAL of ending up in Security. I have now completed the following AWS certifications in these last 2 years(Study Guide I used later) with a few more speciality exams coming up later in the year:

Lessons Learnt

  1. If you are a total beginner like me, then rest assured it can be done. I usually say this a lot - If I can so can you!!! The learning curve will be steep, but the more you do them, the easier it will be as it becomes second nature. Just have to hang in there and don't give up.

  2. The AWS team and the instructors are there for help and support whether it be course material, CVs or advice about roles out there for you. If you don't ask, you don't get.

  3. Don't just depend on the course material to help you get where you want to be. There are a lot of YouTube channels out there that can help you including websites which are free where you can learn more. Remember you are the master of your own destiny so the more time and effort you put in, the more successful in this sector you will be.

  4. Have your CV prepared before the course and it can be fine tuned during the course ready for the Insight Day with potential employers. When list of employers given, target the ones you want to aim for, research and take time in speaking with them about your aspirations, how your values/goals align with the company's and ask questions.

  5. Create a LinkedIn profile and try and connect with those that have been through the course who can offer valuable advice which could help propel yours in the right direction.

  6. If accepted for an interview, do not panic. Research about the company, where you need to be, arrive in good time and dress smartly. Your interview begins the moment you walk through the reception door so be courteous to everyone you meet as you do not who you will come across. During the interview, just be yourself. The interviewers know that you do not have that much experience on your side. They will want to see whether you would be a great fit in their team and whether you will be teachable

  7. Google is/will be your best friend. The best advice ever I was offered. Google has tonnes of information which you can use to tackle those issues you may come across. Before asking a team member on how to solve issues, check Google first. Someone somewhere has run into the same or similar issue and will have posted it.

So there goes the beginning of my Tech Journey. Hope it helps someone out there and please do share on social media. Feedbacks and comments are welcome. If you have done the course and you feel that I may have missed something you want to add or advice, feel free to add your comments. Would like to thank the AWS team, instructors and Hive for making it possible for me start a new beginning and not forgetting the April 2018 course members especially Silky and Tom(we were like the Tech babies of the group) but now working in the Sector which proves that it can be done.

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