Timothy Tolley – an inspiring and passionate individual, and the first contributor to “Coding Ali”!! When Tim contacted me and asked to share his own personal journey into the world of web development and code, naturally I was absolutely humbled and heartened.

As a passionate advocate for code and raising more educational awareness around it, it was such an honour for Tim to reach out with the hope of sharing my broader educational vison in breaking down the current stigmas in the tech industry, and to encourage more individuals to be involved.

Introducing “Stepping into the world of code” – contributed by Timothy Tolley. A series of 9 posts fortnightly to educate, share and inspire. During the series, Tim will speak of his 18 weeks at the Enspiral Dev Academy. His experiences, the ups and the downs and the ins and the outs.

My hope is that by taking a peek into someone else’s technological journey you will realise that, despite our fundamental differences as humans, we can all be involved in the change technology will play on this world. It inevitably affects us all in one way or another. Technology inspires, teaches and creates engagement. It enables hobbies to evolve into career paths and love interests into long standing relationships.

Tim says he has “come to realise that coding doesn’t have to be the end game, but rather can be the tool you use to pursue what you have always wanted”. I couldn’t agree more – coding and technology are incredibly powerful tools, that when used in tandem can create something new and exciting within any sector in the world.

I am infinitely delighted that others are beginning to realise the importance of tech and the fact that it sits right at the helm of every development. Tim –  I am so glad that you reached out and can’t wait to read what you have to share, as we tackle the common goal of educating the masses together.

Stepping into the world of code

Like many who have ventured into the seemingly daunting world of web development and code before me, I did so to add a string to my relatively sparse professional bow.  As a graduate in Ancient History and Classics, I didn’t step out into the wonderful world of professional careers as I maybe once had hoped. It seemed to me that the realms of the ‘Indiana Jones’-type historian and curators of great museums was perhaps slightly out of reach with my relatively insignificant bachelor’s degree.

And so, I stumbled across web development almost by accident. I am currently settling deep into the preparation stage of Enspiral Dev Academy’s (EDA) 18* week rags to riches course in web development.

At first I wasn’t sure about the whole coding thing. I had never been one of those people who would spend hours alone on their computers when I was younger.  In fact, I had always been more interested in how the physical mechanics of things worked rather than how software helped to make them run smoothly. So, I was surprised when I walked away from a brief meeting with a few of the staff members at Dev Academy’s office knowing that I was about to embark on a new learning experience.

First and foremost, the ability to work remotely using Github, Google hangouts and the like, has been a huge pull factor for me to learn to code. The freedom to travel and experience life as I believe it should be lived is hugely appealing. Being able to work for almost any business in the world is equally inviting – see if you can name one company in your top 10 future employers who doesn’t have a kickass website or use some technology that needs a software developer to maintain.  The opportunities for a developer in today’s employment environment seem to me to be unrivalled. For myself personally, I would love to one day use my degree and coding skill in tandem and create something new for the world of history and art which helps to bring it for the next generation, whether it be a website or a VR headset for that matter. Coding, I have come to realise, doesn’t have to be the end game, but rather it can be the tools you use to pursue what you have always wanted.

As I mentioned before, I’m working through the preparation stage of EDA’s web development course. This stage is conducted online and at home with students working at their own pace through 9 ‘sprints’ which can be completed in as many weeks. I’m personally working a bit slower than that while working full time and aim to finish in 12 with plenty of time to practice my touch typing and grow my skill base before diving into the next stage – a 9 week fulltime boot-camp. We learn 3 main languages in prep: HTML, CSS and JavaScript (both front end and server based). From knowing nothing 10 weeks ago, I have now created things online which I would never have even considered before and I am absolutely loving it. Code is incredible as it is such a tangible and interactive experience, especially on the front end (everything you can see on a webpage, for example). To be able to make a blog from scratch and update it while being able to see it update live is a pretty incredible experience and I am so happy that I decided to jump into this new journey.

I think the main reason I chose to go to Dev Academy in particular, is that they are looking to breakdown the stigma that is attached to computer sciences. Code isn’t a male only realm which expects you to be introverted and uncreative but is rather a profession which needs new and enthusiastic people who can understand the needs the market. EDA’s aim isn’t just to push newly skilled web developers out into the world. It is to develop a group of people with excellent communication skills, who can code incredible software, websites and servers with a real and genuine understanding of what has been communicated to them.

I’m a 22-year-old Barista with a degree in Ancient History and Classics Degree who is learning to code in order to live life how I want to. I’ve never done anything like this before but I’m learning quick and I can hardly imagine where the future might take me.

Timothy Tolley