We here at Code Nation love guiding people on the path to a great career in tech.

Our tutors work hard to support students and help them thrive, so it’s always incredibly gratifying when they graduate and land jobs in their desired fields. With over 90% of Code Nation graduates placed in roles just days after completing the course, this feeling of pride happens quite often!

We caught up with Yiotis Alamanos, one of our talented Code Nation students who graduated in 2018. Yiotis had no previous development experience before coming to Code Nation, but now works as a Junior Front End Developer for Ocean Finance.

Can you give us a quick introduction about yourself and your role at Ocean Finance?

I’m a Junior Front End Developer working on the Ocean Finance website. My job involves converting designs to code, optimising code for fast loading times, SEO performance and browser compatibility.

What attracted you to the Code Nation course and what impact did it have on your career path?

I was working in sales but wanted to change careers and join a Development role. Joining Code Nation was a huge help, as through the course I was able to learn the basics in coding and develop my knowledge of Development as a whole.

As I didn’t have any previous experience in Development, I needed a solid foundation in coding, so the Code Nation Course was a perfect way to understand what was required in a professional environment.

What advice do you have for those who are just starting a Code Nation course?

If you’re just starting Code Nation, make sure to utilise your time on the course and take some time to practise what you’ve gone through that day at home. I found this extremely helpful in developing my coding skills

Has your role changed, or have your responsibilities evolved, as you’ve worked for Ocean Finance?

Since joining Ocean Finance my role has evolved as I take on more responsibility in the Development Team. As a Junior Developer, I have to constantly adapt and put into practice what I learned at Code Nation, which means I can take on bigger tasks.

What key skills do you need to get into the industry? What does Ocean Finance look for in prospective employees?

The basics in coding such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript is a good start, but a willingness to learn and a passion to develop these skills is crucial.
I think the genuine interest and determination to progress in your role is an important factor for Ocean Finance, as they look to invest in people for the long term to build and maintain strong teams.

Can you give one piece of advice you know now which you wish you had known when you started?

Buy headphones, when you really need to submerge yourself into your code. Listening to music is a great way to block out any out any external noise and can really make a difference.

How important is practical work experience when applying in today’s job market?

An ability to show at least basic skills in coding is a must, but in this market for developers, the willingness to learn and show a real passion is a necessity.

Did you take part in any additional activities whilst at Code Nation, and if so, did you learn any valuable skills from your time?

Weekly Yoga sessions were given at Code Nation which was a great way to get out of your seat and sort your posture out.

What is the most challenging part of your current role?

As a developer you will always be learning, even 10 years down the line, as tech keeps evolving it is important that you are open to change and motivated to move with it.

Has Yiotis’ story inspired you? Come along to one of our open evenings in Manchester or Chester and see how Code Nation can support you in achieving your full potential. Book a place on an open evening here.

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