Your Return to Tech: the First Week
"Both exciting and a little bit terrifying"

Posted on Sep 16th, 2020 by Ellie

To paraphrase one of our Returners, immersion week was both “exciting and a little bit terrifying”. Ironically, I couldn’t help feeling it was the Tech Coaches feeling terrified…

After a crazy summer of COVID19 chaos and virtual classrooms (where does the time go?) it was hard to believe we were here already. Week 1 (Immersion week) for our next cohort of Returners. This time a group of London based Returners with experience working for HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, Chubb, Nokia, Thomson Reuters, IBM, Abbey National Treasury Services, British Arab Commercial Bank, BNP Paribas, Tata Consultancy Services, TUI and PwC - to name a few!

This particular cohort has 193 years experience between them in softweare development and an average of 12 years industry and commercial experience each, it was hard not to feel intimidated by the talented group of individuals we were expected to teach.

The week started with introductions, housekeeping and a talk from a previous returner (now working at Infinity Works) on her experiences “returning to tech” through Tech Returners. It seemed no time at all before we were taking deep dives into Agile processes, OOP and problem solving with Java, Javascript and “the Growth mindset needed to succeed”.

Due to the cohorts previous experiences the lessons dove even deeper into Tech theories and problem solving skills with the questions they asked and the observations they made. Each returner had their own insights and skills to share and the sessions became as much a fascinating learning experience for me as it was our Returners.

One of the most memorable moments for me was when Tech Coach James asked everyone to close their eyes and raise their hand if at some point this week they had felt like they weren’t good enough to be here - that they were imposters. I raised my hand and am ashamed to say, couldn’t resist cracking an eyelid open to see if I was alone…

It turns out that no matter how experienced a person is or how talented, those sneaking feelings of self-doubt are universal to nearly everyone. There is something both sad and incredibly heart warming knowing we are not alone feeling this way.

After one brief week (that was over in the blink of an eye!) I know myself and the other Tech Coaches already feel attached to this particular group of individuals and hopeful that over the next 8+ weeks we can convince each Returner of just how talented and deserving of a place on our course (and a career in tech!) they are.

To paraphrase our Returner again, the week was “both exciting and a little bit terrifying... But most good things are” 💜