1. Do you remember your first thoughts when the Junior Software Developer course began? What were your experiences during the first few days?
My first thought was probably “OMG, I will never understand anything here”. The teacher was talking about zeros and ones, explaining computer science and everything felt very abstract to me. The first days were hard as everything the teacher was talking about was new to me. I was happy that I was not the only one asking “stupid questions” and after a while, I realized that I needed to create a completely new mindset/way of thinking – as mine still was far too complicated.

2. Has anyone or anything convinced you to start learning programming? What was the main drive and how the decision process looked like?
I am currently searching for a new job and I felt that almost every job is kind of related to IT. Because I didn´t have any previous experience within IT I was rejected at some jobs. I have a friend who went from being an optician to working with programming, who also convinced me to try. As I am very curious about things and I have always wanted to get to know what is behind programming, so I gave it a try!

3. How do you feel about your new skills once the 3-month Junior course is almost finished? What are you most proud of and surprised with, and is there any dissatisfaction?
I definitely got a deep insight into the field of programming. At first, I thought that I will never be able to solve a single problem set on my own. One Sunday I was sitting in my kitchen and working on a homework. After hours of testing, suddenly it worked. I was also very surprised and happy that after a while of being lost and not really understanding, I finally came over it and understood pointers. When I even could explain it to others, I had my personal breaking point – I am actually able to understand coding.

4. What would you tell to yourself back in April from a Junior programmer perspective now? And how can you motivate other women to start learning?
I would tell myself back in April: “Forget about your weaknesses in math you had when you were in school”, “Just stay calm and try, even if you fail, just keep on trying and you will do it!”. It is always worth to try things out. You just need to start somewhere, someday. Don’t think too much, just do it.

5. Can you share your opinion about SmartCoding’s approach to teaching? Would you recommend the courses to women who want to start their programming journey?
I would recommend SmartCoding to other women who want to get the first insight into coding and get insider knowledge and to share that experience with a small group of other people. The fact that there was always somebody to ask a question and to help with a problem set, made the whole course much easier.

A recommendation would be that it is important to make sure, that for the time of the course, your job situation is combinable with a course from Monday to Friday evening. As the course requires homework and you will have to digest all the new information and start to test coding to solve different problem sets by yourself.