1. What is your background – work and education experience? And how long have you been living in Sweden?
I currently work in Marketing for a B2B software company as a Content Writer and Digital Strategist, and this is my fifth year in Sweden.

2. Why did you apply for the pilot Junior Software Developer course at SmartCoding?
I’ve dabbled in a few online coding courses, but I felt that there was no continuity in the scope or curriculum offered. The proposed curriculum at SmartCoding felt like a logical way to approach coding – Building a strong foundation in problem solving with C, before approaching or deciding on a specific language. The ability to combine this with a day job is also an added advantage. That the course was offered in my mother tongue, English, was also a plus.

3. How is it going with the new knowledge, what have you learnt so far and what is the goal?
It has been a steep learning curve, diving straight into back-end programming and unfamiliar concepts, but I’m pleasantly surprised by how much one can learn during such a short period of time. I’ve learnt how to get comfortable with writing in a command line – the Swiss Army knife of features, and actually solve problems in C.

As marketing gets even more data driven, I’ve aspired towards building tools that sieve out valuable insights effectively. The goal is to possess the skills to be an all-rounder – a full-stack developer, with a strong marketing background.

4. What can you tell about the group participants, atmosphere, teacher?
They are definitely motivated and always eager to learn. Peer programming is practiced here and has proven very helpful when I hit a stumbling block.
On the flipside, I’ve always found myself learning something new when explaining a concept to someone else. Everyone stands to benefit.

I genuinely appreciate that the classes are led by someone from the fintech industry – it ensures that we develop good programming habits from the start go, follow best practices, and acts as a bridge to show us the most effective ways to approach and solve different types of problems. A winning personality doesn’t hurt! Oussa’s classes are never dry – his usage of analogies to explain challenging concepts is amazing!

5. What is the added value, if there is any, of this course?
There is always room for feedback during the course, so we have the ability to influence how we learn and what works best for the group. Being assigned personal mentors also means that I get to glean knowledge off an experienced developer and also get a dedicated window to clarify the areas I find myself stuck in. Did I mention that we’ve got complimentary yoga and pilates sessions? All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl!

6. What would you say to other women to motivate them to start learning programming?
Being able to meld digital with your existing knowledge can only be an advantage to whatever you do next. You’d also be surprised how much you learn when you challenge yourself.