Anna Erkers


The Boot Camp Was the Perfect Format to Get Me to Commit

Name Anna Erkers

Background Linguistics

Current Frontend developer at Will & Skill

Graduation Nov 2018

Program Technigo 12 week full-time boot camp

Anna had a lot of passions and wasn’t sure what she wanted to do for a career for a long time. Before joining Technigo, she feared she might never find the perfect job. Now that she’s coding, everything has changed – for the better.

Hi, Anna! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'd proudly describe myself as a bit of a nerd. My favourite thing to do is play Dungeons & Dragons with my friends, closely followed by sing-along-watching Les Misérables and getting stuck in Twitter threads reading about historical drama. Possibly the most on-brand thing I've ever done is when I wrote a university essay on the grammar of Lolcat memes. I also have a completely reasonable weakness for cute fluffy things: I think about red pandas falling over at least three times a day and I mostly follow cats on Instagram.

What did you do before Technigo?

I've always been passionate about linguistics and my early twenties were spent studying things I love: semantics, Old English, translation theory - all the good stuff. But when it came to choosing a career, I just didn't know what i wanted to do. Teacher, translator and speech therapist were some of the paths I gingerly stepped onto, only to step off again because I lacked confidence. Before I decided to do the Technigo bootcamp, I was starting to feel like I might never find a job that fit me.

Whoa! What made you so motivated?

My motivation mostly came from a desire to find my place in life. After doing some online courses for fun, it became apparent to me that coding relaxes me and it dawned on me that if I made it my actual job, I might find a greater sense of peace in my daily life.

When did it first occur to you that you’d like to educate yourself in frontend?

I've had an interest in coding ever since I decided to build a Babyz fansite in 1999, but my forays into it were sporadic and studying computer science never really occurred to me as it all seemed a bit... abstract and maths-y to me. By the time I realised that frontend development might be something I'd be happy doing for a living, I felt it was too late - jumping into a new educational track seemed financially and emotionally impossible.

Why did you finally choose Technigo?

I'd heard a lot of good things about Tjejer kodar from a friend who'd taken a few of their courses. So when I found out about Technigo, the tiny beacon of hope in my chest flickered to life again. A three-month course seemed doable and the promise of a supportive, if intense, environment helped me put my fears aside long enough to make the decision to apply.

Did you practice coding outside of the course?

I prepared myself by doing some basic online courses during the summer leading up the bootcamp, so I had a fairly good grasp of HTML, CSS and, to a lesser extent, JavaScript when I started. During the bootcamp, I did I lot of coding in my free time as well. I'd spend my evenings trying to perfect the day's individual assignment or pondering some group assignment hurdle. In the mornings, I'd read coding newsletters and practice using an app or two.

“It was intense, but I enjoyed being in that coding bubble.”

What was your greatest struggle?

I mostly struggled with self-doubt, honestly. I was afraid I wouldn't be good enough to find a job at the end of the course. But in the end, my hard work paid off.

What was the best thing about learning these new skills?

It's hard to beat the rush of seeing something you've built work as intended. To an outsider, it's just a list becoming alphabetised because they clicked a button, but you know you spent ages figuring out how to sort that array and make that button look pretty, so to you the process is breathtakingly beautiful.

So how did that work? How did you get the job?

Technigo set me up for an interview with, among others, a small web development bureau. An interview and a remote tech test later, I had a job offer.

What do you do in your new job?

I'm currently part of a three-person team, working on a highly interactive app for a client. I came into the project right at the start and today I'm responsible for about 80 % of the frontend code. It's been nerve-racking from time to time, but mostly it's been a fun and super educational experience. It's interesting to look back at code I wrote in my second week and see how far I've come in just a few months.

“I'm currently part of a three-person team, working on a highly interactive app for a client. I came into the project right at the start and today I'm responsible for about 80 % of the frontend code.”

Any advice for someone considering to add programming skills to what they’re doing?

Do it! Throw yourself in head first: read every article that catches your eye, google every term you don't understand and find someone with a pleasant voice who makes fun video tutorials that you can follow along on a Sunday. You'll be constantly overwhelmed to begin with and then it'll get better, slowly. But it will never really stop - you'll always find new things to learn and sometimes they'll feel insurmountable, but you'll get there. You've got this!

What’s on your agenda now? What do you want to learn next?

Right now I'm trying to get started with some personal projects that I'll use to try out new things and practice choosing tech stacks, setting up good project structures etc. I'm also putting a lot of focus into learning more about user experience and accessibility on the web. I've become hyper aware of the things sites do wrong, from big things like not supporting keyboard navigation to smaller annoyances like not setting the proper type for input fields and it is a personal goal of mine to get better at not making those same mistakes.

We're a female-founded, remote-first community helping people get a career they love. 90% of those attending our boot camps are women.