My journey as a Grayce ‘Women in Tech’ scholar
Lorraine Williams shares her experience as a Grayce ‘Women in Tech’ scholar. From working in care to kickstarting her career in tech!
Hi, I’m Lorraine, and I’m a mum of three grown-up children. Before coming to Code Nation, I used to work in Care, supporting those with learning difficulties and dementia. Unfortunately, I injured my back which meant I could no longer work. Once I had recovered, COVID-19 then prevented me from returning to work.
Discovering careers in tech
After discovering the Develop: Coding course with Code Nation, I expressed an interest and was keen to secure my place. With no previous experience in coding, this was my first exposure to Tech – I was hooked completely!
From then, I decided I wanted to continue my Tech self-development and complete the Code Nation Master Software course, however, I struggled to get funding to support. I kept an eye on what was being offered at Code Nation and came across the Develop Cyber course. I thought, ‘why not?’; I had an interest and thought the course was very current and relevant and could be combined well with my interest in current affairs, politics and global news.
I completed my Cyber course and although there were some challenges along the way, my tutor was helpful and supportive, enabling me to get through with a good grade.
I also then applied for the ‘Grow with Grayce’ scholarship as I thought that the 12 weeks would really help me get a taste of what the industry is like. I soon received a call from Code Nation informing me that Grayce would like to interview me for the scholarship. I was happily successful!
Completing the Master course
I started the Master software course offered through the scholarship in September and finished in November. The structure of the course was brilliant: I learnt both front-end and back-end, and thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout. This helped me to discover that I preferred back-end coding and using languages like Python. The support from all the staff at Code Nation was fantastic. The team was there to guide me through and gave me all the advice I needed.
A career in tech
Whilst I was on the Master coding course, I received a call from Code Nation inviting me for an interview to join the team as an Innovation Developer. This felt like a dream come true – I was so excited. I loved the way Code Nation taught their classes and thought it was a great opportunity.
I did a lot of preparation for my interview and soon after was told that I’d been successful. I was completely over the moon and since I’ve started, I have been very well supported. I’m currently working with some of the instructors on the Develop Cyber courses, supporting them with delivery and 1:1 learner support.
Studying as a Code Nation apprentice
Currently, I am embarking on the Cyber Technologist Level 4 apprenticeship with Code Nation and really look forward to getting started! I have just completed my onboarding session, so I’m still new to the role. Through shadowing, providing 1:1 support for learners, helping with admin support and developing a marking scheme to give learners quality feedback, I am developing my own Tech skills and knowledge. I am also completing the TryHackMe training at the same time, so I can continue learning through hands-on exercises.
Kickstarting your career as a woman in tech
Given the support from Code Nation and Grayce, I have encountered no barriers on my journey so far, and would say that if you enjoy it, go for it! Your gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, or any other characteristics are all irrelevant in my opinion: tech is accessible and open to everyone. My experience of the industry is like one big family, we work together and we’re also here for each other.
I would like to thank Grayce, as I don’t think I would be where I am today without the Scholarship opportunity. The 12-week Master course gave me the confidence in myself to know that I can succeed.