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Learning In The Midst of a Pandemic- Nur Hidayah's Story 2021

Learning in the Midst of a Pandemic

On April 3rd 2020, Prime Minister announced to the country that the nation would be heading into a “circuit breaker” in order to stem the wave of COVID-19 cases that were surging around us at the time.

Most of us remember that significant occasion where everything came to a standstill of sorts. But for some of our students that meant transitioning to classes on Zoom for the first time. To hear first-hand about that experience, we talk to Hidayah, who went through our Full-Time programme back in January 2020, graduating and finding her next role whilst under circuit breaker measures.

NH: ‘Hi everyone! My name is Hidayah and I am a graduate from Trent Global College’s (TGC) Software Development Bootcamp. A little something about me, I love Chai Tea and spicy chilli sambal!’

Like most graduates, Hidayah started off studying in a non-tech related field of Electrical Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), where she grew a deep interest in coding while working in her final semester.

NH: ‘It was my first coding project that I had to do as part of my software consultant role, so I began to self-learn JavaScript from scratch and somehow I just knew this was something I wanted to do. However, my specialization did not offer coding-related modules and it was much too late to change my course at that point. I vowed to pursue coding after my graduation with the goal of forming a good foundation in my coding skills in order to develop it further.’

Hidayah chanced upon TGC’s programme and after some deliberation, decided to quit her full-time job at the time in favour of joining our fulltime programme.

NH: ‘At first I didn’t know where to start, I tried a few online resources such as Udemy, but they were mostly tutorial and application based and not really catered for a fresh beginner like me. I stumbled across quite a number of coding schools while reviewing the IMDA’s TIPP site, but decided to join TGC after taking a look at it’s curriculum. The bootcamp covers a Full-Stack framework which gives me the option to pursue a Frontend, Backend or Full-Stack developer role. That flexibility really appealed to me as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to specialize in yet.’

Hidayah underwent the usual challenges and rigors of the bootcamp as have many others, but nothing could have prepared her for the massive disruption created by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was at a critical stage in the bootcamp where safety measures required all students to begin learning from home.

NH: ‘Learning over Zoom had it’s benefits and issues, personally I prefer in-person classes as it’s easier to discuss with your classmates/instructor if there are any bugs, or to clarify questions without having to switch/share screens to explain the problem. But overall the experience was smooth and we were still able to learn as much over Zoom, in the comfort of our own homes. My tip for anyone who may be taking online courses is that staying focused is the key. I feel that taking these online lessons in your home is bound to have many potential distractions than having classes in-person, especially when you have your instructor’s screen being shared. Having to constantly switch between tabs to follow along tends to make you lose concentration after a while.’

After switching to online studies, she continued to persevere in her practices and work, often reviewing and re-building her day’s work in order to revise the concepts and logical flow of the technical problems. Soon she had successfully completed the programme and proceeded with the next stage of finding her new career as a developer.

NH: To prepare for the technical interviews, we went through a couple of mock interviews with external developers and HR personnel that provided a lot of insights and tips on how
to excel.

Soon after she was recruited into her current role as a developer in Amber Creative, a digital marketing and web design firm. I’ve joined a group of like-minded women who understand the struggles of being a woman in the tech-industry. They provide a safe space for me to be confident & relaxed, where we can share ideas/experiences and learn from each other in our journeys whilst embracing the challenges.

As with our students that we talk to, we asked Hidayah for any advice and takeaways that she had for those still considering a move to the tech industry.

NH: The biggest thought I had initially is that I wouldn’t be able to make it, I also wasn’t keen on having online sessions and much preferred physical sessions. But Paul, our instructor, really taught us how to source for solutions independently, which forces you to be creative and find your own way to approach the problem.

We’re happy to see Hidayah progress in her tech journey and excited to see how her career shapes itself in the years to come. If you are interested in starting on your own pathway into tech, check out our Software Development bootcamp and find out more today!

Find out more about our Software Development Bootcamp today!

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