There is a myriad of reasons why people are transitioning their careers into tech. It may be because of the fantastic culture many tech companies proudly nurture, an increased salary, improved benefits or to take on a new challenge with the promise of progression. Whatever your ambitions are, there should be a route into tech for everyone. 

Unfortunately, too many talented people are deterred from taking this leap because they don’t come from a tech background. If our tech sector is serious about tackling the current skills gap, more initiatives are needed to support these individuals. One key example of routes into the sector is iO Academy’s award-winning training bootcamp.

The Bath-based academy promises to train you as a junior developer in just 16 weeks. The academy is open to everyone, even if you are a complete beginner or have little to no experience with code. A keen interest in learning software development is the only necessity! Raurie Allen, Marketing Manager at iO Academy, summarises the organisation’s ambition to “put digital skills and careers within reach of everyone and improve people’s lives through quality tech training.”

Learning new skills

Over the years, iO Academy has developed a variety of courses, refined for differing needs:

  • Full Stack Track: This course is designed for anyone that wants to start a new career as a software developer and just needs the skills, knowledge and industry connections to help make it happen. They don’t need to have any prior qualifications or industry experience so it’s perfect for pretty much anyone looking to launch a career in tech.

At its core, iO Academy wants to be a welcoming space, as Raurie explains, “We try to ensure that all of our courses are inclusive and accessible to applicants from all backgrounds. In support of that aim, we recently expanded and re-launched our Diversitech funding programme which offers contributions towards course fees for individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the tech sector including women, transgender, ethnic minority and disabled applicants as well as parents and guardians looking to return to work.”

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these courses, you can read through the full week-by-week breakdowns on the iO Academy website. As their flagship programme, the Full Stack Track is the only course designed specifically to help trainees move seamlessly into the industry. Raurie tells us more about what they do to prepare you for your first professional developer role: “We include a mix of theory and practical (students undertake seven projects during the course), which means everyone, even those with little prior experience, graduates with a portfolio of projects under their belt. 

“All Full Stack Track trainees also gain their Agile Professional Certification. Throughout the course, we also include guest talks so that our students can hear directly from people already working in the industry and we take time to focus on career preparation like CV writing, interview technique and job hunting.”

A route into tech

iO Academy holds a very impressive success rate for its Full Stack Track – currently, 97% of trainees receive a job offer in the industry within six months of graduation. After completing the course, trainees aren’t just given a wave goodbye. The team at iO Academy ensures graduates are supported. Raurie explains that all graduates are invited to join their alumni network, which works as a great way to offer and receive advice on their next steps.

Raurie says, “One of our recent graduates was feeling trapped in a data analyst role they’d been in for years and was frustrated at the lack of opportunity to progress. As a result of completing our Data Science Pathway course, they’re now working as a senior data scientist for a major energy company. It’s particularly rewarding to see our alumni speaking at tech conferences as industry experts and winning awards for their contributions to the industry.”

If you’re interested in becoming a developer, but still have doubts about your career background, or simply if it would be the right route for you, Raurie encourages you to chat with the team. 

“Our trainers have years of real-world experience so they know exactly what it takes to become a software dev,” he says. “We run free coding taster sessions regularly throughout the year which are a great opportunity to meet our trainers, ask them questions and get some hands-on experience of programming. Don’t get hung up on qualifications or certifications; if you’ve got the right attitude and some basic problem-solving skills then you’ve probably got what it takes to become a developer.”