Student Story: Daniel


Daniel had been out of work for nearly ten years struggling with mental health when he saw an advert for CodeYourFuture (CYF) in a local council bulletin.

Daniel says “I had only just started to turn my life around and felt able to commit to something that may help improve my future for the first time in a long time.” 

Claire Bickley, CodeYourFuture West Midlands Regional Manager, talks about meeting Daniel I’ll never forget first meeting Daniel at one of our early sessions. He sat in the corner, distanced from as many people as possible. He was so quiet and shy but clearly looking forward to learning to code.”

Never coded before

Daniel had no previous coding experience before starting at CYF, “I suffered a lot with imposter syndrome until I learned that everyone on the course felt the same way, even some teachers!”

He was able to juggle his time between a part-time job and CYF. He learnt to be more organised and dedicated a lot of his Sundays to coding homework. 

Facing other challenges

He faced other challenges on the course “I have bipolar, and sometimes it is tough to concentrate. I often have issues with sleep, meaning I spend a lot of the day tired.” 

Daniel found ways to work through his mental challenges. He learnt techniques to help him improve his concentration. He also learned how to learn new material on the course.

Another big obstacle for Daniel was that he was very shy when he started. He describes his initial experiences at CYF “At first, I found it hard to approach anyone for help or engage in the weekly classes. With more personal development sessions, my confidence grew, and I no longer felt anxiety when answering questions or talking in front of others.” 

Growing in confidence

Claire noticed that over time there was a visible change in Daniel. “He grew so much in confidence and really came out of his shell. Daniel really embraced CodeYourFuture and the community we have built in the West Midlands”

Daniel says this about his progress “I wish I had known how much I would grow as a person on this course. I thought I would only learn coding skills, but the programme offers so much more than that!”

Supported all the way by the CYF community 

Daniel benefited from all the support offered by CodeYourFuture. For example, he found the buddy group system very helpful. 

“Every day, everyone in the buddy group would message each other to find out how we were coping or generally to make conversation. Open communication with the group meant asking for help or explaining difficult situations in our personal life easier.” Daniel says. 

From learning to code to a software engineer

Daniel’s efforts paid off when he received a job offer from Capgemini – “I realised I had achieved something far greater than expected. Coding seemed like a new skill or a hobby when I joined, but now I have a career!” 

“I am so thankful to CYF for all they have done throughout the course. I am very confident about my future. I get to continue to learn new coding languages and am very much looking forward to passing this knowledge on to new CYF students!”

Claire can see how proud Daniel is to be a CYF graduate when he volunteers for the organisation “he makes sure to wear his CYF shirt with pride, especially when supporting our newest class of future developers!”

Are you interested in joining the CYF community as a volunteer? Sign up to one of our volunteer info sessions to find out more.