Douglas’ trainee story: from manual labour to a career in tech

Douglas sharing some experience in the CYF Cape Town class – watched on by CYF CEO Germán.

Before CodeYourFuture, Douglas worked in manual labour.

“A typical day involved waking up at 5am to start work at 7am”, he says. “When covid hit in 2020, we could not work for 4 months, I considered the idea of finding an alternative career.”

“I’ve always wanted to know what is going on behind the scenes of websites.” explains Douglas, “I want to find solutions to small problems of the world and hopefully solve one big one to leave behind as my legacy.”

When he first heard about CodeYourFuture, Douglas wasn’t confident in applying, but he thought he might as well try – perhaps this was his route to changing careers to tech.

“To my surprise, I received a call from a delightful volunteer, explaining what CYF is all about.”

From then onwards, Douglas took his application seriously and eventually made it into the CYF Software Development course.

Before Douglas could start a career in tech, he would need to complete the challenging CYF Software Development course. “The course is intense and falling behind is very real.”, advises Douglas.

Douglas regularly adjusted his plans to ensure he was up to date with his coursework. He solved more coding problems as his confidence grew: “When I get stuck with a problem, I use my resources to find the solution. Failing that, I continue with other work. 99% of the time, the solution presents itself.”

Douglas got the support he needed from the CYF community in South Africa. “I have an amazing Tech Mentor that always makes time to help.” Douglas says, “My team mates help when they can, by sharing resources or 1on1.”

A CYF Personal Development mentor regularly checked in, too – ensuring Douglas developed the right professional skills, like presenting and interview preparation. These professional skills would help Douglas make a great impression in his interviews and career.

“What stands out for me is the fantastic idea behind CYF. Which is COMMUNITY!” Douglas says, “Where we help each other, respect each other, teach each other”.

Over time, Douglas developed the confidence and the skills he needed to get a job in tech. For example, at the start of the Software Development course, he would occasionally become anxious when he received new material to learn. “Now, I calmly follow a simple process that I adjust regularly,” says Douglas.

At the start of the course, Douglas suffered from “imposter syndrome” – the feeling that he was not good enough. “Now, overcoming it has become second nature. The rest is easy. All I have to do is, follow the path, step by step.”

More success was to come – after graduating from the CYF Software Development programme, Douglas got a great job as a Product Analyst at Sentian, a security software company.

Once he was settled in his new company, Douglas came back to volunteer at CodeYourFuture – to help all the keen trainees who also want to start life-changing jobs in tech.

If you are thinking about applying to CodeYourFuture – Douglas has the following advice for you:

“The journey is not easy but you will be a better person than what you were before taking this this course. GUARANTEED!”

Learn more and apply or register click here.