Vitalina’s story: Self-taught to Software Engineer

Vitalina and a friend

Vitalina’s path to becoming a software engineer started in Poland, where she worked as an Import/Export Manager for a charcoal company. She began learning Java and other programming languages on her own. A year later, she and her husband moved to the UK for new opportunities.

“I started to look for any events, courses, or boot camps related to coding. That’s how I found CodeYourFuture,” Vitalina says.

Photo of Vitalina with friends

Vitalina (3rd from left) found structured learning as well as a supportive community with CodeYourFuture

Having clear goals at the start

Her goals were clear: improve her English, learn technical skills, make friends – and find a job in tech. Despite having some self-taught coding experience, Vitalina knew she needed more structured learning and support.

At CodeYourFuture (CYF), Vitalina found more than just a coding boot camp. She found a community.

“I was always feeling very welcome on Saturdays. I could always talk to people, share my passion, learn something new, get some positive emotions. It was very important for me because at the moment I was new in the country and everything was so foreign to me. So CodeYourFuture became a place where I was feeling happy, accepted, like in some way at home.”

Facing challenges head on

Vitalina’s journey was challenging. Towards the end of her CYF programme, she started a full-time internship at a ​​London-based biotech company, which meant long hours and little sleep as she juggled work and CYF. However, she persevered and credits her clear goals and supportive teammates for helping her through the challenging CYF software development course.

Despite her busy schedule, she did her best with her CYF project work. “The best thing was having supportive teammates who helped each other out,” she says, “Their support made a big difference and helped me get through it all.”

In addition, Vitalina needed to constantly speak to many different people in English and speak in public in English, too. “That’s what helped me to overcome my fear to speak in English,” says Vitalina, “and helped me just to practice and become more confident.”

Vitalina speaking at a CodeYourFuture event

Through practice, Vitalina gained the speaking confidence she was looking for.

Support that led to a job

CYF’s volunteers played a crucial role in Vitalina’s success. Her tech buddy encouraged her to apply for jobs early, and another volunteer spent three days practicing technical interviews with her. This led to a job as a developer at Clear Channel, an international media company.

Now employed full time, Vitalina’s mindset has evolved. “I understand that it’s not possible to know everything when you’re a software engineer. I was confident and I’m still confident that I can do everything if I really want it.”

Advice to people thinking of becoming software developers 

“The most valuable thing is support and feedback,” Vitalina reflects. “Because when you’re learning by yourself, you don’t know how good you are or if you’re going in the right direction or wrong.”

To those considering joining CYF, especially those who might doubt themselves, Vitalina offers these words: “If you want to change your life and you’re scared, just come to CYF. You will get all the support, teachers, and friends that you need.”

Vitalina’s story shows what you can do with determination to change your career – and the support of a community to help you get there. 

If you’re interested in applying to the CodeYourFuture Software Development programme, click here to check eligibility and to register.

Vitalina and a friend

Vitalina (r) and a friend at a CodeYourFuture event