With a degree in English and after seven years working across various consultancy roles in International Education in China, Lois made the move to New Zealand with her husband. Recognising the need to improve her English communication skills, she started working in the hospitality industry and in her down-time, learnt to code as a hobby.
It was here that Lois discovered a new passion for programming. Wanting to gain more practical industry experience and quickly advance her new-found skills so she could turn her hobby into a dream job, Lois decided to enrol in SIGNAL's one-year SHIFT programme.
"I found learning coding fascinating, so decided to enrol in SHIFT in 2018 to develop these skills and prepare myself for a career change. I chose to study at SIGNAL because of the opportunity to work on real-world projects, and I like the philosophy of 'learning-by-doing' and the 'seeing-big-picture-first' approach."
"Most schools teach IT subjects separately and students usually will not have the opportunity to work on something that will involve full-stack development until the last year of their programme. In contrast, at SIGNAL we learnt how to put different technology together to build a web app at the early stage of our study. The benefit is that it boosts students' confidence in becoming a developer and helps students to identify their choice of career path better."
Lois's studio group projects included a device management system for a local gaming company and a student management system for a local school.
"Through the studio projects, I got to explore many areas, like back-end and front-end programming, UI/UX design, testing and BA. I challenged myself in full-stack development, so I literally learnt and practised all the must-knows of web development. I learnt how to use coding skills to solve real-world problems and how to find adequate help when I got stuck. It's kind of magical to see that we could get a student administration system up and running after a mere one month of study!"
Lois completed her 200-hour industry project developing a map-centric web app (www.trafficcounts.co.nz) for local engineering and geospatial consulting firm, Abley, where her love for web GIS development really took off.
Lois is now working on a Web App of New Zealand Rally map under the guidance of mentor Dr. Stacy Rendall from Abley. If all goes well, the New Zealand Rally Championship will consider using the app.
SHIFT has been the perfect pathway for Lois to transition into a career in tech. If you or someone you know is keen to make a change in career or turn their hobby into a dream job, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 99 00 24 for a chat about tech opportunities and pathways.