The world of software development changes so quickly that without constant training, developers are in danger of falling behind. Many developers take a year or two out for various reasons, only to find that when they try to get back into the industry, everything is different.

That’s what happened to Jim, who worked in the industry for years until he suddenly found himself out of a job. He realised he needed to become a software developer, he would need to go back to school. That’s when he found Industry Connect.

Tell us a bit about your background

I came over from England in 1990 and worked as a software developer in New Zealand for many years up until 2015, when I found myself at the job for various reasons. It was pretty clear to me when I was looking for another job that I needed to retry because all my previous experience was with desktop applications and most of the development work today happens in all the applications that run in the browser. So I was looking around for ways of making that happen and I came across Industry Connect online and got in touch and that’s where it all started for me.

What would you say the greatest technical skills were you picked up along the way?

At Industry Connect the focuses on the and ASP.NET stack, so it’s all about C# for the backend, obviously SQL server and SQL on the backend as well. JavaScript, jQuery and various other JavaScript libraries, plus HTML and bootstrap.

What soft skills did you pick up along the way that helped you secure your new job?

I’ve certainly sharpened up my skills in being interviewed since I’ve been to Industry Connect. There’s quite a huge emphasis here on getting people ready to be interviewed and that has been hugely valuable to me.  I was also given the opportunity to present various things to groups of people, which is all good practice as well, because that’s very much required in the marketplace these days.

What would your advice be to someone who’s potentially coming to Industry Connect?

I would say first of all don’t let any conceptions about your background hold you back.  I don’t think there are any particular requirements or prerequisites in terms of background, and my personal background is completely different for most people who come here.  When I approached Industry Connect it was with a certain amount of trepidation. I thought “what will everyone think of me” given that I’m not the usual profile. But it was a very positive response. They said “well we don’t see why you shouldn’t join us and let’s give it a go!”, and I thought that was a fantastic response.

Was there a lot of value for you working on live projects here at Industry Connect?

Very definitely, yes. One of the requirements of New Zealand employers in general is that they put much more trust in people who have actually worked in a real project in the New Zealand workspace. So being fed through the bootcamp style training course that Industry Connect offers into a real workplace where you’re working alongside people developing real applications is also enormous value. I wouldn’t hesitate, anybody who wants to retrain in software development from whatever sort of background, give Industry Connect a go, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Hear what they say about their journey of landing a software job.