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Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Ryochi Tanaka

By Academy Xi

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Ryochi followed his passion, retrained in software engineering and left sales to become a full-stack developer.

Student Spotlight: Ryochi Tanaka

After a few years of trying to crack the art of coding, Ryochi joined the Software Engineering: Transform course. Find out how Ryochi’s passion for programming developed and how the course helped him land an exciting new full-stack developer role with Moonward.

Thanks for chatting with us today, Ryochi. Can you tell us about your career history?

I was born and raised in Japan but moved to Brisbane in 2018. After I graduated from university in Japan, I took the mainstream path, whereby you get a traditional education and then seek out financial stability by finding work with a big company. After graduation, I started working as a recruiting consultant – which was a role that focused on sales.

I dealt with companies operating in various fields, but I occasionally consulted with people working in IT and was always interested to find out about what was going on in the tech industry. At that time, I wasn’t completely satisfied with my sales career.

Arriving in Australia, I managed to get a sales job with a food supplier in Brisbane and stayed with the company for about 2 years, but I knew deep down that I wanted a very different career.

I felt a sense of freedom in Australia – there was no need to live-up to the stereotypes of what a successful person should do in their professional life. I realised that I had options – I had a chance to do anything I wanted and could follow my passion.

A friend had introduced me to coding years before at university. It was a cool experience that made a big impression on me. Initially, my motivation to learn software engineering didn’t come from a concrete decision to establish a career as a coder, but more from a desire to get back in touch with a sense of enjoyment.

I knew that if I spent my time practising a skill that gave me real pleasure it would lead to a happier and healthier lifestyle. That’s when I started dedicating myself to coding.

How did you arrive at studying with Academy Xi?

Well, that was a journey in itself! Once I made the decision to learn how to code, I carried out loads of research. I looked into learning methods, schools, online resources and all the different programming languages.

I started by completing a Certificate IV in Programming, which I studied for while I was still working in sales. It took about 3 hours of my time each week, which was a manageable workload, but the qualification mostly focused on the theory of programming. I spent hardly any time practising coding hands-on and didn’t get much support from the course provider.

I graduated with a logical understanding of programming but very little practical coding experience. After that, I taught myself JavaScript for a couple of months and managed to build some simple applications.

I was keen to develop a career as a full-time coder by that stage, but didn’t have the confidence to work as a professional programmer, so I started researching courses again. I decided I needed more practical training to boost my confidence and luckily, that’s when I discovered Academy Xi.

What convinced you to enrol in the Software Engineering course?

Initially, I was a little hesitant to take another online course, since my first experience hadn’t lived up to my expectations.

After looking closely at the Academy Xi Software Engineering: Transform course, I realised that the curriculum and syllabus were really thoughtfully put together.

All the online course materials were perfectly organised and gave a very clear breakdown of the skills I would develop. There was lots of emphasis on gaining coding experience, which is exactly the kind of course I was after.

Another big plus was the promise of lots of guidance and support. The course offered everything that was missing from the first qualification.

Finally, I compared the course content and price to other major bootcamps and decided that Academy Xi was by far the best option.

How did you find the course?

Honestly, there was a lot to learn! Luckily, my instructor was Albert and he dedicated a lot of his time to making sure the students grasped all the skills.

Albert was knowledgeable and understood coding inside-out, but as well as being an expert, he was a really caring and helpful person. He genuinely wanted the whole cohort to develop all the skills the course taught.

There were stages when the coding became pretty complicated and Albert always made himself available to explain. If anyone in the cohort had a question, he responded within the hour. Even if someone was stuck, they were never stuck for too long!

If any of us were really struggling with a particular module or project, Albert was flexible enough to rearrange our timelines so that we had a chance to get to grips with it. In software engineering, that kind of approach is vital, because each new skill builds on the last.

What was your most important takeaway from the course?

It completely changed my mindset toward being a programmer. When I was trying to learn to code by myself, the more I found out about programming, the more I realised there were skills I didn’t have. It really knocked my confidence when it came to applying for jobs.

Albert has developed software for multiple companies and knows from experience that the key to being a successful programmer is a willingness to work with new technologies. He helped me understand that the field is always evolving, so programmers have to evolve too. Learning new skills is an essential part of the job.

Early in the course, I stopped seeing the things I couldn’t do as obstacles, but as opportunities to evolve and improve. Everything I did throughout the course gave me the chance to reinforce that mindset.

Albert also told me that being able to adjust to new technologies is often more important to employers than experience. That boosted my confidence and I started applying for jobs just a couple of weeks after the course started.

Thankfully, it didn’t take long after graduation for me to land a new role as a full-stack developer with Moonward, a design-led app development agency.

Nicely done, Ryochi! Do you have a few words of advice for anyone considering an Academy Xi Software Engineering course?

The course outcomes have been fantastic for me. Studying Software Engineering with Academy Xi helped me secure a new role and has given me the skills and experience needed to really perform. I use the knowledge I developed throughout the course all the time.

However, completing the course takes hard work and you do have to pick up a lot of new skills in quite a short period of time. Before you start the course, you have to be fully committed and passionate about learning to code.

If someone seriously wants to be a software engineer, I’d advise them not to get an online certificate, or study alone, and definitely to join Academy Xi instead. Speaking from experience, Academy Xi courses are well taught and give you everything you need to learn to code to a really high level.