Meet Mike, iO Academy trainer
Hi, I’m Mike. I’ve been training iO students to become software developers since we launched in 2015. Before that, I worked as a software developer for our parent, healthtech company Mayden, and for other companies in fintech, publishing and digital, including iO Academy hiring partners Hargreaves Lansdown and Future Plc.
I first got into coding when I was 14. We did a few lessons on building websites in my ICT class, and I discovered that I loved the problem-solving challenges of coding. I began to spend my evenings and weekends learning more, using any resources I could. I landed my first paid contract while I was still in school.
After I’d been working as a developer for a few years I began running private coding lessons in my spare time for young people also looking to become developers. They all now work for established tech companies. I love teaching and find it really satisfying to help others to achieve their goals.
My favourite thing about my job is the look on graduates’ faces when they tell me they have just been offered their first developer role. I love that I’m able to help them to change their lives. In 2018 I won the TechSPARK Award for Best Mentor, which made me so proud and feel that I am doing the right thing here.
One of the things I really value at iO is our classroom culture. Because we have such small class sizes, we’re able to have really open conversations and I encourage students to ask as many questions as they need to help them understand a topic. There really are no stupid questions and asking them will not only help you but your classmates.
In my spare time I enjoy going out to great restaurants in Bath and attending local tech meetups, and occasionally speaking at UK and international tech conferences. I’m a typical geek and love playing D&D in the evenings and watching films (I’ve got a collection of over 2,000 DVDs, and a nerdy cataloging system to keep them in order). I never miss a Marvel or Star Wars premiere and I have a passion for cars – don’t get me started talking about them!
In a past life, I competed for Team GB as a butterfly swimmer and still hold two age group British records. It taught me how to focus on working towards getting better and better at something over time. I still enjoy a dip in the pool on occasion, but now I put that energy into continuing to learn more about programming, and instilling that same enthusiasm for life-long learning in my students.
I love the community the academy has built up, with many of my graduates having become lifelong friends. Most Fridays (outside COVID) we go to the local pub after work with our current students and lots of graduates come along for a catch up which is great. It’s like a casual reunion every week.
Come along to one of our taster sessions and ask me more about the industry, the course or my experiences. I’d love to chat with you.