Jonathan Birch

Moving into Something New


Making the conscious decision of moving into something new because your job isn’t doing enough for you anymore is a really big step. Jonathan Birch, now Junior Developer, used to be a Network Administrator before he decided that it was time to move on and become a part of an interesting world.

How did you first hear about Just IT?

Google. I was looking for IT training opportunities and I came across you guys. The job placement sold it to me because I was deciding to make a shift in my careers and I couldn’t be out of work for too long.

When did you start to become interested in technology?

I have been working in IT for seven years now. Since my teenage years I have been interested in technology. Before my previous role I was just a general tech for three years. I did an advanced diploma and ended up going to university, but I chose to drop out as I wanted to start working. In my spare time I used to build my own machines and create menus of interface from command line machines.

How did you decide on your career change?

I was doing a Computer Science and Games Development degree, and I really enjoyed coding. I decided that I wanted to become a coder which was why I chose to complete the certifications.

What did you do on the course?

I primarily did the Microsoft Path and C#. It had been ages since I coded; I enjoyed front-end development, but I much preferred back-end. The projects were quite interesting and I enjoyed working in a .Net environment as it was good fun and it was full of familiarity.

What did you think of the Developers Programme?

The people really made the course. The support was great as they were always there to advise and guide throughout the time of being there. Just IT found me a Junior Developer role at IDG.

What responsibilities come with your role?

Working on the front-end of a website such as dealing with the designs, lay outs and webpages. There are a few tasks that come through which are really interesting.

How did you find your portfolio work?

It was good. I did everything from scratch because I didn’t want to use the templates for the website building – I’m stubborn like that and it’s a good challenge. I’ve got a few portfolios now and they’re quite varied; the website was a demonstration of my front-end skills and there are also C# and NVC examples. I even put a small platform game on the website which uses C# and Unity. I also included a video on there which had 3D animation just to show off my abilities.

What would you recommend to someone who’s considering changing careers and getting into development?

The web is growing and there are a lot more application interfaces. The industry is growing exponentially with the use of mobile devices. I would say front-end development is worth doing because it’s more than just a website now, it’s also tied into application development.

I would recommend doing the course, and if you are thinking of changing careers, don’t keep thinking about it otherwise you’ll never do it. You need to just go for it. I was very fortunate to land a course with a nice group of people who provided all the support I needed.

It’s important to remember that nothing that’s worth doing is going to be easy. Development has given me the opportunity to work in jobs that I’m actually interested in. You spend the majority of your life at work and if you’re not happy then you’re wasting a lot of it.