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Keith typing at laptop

Meet our instructors: Keith

Instructor Keith Douglas discusses music, coding and being outsmarted by his own students…

What were you doing before you started at CodeClan?

I went to music college when I left school, and I hadn’t done coding before, so I went back to university and did a software development diploma at Napier University. I learned Java, SQL and the fundamentals of software.

That’s how I got my first development job as a Java developer.

What’s the difference between teaching coding at Codeclan, compared to universities?

At Codeclan you teach more practical skills, and it’s more real to the workplace because you get more hands on time.

We engage in quite a lot of practices like TDD (test driven development); you can use tools like version control which allows you to work with a team; you build actual applications, present them, and talk through the code.

We teach this because it’s valued in the workplace. Instructors help people, so when they go into the workplace they’ll probably be more comfortable getting their hands dirty than someone who hasn’t had that practical experience.

What advice would you give to people thinking of becoming an instructor?

CodeClan students learning in classroom

Don’t worry too much if you don’t feel like you know everything about what we teach. We cover a lot of ground.

You may well have specialised in some area and are not that familiar with other areas we teach.

We had an instructor who had never written much JavaScript, but with support from the rest of the team he picked it up quickly.

What was your biggest fear before joining CodeClan and how do you feel about it now?

My biggest fear was having to stand in front of everyone and talk. You can feel a bit like an imposter to start with, but confidence and familiarity with the course material grows.

Also, I was scared I didn’t “know enough stuff” but that’s not necessarily the main thing. Nobody can know everything. We’re all learning all the time.

Describe your CodeClan experience

Keith at laptop

It’s a great team to work with and the students are a great bunch of motivated people.

Have you ever been outsmarted by a student?

Yes, several times.

Do you remember the first lesson you taught

Yes. It was a lesson on REST. I prepared a lot and probably went a bit too deep into the theory. I may have confused them.

Find out more about becoming an instructor at CodeClan.

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