From Restaurant Management to Software Development in a few simple steps

Software Developer, Felix shares how he moved from hospitality to tech in less than a year.

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Becky Rock-Evans

20th November 2020

When Software Developer Felix Letheren began working at Rocketmakers in November 2019, it meant getting the chance to work at the company which inspired him to pursue a career in tech in the first place.

Felix from Rocketmakers profile photo in black and white

The moment hospitality was out and tech was in

While on holiday in Madagascar in January 2019, Felix began reevaluating his working life.

“I had been working in hospitality for several years,” he explained. “I started as a bartender and over time worked my way up to managing an entire restaurant. My work was valued and it was a company with more opportunities, but I wasn’t happy. I was under constant pressure, and I was working about sixty hours a week. "

“Some days I would work from 9am to 11pm with only a half hour break. I was mentally exhausted and my work-life balance was shot. I started reevaluating things, and I started thinking a lot about the job my friend Ben had at Rocketmakers.”

Ben Long and Felix had been friends since their early teens, and Ben had been working at Rocketmakers a year earlier after graduating from Bath’s Mayden Academy.

“I was really jealous of what he had,” Felix said. “I enjoyed working in a restaurant, but I really needed a change.”

Learning to code with Mayden Academy

Following Ben’s example, Felix applied to Mayden and enrolled on a sixteen week bootcamp.

“I had thought you needed to go to university and get a degree to get a job in tech, so I was really pleased to discover that wasn’t the only route to take.

“The Mayden course was with a small group - there were just eight of us - and we learned all of the basic skills anyone needs to work as a programmer. Every other week we would do a team project as a class, which was the perfect way to learn how to work in a dev team. I still had a lot to learn after finishing at Mayden, but I knew more than enough to get a job.”

Team working around a table at Rocketmakers HQ

Joining the team at Rockemakers

Luckily for Felix, an opportunity to work at Rocketmakers opened up just as his course finished.

“Rocketmakers was always my first choice because I’d heard so much about them from Ben. I applied for jobs at other companies, but I was really thrilled when I got the Rocketmakers offer.”

Felix has been working for Rocketmakers for nearly a year. His initial role was as a front end developer for the Performance Data Management System (PDMS), the Queen’s Award winning medical records system which Rocketmakers built for the English Institute of Sport.

Six months ago he began working as a back end developer for ARiVR, the Innovate UK funded set of tools being built by Rocketmakers to help manage AR and VR environments.

Carving out a new career as a full stack developer

“Since I started learning to code I’ve wanted to be a ‘full stack’ developer, working on both the front and back end, so this is exactly what I want to be doing. Plus on ARiVR I'm getting to work on infrastructure as well. I really like that - there’s always more to learn and I like the concept of taking something the whole way through, from start to finish, and experiencing the entire development process.”

Asked how he likes working in tech after the stress of the hospitality industry, Felix is enthusiastic about his current work/life balance.

”When I finish work now at 5:30 it still feels like I have half the day left to go,” he said. “I can work at my own pace, and as long as the work gets done everything is fine. And just being able to take a sick day when you’re sick without causing massive disruption is really great to me too. I enjoyed working in restaurants, and I made a lot of friends, but I am enjoying my new life much, much more.”

Rocketmakers build innovative software for companies of all sizes. This is the team to call if you have a project and need a technical partner. Get in touch: firstcontact@rocketmakers.com or visit www.rocketmakers.com 

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