“It may look like a lot to take on, but I am always mind blown at what I know by the end of the week!” says Marian Manly-Osei, Spartan-in-training

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Joining Sparta Global was a win-win situation. As a consultant I would have access to expert training to become a full stack developer with a specialism, with no upfront cost and the opportunity to gain two years’ experience

Marian “Mimi” Manly-Osei joined Sparta Global in June 2018 and is part of the Technical Stream currently studying at the Richmond Academy. A former bedroom coder with an insatiable appetite to learn and progress, Mimi joined Sparta Global to progress her skills and turn her passion into a career for the future. We caught up with Mimi to see how she was getting on at the Academy, what she has learned so far and her thoughts about being a woman in tech…

 

How did you find yourself studying at the Sparta Academy?

I went to the University of Wolverhampton and studied Business Management with Entrepreneurship, but coding has been a passion of mine for a long time.

Looking to branch out and increase my technical knowledge, I started to attend codebar workshops – one of which was hosted at the Sparta Academy. Before the session started, I had a brief chat with an Academy student, Emilia. She told me a bit about what she was doing and I instantly found it interesting. She told me to speak to Lexie (Papaspyrou, Head of Academy) at the end of the event, and the rest is history!

 

After that initial conversation, why did you decide to join Sparta Global?

As a bedroom coder I had not been able to progress my skills to the point where I could go out, get a job and work with them. Maybe I didn’t know enough, or it was a confidence issue, but it was frustrating not to be aware of what I didn’t know. Joining Sparta Global was a win-win situation. As a consultant I would have access to expert training to become a full stack developer with a specialism, with no upfront cost and the opportunity to gain two years’ experience. In the tech industry, experience is key.  

 

Tell us a little more about the Academy training. How have you found it so far?

Training has been intensive. I’ve realised that I’ve been living in my comfort zone for a long time and the technical course is stretching me beyond what I thought I was capable of. Four weeks into my training and I am certain my brain has grown to twice its size since starting! My trainer, Jack McGregor, uses the approach of running through tasks quickly, but in small steps, with everything building on top of one another. From the outside it may look like a lot to take on, but I am always mind blown at what I know by the end of the week!! I can’t believe what I have learnt and done already!

 

What are some of the things you’ve learnt?

This is a big question - I have learnt so much it’s unreal! Business skills, presentation skills, networking skills, CV building, teamwork, HTML, CSS, Git, GitHub, Bootstrap, Vanilla JavaScript, jQuery… and this is all by week four! If I had decided to embark on this study journey alone, it would have taken me years to learn the same amount. However, the main thing I have learned since joining the Academy is to be confident enough to “just do”, or at the very least try. Successes and failures are just part of your journey.

 

Would you recommend Sparta Global to other graduates? 

I’m telling everyone, whether they are listening or not! My social media feed and WhatsApp status have become an informal diary of my journey through training and people are constantly asking me questions and wanting to get involved. I was even telling an UBER driver how amazing my course is one evening and he told me his girlfriend would be interested. I gave him my details to pass on to her and she’ll soon be attending an assessment day.

I’m excited about what I’m doing. This is the first time in my life I have found myself eager to start every morning and have no issue having to stay late to do self-directed study. 

 

June 23rd is International Women in Engineering Day. As a woman coder and someone relatively new to the technology industry, why should more women consider a career in software engineering?

The only reason you should consider a career in tech is because you have a passion for it - not because you are, or are not, a certain gender. There are a lot of preconceived ideas of what a woman’s job should be but I think these are wrong and do not reflect society today.

I’m happy to be here and part of the industry, but I do wish there were more women to talk to about technology. Young people need to see examples of strong women in roles they aspire to be in - there is nothing more empowering than that! I have been inspired by some amazing women in the tech industry and I'm working hard to be able to inspire the next generation.