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Andrew "Drew" Ford

Full Stack Developer / Instructor from Tauranga, New Zealand

Full Stack Developer to Instructor

After 20 years being in the software/web industry with roles like web developer, analyst developer, lead developer, software engineer, and full stack developer. I decided in August to take a side step in to teaching.

While I had mentored many junior developers over my career this was something new and exciting to me. Getting the chance to impart my knowledge and skills on to a new generation of developers sounded exciting and fresh. Most importantly the job was remote too.

Starting the job I had a two week window to get acquainted with what I'd be teaching and immerse myself in the content that had already been created (exercises and projects) before I started teaching.

Once the term started and I was teaching two lessons a day to 25 students online via Google Meet. Teaching them first how to get Git set up on their computers and all the other software needed to start developing. While the first couple of lessons felt quite daunting, after a week I felt completely at ease with the students.

I feel in the short time I've been teaching, my understanding of JavaScript and HTML/CSS has improved greatly. Even after using these technologies for 20 years. When you have to explain how and why things work the way that they do you always want to be prepared for those questions from students. Because I can assure you they are going to ask hard questions. You continually want to keep improving your teaching style and approach too. There are even times you will have to change tact with how you are teaching mid lesson. It definitely keeps you on your toes.

The biggest change I've found in my own well being is the feeling of satisfaction now with what I do in my job. While I did enjoy the developing of software, it's the lack of connection of your work to a customer/user that isn't great with the majority of jobs I've been at in the past. Whereas both during and after classes I receive comments and feedback directly from my students almost every day.

I've now survived one term teaching Client Side Web Development. The students enjoyed my teaching style and have given me lot's of praise and feedback. More importantly I've enjoyed every week of teaching.

If you feel like you need a change to developing software maybe consider teaching and come join me and the rest of the team at Developers Institute.

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