First Day!

Today was my first day of the main course at Makers Academy.  For the nervous ones (myself included) it was a day full of ice breakers so no stress!

Breakfast and the Name Game

Breakfast kicked off the day.  From 08:30 to 09:30 people assembled at Makers for some breakfast treats (pastries, cereal and coffee etc) laid on by Makers.

At 09:30 we were gathered together for a talk that introduced Makers, the curriculum and our coaches (Sam and Mary).  Next we were tasked with forming a massive circle (there’s 39 students in my cohort) to play the name game.


What’s the name game?

The name game is really simple.

  1. The first person says their name and their spirit animal, which had to be alliterative, e.g. “Alistair the alligator”.
  2. The second person then has to repeat the first person’s name and spirit animal and then say their own name and spirit animal.
  3. That process repeats all the way around the circle.

If you’re near the starting point then you’ve got it easy.  Sadly I didn’t get the easy route: I was roughly 3/4 around the circle so had to remember about 25 names or so.  Luckily it worked a treat and I got everyone’s name and animal correct!  What surprised me even more was that I still remembered those names and animals later that day and haven’t yet forgot them!

The name game is used for the obvious reasons: to break the ice and to make sure everyone learn’s everyone’s names.

Meet the Mentors

Makers pairs up each student with a mentor in the cohort above (i.e. the cohort six weeks further ahead in the course).  We were meant to meet our mentors during the pre-course but I was unable to do so.  Luckily my mentor (Fergus) came and introduced himself to me.  He’s been awesome so far – he’s checked in with me each day to see how I’m getting along, both generally and with the course material.

Lunch and pub

Later we all headed out for lunch at Spitalfields market before attending a few more talks, loading up with our Macbook Pros (for those students borrowing a laptop for the duration of the course) before heading to The Culpepper pub at 4pm for a free bar courtesy of Makers.


Last but not least… my cohort!

The pub was a lot of fun – I tried hard to make a point of speaking to everyone and getting to know them as best I can.  My cohort is massively diverse.  I was really surprised.  The backgrounds of people include:

  1. lawyer
  2. investment banker
  3. other FS professionals
  4. chef
  5. teacher
  6. IT professional
  7. hotel manager
  8. journalist
  9. VFX artist
  10. RAF

… and many, many more! It’s awesome to be around such a diverse range of people and backgrounds, all of whom are super positive and excited about changing their careers and learning to code.  The positivity and optimism is world’s apart from my old career! Let’s hope it continues despite the intensity of the course!