Ibrahima is a participant on one of South Bank Innovation’s (SBI) fully funded training and employability programmes. He has worked with our Aspire London team to receive employability coaching alongside studying Web Development with our partner, Code Institute.
Working with us, Ibrahima has been able to access one of London’s most in demand industries - gaining the skills, confidence and software training to immediately start succeeding - funded by the Greater London Authority and European Social Fund.
Ibrahima started his course on 21 July 2022 and is currently nearing the end of his studies. He have kindly agreed for us to catch-up with them and see how things are going.
Hi Ibrahima, tell us about yourself.
My name is Ibrahima Bah, and I just turned 23. I live in West London, specifically in Hounslow. I’m into IT, I’ve been interested in technology and craftsmanship for a long time, ever since I was a little kid.
I love creative things, whether it's art, technology or things involving design.
When I started secondary school, my interest in IT kept growing, especially as more and more smartphones, tablets and laptops became available.
In 2012, I was introduced to programming in school. It was a type of block editor, where you drop commands in called Scratch. It turned the commands into building blocks so I could easily create if statements and loops.
How did you find out about the Aspire London project?
I found out about it online. I was browsing online courses, and I was looking at online bootcamps. I came across Code Institute, and I put in my details. Within two or three days, I got an email to set up an interview to talk through my application.
What is it about working as a software developer that appeals to you, Ibrahima?
I remember watching a video during my last years in high school that inspired me to take IT seriously. The fact that if you have enough experience and competence, then the possibilities are limitless. You can have great flexibility by working as a freelancer or a contractor.
That part appeals to me the most because I like being independent and doing things on my terms.
I think as a software developer; you are essentially a lifelong learner. Technology is always changing, there is always something new to learn, and I see myself as a lifelong learner.
What is it about the process of coding that gives you joy?
The thing about coding is that you can influence it in your own way and put your own mark on it. For example, when I write my code, I can mark it up and document it with notes to help future developers understand my decision-making and reasoning for doing what I did.
That could be for something even as simple as a bug fix. That’s the good thing about IT, many hands can be involved, but you can make your mark, make your changes, and justify them.
Do you see yourself travelling with the technical skills you gain?
For now, my ambitions are in the UK, but in the longer term, I can see myself travelling to other parts of the world and not being stuck with one country. It appeals to me to live in different cities.
“I think as a software developer; you are essentially a lifelong learner. Technology is always changing, there is always something new to learn, and I see myself as a lifelong learner.”
What do you like about learning on the Code Institute platform?
Even though I’m at the early stages of the programming. I can already see the different stages that other developers are at within the Slack community. That encourages me because I think, If I stick with it, then I will be at that person’s level.
I’ve been quite active in the careers channel because even though I’m not finished, I want to be ready for when and be ahead of the game with insights on what I should do with my portfolio and cover letter.
What are the main things you have learned in the course?
I’m currently working on the Love Running project; as I was working on it yesterday, I could see myself working in an office environment on a similar project following customer requests to tweak things like how the layout or buttons should look on the website.
I’ve also learned about the importance of patience and breaks. I was facing a problem in the Love Running project, and I was scratching my head for half an hour, and I said to myself, “If I don’t solve this in the next 15 minutes, then I’m going to step away and come back to it again”.
And most of the time, that break gives you a fresh set of eyes when the mind has fully recharged, and you’re able to solve the problem and move on to the next challenge.
Do you know what you will build for your final project?
I am thinking of building a portfolio website that will work as a “live CV” for me to show off my skill set. I haven’t fully settled on the theme yet; the ideas are still coming to me.
What do you see in the future for Ibrahima?
Firstly, I want to get a foothold in the industry, and then further on I’d like to think that I could help open the door for someone else to get their foot into the industry.
They say the best way to hone your learning is to teach it, so if I really want to hone my skills, then maybe I need to think about teaching someone else one day. And I would like to help someone and perhaps be the reason for them getting their first tech job.
What a wonderful sentiment to end on! A huge thanks to Ibrahima for speaking to us. We wish him the best of luck with their live CV and hope to work with him when training others one day.
Ibrahima is part of our Aspire London programme which offers Londoners the opportunity to study accredited training at Level 4 (post A-level) and raise opportunities to earn more than London Living Wage (£11.95 per hour).
If you’d like to join Ibrahima and improve your career prospects with training in areas such as:
- Business and Enterprise
- Creative Industries
- Green Industries
- Health and Social Care
- Basic and Employability Skills
SBI’s flexible programmes are supported by London South Bank University and industry to suit all walks of life. Whether you want to study for yourself or get some guidance for your future, we provide training with a range of access and support options. Our courses are funded and supported by the Greater London Authority and European Social Fund.
Check your eligibility and start training today by connecting with us at www.southbankinnovation.co.uk/training