Enrolling in a bootcamp is typically a time of change in a person’s life. You want to advance your career so you’re ready to commit to learning and ready to open new doors for yourself. But these periods of change often evoke feelings like fear or self-doubt.
Life changes, in general, bring about enough uncertainty to induce anxiety and stress. Changes linked to careers are considered by many experts as significant life events that could lead to an unhealthy amount of stress.
This is exactly what UK-based software engineering bootcamp Makers Academy seeks to address. Through its unique holistic approach to learning to code, Makers Academy stands out for its commitment to mindfulness and self-care practices that are incorporated into its program. Makers Academy emphasizes its priority on mental health by offering multiple resources to counteract burnout and isolation. On top of its top-tier curriculum, these holistic practices stand at the core of Makers Academy.
The Makers Approach
Makers Academy was founded on the premise of evolving with the 21st century to unlock potential and inspiration in a new generation of tech talent. Their foundational purpose is to “deliver transformative educational experiences” to their students. Its educational approach is grounded by its mission to create a dynamic and vibrant community of excited thinkers who are ready to challenge and be challenged. Makers Academy has six major tenets that govern its mission:
- Never stop learning
- Love what you do
- Put people first
- Question the status quo
- Embrace holistic health
- Equal access for all
When combined, these philosophies allow Makers Academy to approach tech education from a holistic perspective. That means looking at tech workers as more than professionals who code but instead, as a whole, complex people with varying concepts of success.
Once A Maker, Always A Maker
At Makers Academy, the community always comes first. Their main focus is on people and community, in line with the mission to “empower and enable each other”. Here, you’re not just a number, you’re part of a collective. More importantly, you’re a Maker.
Constant learning is another core tenet of the bootcamp. Makers Academy teaches you how to learn. According to the school, once you accept that the learning process is never done, you’re in for an exciting ride. Continuous learning means that you’re adaptable to the innovative world of tech, but also that you’re always open and excited by new challenges and career prospects. This ensures a positive career outlook and career longevity.
Supporting Work with Holistic Habits
Makers Academy believes that, with work taking up such a huge part of our lives, everyone deserves a career that they love. In order to maintain that passion and dedication to our career, Makers Academy believes the secret lies in three things: a work-life balance, healthy work habits, and overall wellness which does not exclude mental health. For this reason, the Makers team puts a special focus on holistic learning as a part of its practice.
The goal of its holistic-based model is to help fellow Makers lead happier, higher-quality lives once they graduate from the Academy. As they walk away with an arsenal of technical skills, they would also leave with the know-how to stave off stress. This would lead to a more successful career in the long run.
What Does Holistic Learning Look Like?
According to the Makers team, mental health matters and is just as important as physical health. They believe in helping everyone become their best self, and that embracing healthy work habits and staying balanced is important to making that happen.
Chief Joy Officer: A Title That Says It All
Chief Joy Officer Dana Svoboda runs the holistic learning practices at Makers Academy. According to Daana, former CEO Evgeny Shadchnev brought her on board to figure out how to help everyone at Makers Academy, both staff and students alike, learn and grow in a sustainable way. It was important to the school, she added, to make everyone at Makers Academy feel cared for not just as employees and students but as whole humans. That’s what drew Dana to this one-of-a-kind school.
Holistic practices at Makers Academy include an Emotional Intelligence Curriculum, daily mindfulness meditation, yoga twice a week, fun social events, and an inclusive environment. The Emotional Intelligence Curriculum includes self-awareness and emotion management training. Workshops on feedback, team communication, and empathy are also available.
“We aim to deliver top-quality wellbeing practices that are accessible and enriching not just for a career in tech but, for a greater overall quality of life,” she said.
Dana notes that the holistic practices integrate seamlessly into the curriculum, allowing for more balance and support for students. The Emotional Intelligence training helps learners to be more self-aware and better manage the stress of the course. Meditation enhances EQ competencies, helps to manage stress, and improves focus and concentration. Yoga keeps the mind and body in balance and also helps improve sleep quality which is essential for learning optimally. It also helps to build great posture as developers spend so much time in front of the screen.
“I wanted to support our Makers’ mind, body, and heart,” she said. “These practices, though uncommon at the time, seemed to be the best way to do that. Over time, we saw how well it worked. Wellbeing as a practice was embedded in our culture and attracted more like-minded staff and learners who resonated with Makers Academy’s ethos and continued to build to where it is today.”
Self-Care Practices That Change Lives for the Better
So what does it feel like to be a student incorporating these holistic wellbeing practices into your learning? One student describes what a week at Makers Academy looks like.
“We had our daily meditation with Dana which starts with her short talks on mental health management tips and tricks. Yoga practices twice a week. And also 1:1 with Dana to talk about anything…like a life coach.”
This student had never incorporated any sort of holistic practice into their lifestyle before. “I did practice yoga a little before but so many ideas about mental health and emotions and self-care were all new to me. Completely an eye-opener,” they wrote online, adding that they found the meditation practices to be especially powerful.
Describing the atmosphere, they said: “It’s very welcoming and kind. Everyone cares about each other, very homey and gentle. Warm and cozy. It’s hard to find such a lovely community like this.”
Since graduating, they’ve carried the wellbeing practices they learned at Makers Academy into their life and career now. They still practice meditation and yoga on a daily basis, which is a sold pillar of their self-care routine. They’ve changed the way they talk to themself and also always check in with people at work, which they said was one of the important principles at Makers.
On whether they would recommend Makers Academy to others, they said, “Yes. Honestly, I went to Makers to get a tech job, but what I gained there was so much more than that. I’d go so far as to say that I gained priceless life skills there and that’s actually super valuable even compared with getting a job. The holistic skills I learned at Makers are a lifetime asset for me and I’m very grateful. I hope more people will get to experience this magic at Makers.”
Makers Academy Provides Students with the Tools for Both Work and Life
Giving students the skills to balance their mental health and wellbeing amid a fast-paced tech world allows them to support themselves emotionally and mentally. During a time of isolation and mental duress, feeling equipped to handle the challenges that life and work throw at you is an invaluable skill that creates for a better quality of life all over.
Makers Academy is dedicated to your holistic betterment, offering not only self-care practices, but new ways to approach your life, work, and self-image. If you’re interested in a school that sets you up for success through creative and dynamic methodologies, start your application process here.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.