This blog follows my move from a career in the humanities as a historical research consultant, with an academic background in History and English Literature, to one in web development, with a focus on Ruby, and web design.

I will begin this journey with some pre-course work, and then will eventually embark on General Assembly’s 12 week web development intensive in London, UK from June 16 – September 6. This will hopefully end with a three month apprenticeship after completion, and ultimately a job.

I will post as much as I can on this blog about interesting concepts that I come across, learning techniques, things I fail to understand, and revelations that I experience. I hope to show that even someone with a pure arts background can make the transition into the tech world, though I do not anticipate it to be easy! Please do follow along and maybe you will even learn a thing or two about the world of web development, tech and coding.

Andrea Kennedy


8 thoughts on “About

  1. Would you recommend this program to others? I am accepted in the San Francisco, California class and I will have to take out a lot of loans and move across the country. I want to change careers and enter web development and I want to know what alumni suggest.

    Any and all information would be great. Please do not hesitate to email me.

    1. Hi Franco, thanks for getting in touch.

      Personally, this is one of the best things I could have done to get my own career on track. As you may know I changed from a historic career to one in web development, had an absolute blast doing this course, learned more than I ever imagined I could, and am now working as a full-time, decently paid developer. So yea, I highly recommend it. That being said, I took a course down the road from me (about 15 minutes bus ride), when I was already semi-unemployed (a freelancer) and had a bit of money to back me. I had risks, but they weren’t extensive.

      But taking this course in SF, California? I can only imagine it’s a brilliant place to be learning tech. Probably even better than London. I can honestly say that I learned more doing this in 3 months than I have learned in any course I’ve taken (that includes my Master’s degree at Cambridge, seriously). Do weigh your options and risks, as these differ for everyone, but ultimately, if you’re serious about a change in career and you want to be on a trajectory where jobs are widely available and even junior level work is valued, and you want to be constantly creating rather than consuming, then I would say go for it. Just ask yourself what you have to lose, and if you can cope with it then take that leap, because I have not had a single regret since this journey began.

      Feel free to send me any follow up questions, I’m more than happy to answer.

  2. Thanks for your very encouraging blog. I’m interested in attending the course in London as well. As I’m a non-EU national do you think it will be difficult to be hired after the course?

    1. Hi Mari,

      To be perfectly honest, it is difficult to get a job in the EU after the course if you are not an EU national, though that’s not to say it’s impossible. There was at least one student from my course who was offered a sponsorship with his job, but this is rare. GA does do everything they can to help you secure employment afterwards, even if it’s not in the UK, so it is probably best to speak to someone directly from GA about your options. Best person to speak to would probably be Oliver Arscott, who you can reach at oliver@generalassemb.ly. Let him know you read my blog and were curious about the course and ask about the possibilities of employment for your specific situation, and he should be able to guide you in the right direction.

      Also, feel free to email directly me if you have any more questions!

  3. Hi Andrea, Thank you for the inspiring blog and the article I read on Escape the City.
    After reading your article many questions came across my mind 🙂 You had a background in History and Literature and you started a class to become a web developper. Did you have previously an interest in web dev or blogging or digital design ? What made you do the big jump ? To me, there are such different worlds! Weren’t you afraid not to like your class as this was completely new and different from what you did before ?

    Thank you so much 🙂


    1. Hi Sophie. Thanks I’m glad you liked it!

      I previously had done a bit of design and artmaking and had taught myself InDesign (and a tiny bit of Photoshop). So I have always been interested in creating things, but no I didn’t have any coding experience prior to the course. To be honest, I was just really frustrated with my inability to get work in the Heritage industry and decided that I needed to do something drastic to find work, and essentially change industries entirely.

      With regard to making the jump, oh my god yes, I was absolutely terrified. I was scared I would suck at coding, I was scared I wouldn’t like the people in my class, I wouldn’t like the work, I wouldn’t get a job, etc. But I guess you could say I am a bit of a risk taker and sometimes you just have to take that jump to find out what could happen.

      I knew that if I didn’t like the course, I could drop it in the first few weeks, get my money back, and be right back where I started, nothing gained, nothing lost. And my current situation wasn’t producing any results so I felt I had nothing to lose!

  4. Hi Andrea, I really enjoyed reading your career success story, it was very inspiring. As someone in a somewhat similar situation (alliteration win!), I have a few questions I’d like to ask you – do you have an email address so I can contact you directly?



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