Mission Accomplished – 2022 Candidate Celebration

mission accomplished event 2022

Mission… ACCOMPLISHED! What an absolutely incredible event celebrating all of our 2022 graduates who dared to develop, dream, and accomplish – you guys are truly amazing and we couldn’t be prouder!

This year, we’re so excited to say we’ve had 365 graduates trained in Full Stack Development, Software Development, UX Design, and Salesforce Development, 83% of who are now working professionals in the tech industry.

Thank you to all our industry partners, graduates, and staff who came together both in person and online to celebrate this very special occasion. This was our biggest hybrid event so far! 

A VERY BIG THANK YOU to event sponsors Datacom and Google – having this event sponsored has meant giving back. Every dollar we spent on this event is directly donated to Mission Impact (Mission Ready’s charitable foundation). The sponsorship means we unlocked 14 additional scholarships.

And to our inspiring speakers and partners who took the time out to congratulate, celebrate and inspire our candidates Midu Chandra, Tracey Cotter-Martin,  Dipesh Trikam from Datacom, Christopher Mende from Google & Hamish Martin from Salesforce – we thank you!

Mission Ready is what it is today due to the selfless contribution of amazing people from our industry including but not limited to our industry speakers and partners like Ryan the Lion Ashton, Emma Consedine, Avinash de Silva, and the many other awesome people who make our candidates and Mission Ready as a whole extra special.

Check out some snaps of our event below!

For anyone who wants access to all photos, please click here.

Gamification of success

gamification to software

How often does one take their lounging activities and create a career pathway? Well, Mission Ready graduate Melvin Narayan saw potential in his passion for video gaming and launched a career as a software developer.   

“I grew up around computers and video games, and in today’s age, there are so many cool things that technology enables us to do, and who knows what the future of technology holds for us.” 

How did it all begin? 

Melvin says he has always had a keen interest in technology and its untapped potential. But, he adds, “In today’s age, there are so many cool things that technology enables us to do, and who knows what the future of technology holds for us.” 

This eager passion took Melvin through a phase of exploration. He recalls, “I knew I wanted to get into programming, but I wasn’t sure if I was capable. The more I explored and learned different things, the more I found backend work interesting.”  

Before joining Mission Ready, Melvin worked as a mobile phone repair technician while managing self-education by studying programming on his own time through online resources and courses. 

He adds, “I ultimately decided to leave my full-time job and fully commit myself to pursue a career in tech.”  

Finding the best fit – Life with Mission Ready! 

“Technology became even more fascinating once I started learning at Mission Ready and being able to build my own apps, reverse engineer existing services, and have the knowledge of what’s happening behind the scenes in my day-to-day use of technology.”  

Melvin’s ongoing interest in technology brought him to Mission Ready’s website through a simple Google search! He recalls, “I was looking for a place where I could upskill and learn about programming, and that is when I found Mission Ready.”  

At Mission Ready, any interested candidate must first undergo an interview as part of the enrolment process to meet the prerequisites of the accelerator courses. Melvin, like many others, walked into this meeting full of confidence.  

“I’m passionate about programming, and I was certain this path I wanted to pursue. I had also spent a bit of time learning on my own before joining Mission Ready, boosting my confidence.”  

After the successful interview, Melvin began his 19-week  Software Developer accelerator. He describes this journey as a stable learning platform.   

“I was learning new things every day. It’s a journey that requires hard work and commitment but comes with all the support you need to succeed. There were some challenging times but getting through those challenges is exciting and rewarding!”  

At Mission Ready, all candidates receive learning through a hands-on learning program. Melvin says assignments had turned out to be the most exciting experience of his education journey.   

“In individual missions, we were free to express our creativity and explore up to a level we were comfortable with. In group missions, we got to work with other people, which allowed us to see things from different perspectives. After these missions, we all got to showcase our work, allowing everyone to see different ideas and approaches that other students had.”  

Many candidates have attested to Mission Ready’s vision to create an environment that provides education, and best prepares one for the industry, with a graduated 85% work placement.  

“The main reason I choose Mission Ready is the industry experience program. I wanted to make a career out of programming, and I figured the best way is to upskill and then have some real-world experience in the industry.” 

How can this be you?  

Melvin has become a successful software developer focusing on the backend at 9Spokes and has given us some tips on succeeding at Mission Ready.  

“Curiosity and consistency are what I found to be the most important keys to succeeding at Mission Ready. Dedicating the time daily to learning and having the curiosity to ask questions and explore unknown territory will take you far.” 

He describes that the tech industry can seem intimidating, but not to be afraid of the unknown.  

“There are so many aspects of technology, but most of it boils down to some basic concepts. Once you learn those concepts, you can continue to grow in so many directions and become successful.” 

Want to learn more about Software Development? Head to our accelerator page. 

Learning success


Mitchell’s quest for new challenges lead to rewards 

A new experience and opportunity for growth are what continue to be the driving force behind Mitchell Quarrie’s passion for the IT industry.  

Mitchell, who is a seasoned philomath, has enjoyed learning, gaining certifications in tourism, business, mechanical engineering, a bachelor’s in Information Technology, and a recent qualification in Software (Cloud & DevOps) Development with Mission Ready.  

Talking success 

He says his interest in the technology world has been an ongoing passion, and taking a software development course was the next step in this direction.  

“Software development is a new experience for me. I like creating new things, and I have never worked in a job like this, which drew me to advance my knowledge in this area.”  

Mitchell says while in between jobs, he had heard about Mission Ready’s successful programs from a friend and decided to explore his options in this field.  

After a deep dive into understanding what was on offer and how best he could align himself with the opportunities available, Mitchell decided to put through an application and was shortlisted to enrol.  

“Honestly, I went into this interview with Mission Ready as I have with all other interviews I have conducted in the tech world. I just spoke about my passion and willingness to learn and grow.”  

Key trait: Determination

 Mitchell adds that learning with Mission Ready was a rewarding process, and gaining real industry experience was the icing on the cake! 

“I must say I really enjoyed learning and being able to work with industry giants. I think it’s important to approach your education with a good work-life-study balance to maintain a smooth transition.” 

Now, working as a successful Junior Software Developer with Chiptech Limited, Mitchell says for those interested in pursuing a career in the tech industry must approach Mission Ready’s education with a determined mindset. 

“I think right from the get-go it’s important to put in the effort in order to succeed.”

Want to learn more about this pathway? Take a look at our Software (Cloud & DevOps) Developer page.

Looking for a job in the Software Industry?

cloud devop interview

We know entering the job market can be tricky so our Mission Ready Co-Founder, Alan Kan, has put together some interview tips for you.

Always remember in a job interview, you need to demonstrate that:

1. You can do the job (i.e. you have the technical skills and/or experience needed)

2. You culturally fit into their team well.

Interviewing is a 2-way street. While you want a job, the employer wants a good candidate to work for them. So while you need to tell them how awesome you are, they also have the responsibility to convince you how wonderful it is to work there.

6 ways to stand out in your interview

1.  Ask clarifying questions if you are unsure of what a question means

2. Be positive about co-workers and your ex-boss/client/project sponsor. Do not complain at a job interview

3. Provide examples/details when you answer questions, It’s ok to take some time to think about your answer before you open your mouth. You don’t have to answer as quickly as possible

4. Usually, answers should be approximately 1 -2 minutes long

5. Have confidence in yourself

6. Know your own unique selling proposition. What makes you stand out from the rest?

What’s a behavioural question?

Behavioural questions are common in job interviews. It asks for your past experience to demonstrate you have certain capabilities or qualities. Usually, it starts with something like “Can you give me an example of a time when you…”.

You can answer the question using STAR approach. In fact, STAR approach can be used answering many interviewing questions.

Question: Can you describe a time when you handled conflict at workplace?

Situation: Describe a situation you were in. eg. A few stakeholders had conflicting requirements in a project.

Task: Tell them what you need to achieve. eg. My task as a business analyst was to prioritise the requirements.

Action: Describe what you actually did, e.g. I organised a workshop with key stakeholders to explain the conflict, and went through their requirements using a Prioritisation Matrix.

Result: tell them what happened as a result of your actions. e.g stakeholders achieved consensus to the priority of requirements.

Technical interview questions

For software development and testing jobs, you may get a technical interview, check out the interview menu item at the following link for a sample of questions and answers relating to your programming language/skills. Unfortunately, there is no easy way out except to ensure you gain as much knowledge as possible about your technical area. Here are some examples of technical interview questions.

What do you do after the interview?

At the end of a job interview, you are usually asked whether you have any questions. You should aim to ask at least a couple of questions. (Ask something NOT related to salary, or when you can go home, or how much leave you have.)

Send a thank you email within 24 hours, if you have the email address of the interviewer/HR (sometimes it will be in the meeting invite).

We wish you luck in your job search! If you’re looking to upskill or looking to get industry experience, don’t forget to check out our Software Developer (Cloud & DevOps) accelerator > 

Article written by Mission Ready Co-Founder, Alan Kan


Breaking new grounds and picking up the challenge

Indigo Phillips


“I knew there weren’t many women in the technology industry, so I opted to set aside that dream and pursued a career that would provide a means of taking care of my family.”

This recent graduate of Mission Ready’s UX Designer Course, Indigo Phillips, says her interest in technology dates back to a time when Web 1.0 was evolving, but the lack of diversity and inclusion within the industry had her looking elsewhere for a career. 

“I worked in the courier industry for many years, but I always knew I would return to my passion. I knew I wanted to be in this space, creating and designing and learning about users experience.” 

Now, as a qualified UX designer for the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, Indigo hopes to create pathways and break barriers for women, particularly Maori women, in the industry. 

Indigo shares her journey of finding her footing in the industry through the guidance of Mission Ready.

Why gain an education with Mission Ready?

“I heard about Mission Ready through social media and immediately recognised that this was an excellent opportunity for me to add to my skill set.” 

Indigo recalls before joining Mission Ready, she had been transitioning through several projects.  

I was finding it hard to look for employment; even though I had already done about four or five different projects, it wasn’t enough. I felt like I needed extra skills because I was struggling.”

Ensuring that there was a career pathway moving forward was a priority for Indigo, she adds, knowing that Mission Ready was portrayed as the authority in tech education and career pathway made it her top choice. 

I knew that Mission Ready had set up a team to support those coming in to lean, so I already knew that this was the place I wanted to be with that kind of support that helped people to work afterwards. So it’s totally unbeatable in my books; that’s one of the reasons why I choose Mission Ready.”

What are the expectations of studying at Mission Ready?

“I would say that I found my confidence in this space because the education allowed me to gain the knowledge needed for the industry along with the much-needed UX designer mindset.”

Indigo adds that a willingness to learn and a growth mindset will take you a long way in your journey at Mission Ready and the industry.

“My advice would be never to give up and constantly think about learning and what you can do for yourself to add to your value as an essential future employee.” 

If you would like to have a no-obligation chat with one of our team you can contact us here.

New Zealand’s Tech Skills Shortage Presents an Amazing Opportunity to Those Looking to Reskill or Upskill

As is well-reported, New Zealand is in the grips of a tech skills shortage, with many organisations expecting to feel its impact well into 2023. According to Hays, one of New Zealand’s leading recruitment firms, the situation is unparalleled in their 46 years in the business.

The emergence of COVID-19 sent the world into a flat spin and a global lockdown. Many opted to repatriate to their home country, taking their skills with them.  With international borders closed globally, countries had to settle for local talent. N.Z’s tech sector, primarily dominated by immigrant workers, were left fishing from a shallow pool.

Before COVID, immigrants filled as many as 4,500 high-paid tech roles in some 20,000 tech firms annually; in their absence, there was a significant disparity between supply and demand.

The good news is that our international borders are reopening to the world, and with that, will come a flood of skilled labour; this will boost N.Z’s economy and give the tech industry the wings it needs to achieve phenomenal growth.

However, plugging these gaps will take time, and there is concern that international competition will challenge N.Z’s allure, especially where salary, job prospects, and career mobility are concerned.

If you are a Kiwi, now is a great time to upskill or reskill – particularly if you already work in tech or have been considering redirecting your path.  Digitisation is rampant across all sectors and the tech industry is on a clear and rampant trajectory in a skyward direction globally. Now is the time to act.

According to the Hays  2022/23 Salary Guide, 88% of organisations surveyed said they have offered higher salaries than initially planned to find the right employees, while 66% of employees said they benefitted financially from changing jobs in the past year.

Furthermore, with the pressure to deliver firmly in the employee’s court, Hays recommend that any job offer be compelling. Along with a competitive salary, they suggest the promise of flexible work environments, professional development opportunities, and alignment between personal and professional purpose.

It’s an employee’s market!

With software engineers and cloud specialists named among the most in-demand tech jobs, Mission Ready’s Full Stack Developer Accelerator and Advanced Software Developer (AI and Cloud) Accelerator courses will prepare you to enter the workforce and hit the ground running.

Be ready to stake your claim in a thriving industry. Be ready to grow with an industry where the sky is the ceiling. Be Mission Ready.

Contact us now to learn more!

From Global Brand Ambassador to Web Dev: A Successful Transition

Meet Raymond Letoa, Current Scholarship Recipient! 

It’s not every day that you hear of a Global Brand Ambassador who travels the world and gives it all up for a life in the fast-growing technology industry. Meet Raymond Letoa. Not only was Raymond a Global brand ambassador for The House of Angostura, but before joining Mission Ready, he was also Co-owner of Roxy Cinema in Miramar, Wellington.  

“Pre-Covid days, I was in the entertainment and hospitality industry a Global Brand Ambassador for ‘The House of Angostura’ who make great rum and bitters, showcasing their products to many groups and audiences from masterclasses to guest shifts and more.” 

Why I chose a career in Tech

This glam career came to a halt in 2020 when the world plummeted into Covid-19. However, due to the economic pressures on the hospitality industry, Raymond decided to take on take on a new career.   

“I returned to New Zealand with a desire to take up a career in technology, more specifically web development. Then, of course, with research, I discovered Mission Ready.” 

Through the various options of accelerators available with Mission Ready, Raymond signed up for the Level 4 Full Stack Web Development Accelerator, which covered the fundamentals of coding, industry best practices and new frameworks. 

“I progressed to undertake my Level 5 ADV Software Development Accelerator, which covered cloud technologies, collaboration exercises, working in and learning agile methodologies and more.”  

And then my Tech Internship… 

Raymond is currently enrolled in the Level 6 Accelerator program and is enjoying his industry placement that Mission Ready organised for him. 

“Currently I am working with Auckland Council as a Developer on a project called ’Technius’. This project is a web-based application in the form of a game intended for students from 9-14 years old. It helps students understand and clarify what their tech career path could look like.” 

Where to next? 

At Mission Ready, the opportunities are endless; Raymond has decided to put his best practices to the test. 

“Over the next couple of months, I want to create a few more projects with some amazing individuals I have met through Mission Ready. I’d like to build a portfolio to show potential future employers what I am capable of.” 

Considering tech? My advice to you! 

Raymond is a success story of the Full Stack Pathway offered by Mission Ready and a strong advocate for taking risks and pursuing new visions in a rapidly changing world. 

“The first step is always the scariest, the hardest, the most nerve-wracking and understandably so, but Mission Ready has many resources to guide you through the whole journey; no one gets left behind.” 

Raymond has also joined the Mission ready team as a support tutor. He is passionate about helping others to find their feet in tech and would love to see you succeed there too!

If you would like to have a no-obligation chat with one of our team you can contact us here. 

Bushman to E-Learning Web Developer

Meet Cam Nepe

Hailing from Gizzy, the East Coast of New Zealand. Cam has been a Bushman and Lecturer in Forestry at the local Polytech, EIT. Cam moved to Hamilton, and he decided to take a positive step toward his future career in tech. “I had done an ICT Diploma through EIT, so I was lucky enough to cross-credit straight into the Mission Ready Level 6 Advanced Accelerator that got me an internship with KeteKai.”

My Tech Internship

“At KeteKai, I worked within a team of three other interns, one other developer, and a UX designer which was great. We were going to do a re-vamp of the site. The UX designer would help by consulting with their clients to find out the easiest and best way they would like to use the Ketekai website and us developers were going to build it.  We learned a lot of different things there including some coding languages like typescript which is another version of JavaScript.” Says Cam. 

Getting a Job In Tech

“Halfway through the internship, I started applying for jobs. I applied at Learning Works for a web developer role. Learning Works are a passionate and experienced team of learning designers trainers and learning technologists who collaborate with their clients to create engaging learner-focused resources. These resources can be print-based, blended, or eLearning based.” Cam missed out on the role but after the interview, the manager and CEO liked him so much that they tailor-made him a role on their Learning Tech team.  

Get comfortable with getting uncomfortable. There is always something to learn.” – Cam Nepe

What do you really do?

“My role as an e-learning web developer allows me to learn new things all the time and apply what I’ve learned to create innovative learning solutions that serve both stakeholders and end-users. I work with the support desk to help clients that are having problems with their platforms. I help by triaging issues that could be with their database or servers. I never stopped being a teacher! I also help with the online learning team as a trainer. I help new users navigate Moodle.” 

Advice for you!

We asked Cam what advice he would give anyone looking at a career in tech.

“Get comfortable with getting uncomfortable. There is always something to learn.” If you enjoy learning and being curious and enjoy learning new things and building things, Software development or UX design might be the answer for you too! Learn more about our programmes now! 

Candidates taking the Construction Industry by Storm!

Meet Jade and Portia Ngaha, the father, daughter duo taking the construction industry by storm. 

Recently we got in touch with current students Jade and Portia to see what they had been up to lately. “Heaps!” – was the answer. They have been busy developing an app that encourages transparency and fairness in the construction industry. 

“I have been in construction a long time and noticed that fairness and transparency wasn’t always there. We had an idea for an app that could solve a lot of those problems so in 2014 we paid a developer over $100k to develop our idea and unfortunately it amounted to nothing usable. So, when covid hit, I thought, why not learn to develop myself. That’s when I started with Mission Ready HQ.” Jade said. 

Learning to Develop their App 

Jade started from scratch on our Full Stack Developer Accelerator and quickly moved to Advanced Software Developer Accelerator. Halfway through on the recommendation of Mission Director, Diana Sharma, he jumped ship and joined the Tech Founders Accelerator Program. Not long after, he encouraged his daughter Portia to join him. She completed her Full Stack Developer Accelerator and is currently helping her dad develop the app.   

“This process helped me not only learn how to develop and build what we wanted, but it helped us validate our idea and connect with so many people and experts. For example, Diana connected us up with Manaaki. Manaaki is a digital development company that aims to help Māori businesses to grow and thrive. They have been a great help.”  

Meet Jade!

Help to Develop their App 

Jade and Portia are working hard to try and have a fully functional app by the end of the year. They are putting in some serious Mahi and commitment to do so. They are in garage startup phase but loving it. You can see that they are super passionate about what they do. “Mission Ready was awesome because we had so much help. We had heaps of help from Youtube videos, classmates, and tutors. What was awesome is that you could tell that everyone really cared about us and what we were doing.” said Portia. 

“Yeah, the amount of information they squeezed into the time was amazing. I remember going to a 4th and 5th-year lecture at uni and listening to the languages that they were learning there. I remember thinking, that’s 5 or 6 years old. What we have learned is so relevant to where coding is at in the market now.” Said Jade. 

You can do it Too 

We asked the pair what they would say to that person who is scrolling through and reading this thinking, I’m not sure if I could do this, yeah that’s you! Portia was super supportive. “I’m really shy and don’t like to come out of my comfort zone much. I was nervous but I thought, just do it. Just give it a go. I remember our tutor saying, it’s not about the finished product, it’s about giving it a go and learning something along the way.” 

Meet Portia!

“Yeah, the amount of help is awesome. As a fella who has come from construction, I think coming from any background is going to help you.” – Jade. A lot of our business partners that help students to take on projects to stretch their dev, UX, or Salesforce skills, love having people from different backgrounds. Different backgrounds help to diversify the thought process. It brings in ideas and ways of solving problems that are beyond the norm of their day-to-day business.  

Jade and Portia, we here at Mission Ready HQ are already so proud of how far you have got. We look forward to checking in at the end of the year and seeing where your app is at!  

Feeling inspired? We are! If you are keen on a career in tech, have an idea, and would like to learn how to code we would be happy to have a friendly korero with you, just click the link here. 

Let’s Korero!