Erlend Hellum (39, chief strategist at the Government Pension Fund Norway, had long wanted to learn to code. With two children and a demanding job, Noroff Accelerate's flexible, online bootcamp was the perfect solution to achieve his goal.


- The bootcamp format was very good. It was intense, but if you are motivated, you can do it. Had it been a program over a year or two, it would have been tougher, but ten weeks is achievable for most. It is a format that I think suits me, and my peers, very well, says Erlend Hellum.

He completed the bootcamp "Programming with Python" before Christmas 2021. He had zero experience with coding before but had long had a desire to learn it.

- It is obvious that coding is the future. When I worked at Norges Bank, I saw that the new graduates who came in had a different skill set than my generation. They could solve tasks in a different way than me, and I saw how powerful these tools could be. A lot of my job is to analyze information and data, so knowledge in Python programming will be useful. It can automate processes, as well as sort and calculate data. That is helpful when making investment decisions, says Hellum.

- It is easy to the value Python can offer in my work.


Career + family + learning

Hellum has a degree in economics and has worked in finance for many years, including ten years at Norges Bank, and a couple of years in at The Federal Reserve Bank of New York in USA. For the past year or so, he has worked as chief strategist at the Government Pension Fund Norway, a fund that manages more than 30 billion euros of Norway's assets. Among other things, he is responsible for creating investment strategies and ensuring good investment decisions.

He says that he mostly works long hours and that he is also quite busy at home with two small children.

- To work 150 percent, have two children, and at the same time sign up for a bootcamp, you must like a little bit of pain, he says laughing.

- I liked that the bootcamp had a good structure, with lectures and assignments, and flexibility to work when it suited your schedule. It was a great way to work, he says.

- My goal was to get up to a minimum level, to get a basic understanding of what Python programming is about. I have previously searched a lot on YouTube and Google, but I found it was a jungle of information. At the bootcamp, it was clearly defined what I needed, says Hellum.

He acknowledges that he probably should have spent more time studying during the ten weeks, had it not been for a busy job schedule, but he still got what he came for.

- I work a lot in Excel-sheets, but I have felt like a dinosaur when it comes to programming. Now, I have a basic understanding of Python, and that was what I was looking for. I have something to build on, he says.

Read more: Top five reasons you should learn Python programming


Moving out of Excel

Hellum is looking forward to using his new coding knowledge, and to explore the possibilities that lie in Python.

For people who work full time, I think this format works very well.Erlend Hellum

- I want to use it to handle large amounts of data. I update a huge number of Excel sheets, and I want to automate some of this. I want to use Python as a tool to make good investment decisions, says Hellum.

The mission of the Government Pension Fund Norway is to be a responsible manager of public financial assets, through wise investments. It is reassuring for the Norwegian people that the chief strategist now has a new powerful tool to make smart decisions.

Hellum has the following advice for others who are thinking of learning Python programming.

- If you are curious about this, then ten weeks is an investment of time that is affordable. You learn the basics and it is very applied, he says.

- For people who work full time, I think this format works very well, he says.


Do you think Python-programming skills can boost your career? Read more about the bootcamp «Programmering med Pyhton»


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