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Learning to code to become a Product Owner: Léa’s story

Après cinq ans de carrière marketing dans le milieu agroalimentaire, Léa a rejoint Le Wagon pour développer des compétences techniques et poursuivre sa passion pour les produits web. Découvrez son parcours et comment le bootcamp lui a ouvert de nouveaux horizons professionnels.

What’s your background, and why did you decide to learn how to code?

After studying in a business school, I worked for five years in sales and marketing for companies in the food industry (Unilever, Bel, and Nestlé).

My work revolved around the product, data analysis, and reporting, and I quickly felt the need to develop technical skills. I wanted to automate my tasks as much as possible, understand how to boost our online presence, and improve the performance of our websites. I was frustrated that I couldn't do it myself.

Learning to code seemed like a necessity. I started taking online courses but I didn’t know where to start and found it hard to motivate myself. That's when I got interested in bootcamps.

Why did you choose Le Wagon?

Le Wagon's web development program seemed to be precisely what I needed: a team of professionals with a well-tested syllabus to teach me how to create web products from scratch. How promising!

I started watching the Demo Day videos. It was super inspiring to see all these new ideas come to life. I thought that Le Wagon would give me the tools I needed to build great web applications. 

What did you like best about your bootcamp experience?

My experience definitely exceeded my expectations! 

I came out of the bootcamp with technical skills, some unique opportunities, and a network. It's such a rewarding investment!

Thanks to Le Wagon, I learned to code and got my foot in the tech industry. The team organized many events to meet experienced professionals and inspiring entrepreneurs. We were constantly in contact with the startup ecosystem. It was an excellent opportunity to network! 

What I liked the most was the human aspect. Le Wagon’s team was always there to support me and help me progress. 

The teachers had already participated in the bootcamp and knew exactly what difficulties we were facing. Whatever our needs, we could always count on the teachers or staff to help us find a solution and cheer us up!

The students and alumni are a great community of open-minded people with diverse backgrounds and ambitions. I met people that I might not have known otherwise. Along with the caring culture of Le Wagon, it's the perfect combination to feel comfortable, have fun and enjoy every moment of such an intensive experience.

What did you do after the bootcamp? 

I joined Centech (a Montreal-based business incubator) with two other students to develop a project idea in the health field.

I found the Centech format very interesting. I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and was able to extend my professional network.

Then I joined a startup as a project manager. It was a very enriching experience, but I felt that I needed to join a larger structure to have a successful career switch. I wanted to work with more senior profiles and learn how to manage projects on a larger scale.

So I joined the Dynamite team where I work as a Product Owner (PO).

What are your responsibilities as a Product Owner? 

I’m in charge of Dynamite's websites for Canada, the United States, and internationally.

My role consists of filtering all the requests to improve the website’s user experience and translating them into specifications for the team of developers.

As a Product Owner, I have to understand all the aspects of the product, from the marketing, financial, and UX needs to the challenges of development, quality, and deployment. My goal is to make sure that everyone understands each other and produces the result expected by the user.

How do you use the skills you acquired at Le Wagon?

Understanding the technical jargon is essential for everyone to understand each other. I learned these basics with Le Wagon.

On the one hand, I can have technical conversations and understand the challenges faced by developers. On the other hand, I can simplify information for those who are not tech-savvy. 

Le Wagon’s training helped me understand the technical aspect of the product, so I don’t get limited in my professional growth. Without knowing the basics of coding, a PO can quickly feel overwhelmed and unconvincing to his team.

On top of that, Le Wagon not only trains you in coding but also in product training! The program gave me the vision to create, develop, and pitch a product from scratch.

You’re also a teacher at Le Wagon, especially for the Product Design Sprint. Can you tell us what this day consists of and why it’s important?

The Product Design Sprint is a full day to learn how to build a prototype. Students start with an idea, define the problem they’re trying to solve, and design potential solutions through a user journey and wireframes.

The prototype is a way to validate a basic idea. What impressed me the most is that Le Wagon gives an overview of the most critical steps of product creation in just one day. And at the end, you get a first MVP (Minimum Viable Product), so an already functional application!

Any advice for those who want to become a Product Owner?

To become a Product Owner, you shouldn't be afraid to learn things you don't know about and keep up with new tech trends. 

It's a new job, and there is no silver bullet. You have to dare to learn by yourself, be curious, and be bold. 

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