Only a month after she started looking for a job and 2 months after she graduated from Le Wagon, Ashna landed a role as a junior mobile app developer in a startup company in London specializing in property management software. Although the company uses a completely different stack from what she learned at Le Wagon, “I sent them a video of my Demo Day,” she said, “and the CTO was really impressed.” Her company took the leap of faith and knew that she would be able to adapt quickly, since “I managed to do that (build an app from scratch) in such a short space of time,” she said. Your final project with us immediately becomes something you can add to your portfolio and something you can talk about in a job interview. Some of our alumni even continue to work on their Bootcamp projects and launch their own companies with them! You can check out Ashna’s Demo Day presentation here
But let’s rewind a bit. Before joining our web development Bootcamp in Bali, Ashna worked as a data analyst for a government organization in the UK. At the time, she had spent the last 2 years in the role, and being her first full-time job she had learned a lot, but wanted change. She was really grateful her organisation supported her wider interests and growth and allowed her to swap the office for a few days to volunteer for a charity committed to inspiring young minds through its science and technology workshops. Here she helped introduce coding concepts to kids through building and programming a Lego robot, which in turn sparked an interest in herself and she later “realized I want to learn how to code,” Ashna said. Before coming to this conclusion, Ashna knew she ”wanted to do something that was more creative” as well as make good use of her degree in Maths by directly applying her logic and problem-solving skills more.
With so many options out there, why do our students choose us? Online education is accessible, however, curriculums not only vary greatly from program to program but “it’s hard to keep it up” as well, Ashna said, so she decided to find a formal environment to learn it in. When she was researching different programs, she found Le Wagon to be the top-rated coding Bootcamp and she attended one of the Demo Days “and was really impressed by what they achieved in just 9 weeks.” Demo Days are where students from the Bootcamp present the apps they’ve built from scratch during the last 2 weeks of the program. It’s a chance for them to show what they’ve achieved and the public is invited; recruiters sometimes use this opportunity to scout for fresh talent! (To come see the magic happen yourself, check out our website for details on upcoming Demo Days)
While not every student’s proposed idea is turned into a final project, we strongly encourage every student to participate in pitching their ideas! For Ashna, her pitch was selected and that turned out to be such an advantage later on when she was looking for a job. Not only did she feel challenged learning to code with Le Wagon, but it also took her out of her comfort zone. “I’m not someone who likes public speaking,” she said. So in addition to learning to code, experiences like “Demo Day developed my soft skills,” she said, “and I gained a lot of confidence as well.”
We hear this quite often from graduates, and it’s the sentiment that they want a change or a fresh challenge. For many of us, we reach a ceiling at work, there is no longer a chance to go up in the company, or it’s very difficult to pivot horizontally. This feeling becomes stronger until you decide you’re completely unhappy and something needs to change. If working harder isn’t the solution, then the only thing you can do is find a new role, either within the company or out of it, It’s a great chance to reflect on your career so far and decide if it’s what you want to continue doing, or if you need to pivot altogether. The appeal of being a developer is that you’re always learning. The ceiling, if there even is one, is relatively impossible to reach. For Ashna, she’s “definitely enjoying (her) new role learning lots and solving problems every single day,” she said, it has also been very rewarding when “changes I’ve made go live in the app stores and knowing people are using it.”
While she was looking for a job, Ashna continued improving her newfound coding skills by connecting with the Le Wagon network. Since 2 other people from her batch also live in London, they “did a little project together as a team to keep up our coding skills,” she said. While building up her CV, she also asked for help on the Slack channels as well – one of the many resources available to all of our alumni. She noted that overall, she had a lot of fun, “there was a real sense of community and we were looked after by all the staff from day one,” she said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”