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Meet Paula: From Cellist to Software Engineer!

Looking to change her career and jump into the world of tech, Paula did the Web Development bootcamp part-time. Only a few weeks after graduating, she landing a job as a Junior Software Engineer at booking.com.
"If you're thinking of joining the Le Wagon community, just do it. In a matter of weeks, you’ll be in a totally different place in your career."

Hi Paula, can you please introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Paula and I’m originally from Spain. I have a background in classical music, having worked as a cellist for many years. I joined Le Wagon to change my career and jump into the world of tech! 

I actually studied performing arts in Italy, completing a Master's in cello performance. I then moved to Spain where I studied musical education. Following this, I moved to the Netherlands for my husbands work, which is where I discovered Le Wagon.
Paula playing the cello

What made you decide to join the Le Wagon community? 

I was always interested in computer science and programming. Having said that, after finishing high school, I was sure that I wanted to pursue a career in music, but I also wanted to do something else. I was actually debating between computer science and economics, and finally made the decision to study economics, but always wished that I had taken the computer science route. This is what made me take the leap and begin to learn to code on my own, which is when I absolutely fell in love with coding. 

What made you learn to code in a part-time format? 

During the time of application, I was working two jobs and I’m also a mom. For me, doing the bootcamp part-time made the most sense as it allowed me to carry on with my other full-time commitments. 

I also really enjoyed that with the part-time format, you have a little bit more time for this new knowledge to sink in. Having said this, consequently you don’t change careers as quickly, but overall, I’m really happy with my choice of learning part-time. 

What was your favourite aspect of the bootcamp? 

I found the on-campus experience really great. It was very helpful to have your teachers there as well as to physically work in person with your buddy for the day. 

I also really liked the curriculum as I found that it was very well structured. You start from the very beginning and then you end up with a full comprehension of everything. 

Last, but not least, with Le Wagon, the community aspect really stands out in comparison to other bootcamps. You get many networking and hiring opportunities, a full career week and various community events throughout and after the bootcamp. 

How does this bootcamp format compare to your previous experiences? 

Just like with a bootcamp, studying music is very intensive. You need to practice every day and it takes longer to master. This is very similar to coding, as there is always something new to learn or master. I believe that my experience as a cellist helped me in this sense, as I was more used to this intensive learning format. 

How was your experience finding your first job after the bootcamp? 

With coding, there’s always room to learn. Having said that, this feeling that I had at first of not necessarily feeling ready to jump into the world of tech was completely normal. I just started to apply and I found this opportunity for a traineeship program only two weeks after graduating. This was actually my first interview in the industry, and I ended up landing the role within the month!

Beginning in September, I will be a Junior Software Engineer at booking.com. The job itself is sort of a traineeship where I’ll be rotating between various roles for the first fifteen months. This is really great as it allows you to discover which side of developing you prefer as well as which one you’re better in. You’re then promoted after the first 15 months depending on which side you thrived in. 

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of doing the bootcamp? 

If you're thinking of joining the Le Wagon community, just do it. In a matter of weeks, you’ll be in a totally different place in your career. 

Thank you, Paula! 

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