"My biggest piece of advice: do it. Le Wagon really made my career so much richer, giving me those extra skills that I needed to land a job in tech."
Hi Roel, can you please introduce yourself?
Hello I’m Roel, and I'm a Software Engineer at Rodeo
and a Freelance Teacher at Le Wagon. I'm originally from The Netherlands and I did the full-time Web Development bootcamp batch #38 in Amsterdam.
What were you doing before joining Le Wagon?
I studied Social Science for my bachelor's degree and then I did a master’s in Business Administration: Entrepreneurship & Innovation. With this being said, I was always interested in the startup world. I knew that I either wanted to start my own business or work for a company that was in its early stages.
Before the start of the bootcamp, I was actually studying abroad. I sadly ran out of money which meant that it was time to come back to the Netherlands. This is when I discovered that, at the time, the Dutch government had a program in place to help people who were done with their studies -but didn’t have a job yet- gain technical skills. Having done some research on the coding academies, I felt the best fit with Le Wagon and chose to pursue the program and join!
When I joined, I didn’t know much about the different languages or about Software Development in general. Having the feeling that this technical side was missing, I knew that Le Wagon was the right choice for me. I didn’t want to just learn a little bit, but I wanted to go all in and learn how to build something from the ground up, which is why Le Wagon was the right choice for me.
What was your experience at the bootcamp?
In the beginning, it was quite difficult for me, mostly because I had to step out for a week due to personal reasons. Luckily, I managed to catch up, taking on a few extra hours during the week to make sure that I didn’t fall behind. I really wanted to succeed and make sure that I got the most out of my experience. Around the time of the OOP (object oriented programming) module things really started to come together for me. I really enjoyed learning how to organize your program, splitting up pieces of code by their task. Also, this was the module where we started to build real applications, albeit offline in the terminal.
I also really enjoyed the project weeks where, along with my team, we built a web application from start to finish. I worked with a really nice team and we all had a great time building something together. Overall, it was a lot of fun!
What made you want to change careers?
Having a flexible working environment was a big pull for me when it came to my career. I really enjoy the fact that I can continue to work within a team in my day-to-day job while also having the freedom to teach on the side. I’m currently working on-site in Amsterdam four days a week, so I have the flexibility to work on my own projects as well. I also really like having both the opportunity to work in a social environment while still having the freedom to work remotely and have flexibility on my schedule if needed.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your journey?
After graduating, I began working as a TA (teaching assistant), staying close to the Le Wagon community. Since then, I’ve continued working with Le Wagon as a Teacher in Amsterdam, Madrid, and London. I truly enjoy it, so I really try to combine this teaching work while I work part-time in my current position as a Software Engineer.
After graduating I found a job at Accenture as a Software Engineering Analyst. After working here for a few months, I decided that I’d like to move into a more hands on environment in order to improve skill wise, thus I moved to a startup. I then began working first as a Junior Developer at RestaurantKaart, growing into Technical Lead over 3 years. This was a great environment to learn as there were people who were more experienced than I was and we were able to work collaboratively. During this time, I really learnt a lot and built up more confidence in the field.
Following this, I was ready for some change. Flash forward to today, I’m working as a Software Engineer at Rodeo. In my current role, I’m mostly working in TypeScript and we’re in a slightly bigger team. As a developer, you’re always learning new skills and that’s something I really enjoy about the job. Currently we're working at migrating a legacy system into something that's ready for growth, which is a process that I'm really happy to be a part of, because I think I will make me more of a well-rounded software engineer.
What was the most rewarding part of the bootcamp?
I remember being both surprised and impressed seeing what is possible to achieve in just two months. Looking back over the years, the most beneficial part is how joining the bootcamp got the ball rolling for my career in Software Development. Also, being involved in the bootcamp now as a teacher, it is very rewarding to be able to explain the concepts to new students. Recently, I was teaching in London for two weeks and being there everyday, I really built a connection with the students. It’s great watching them go on their paths and it’s extremely rewarding to contribute to their success and help out where I can.
What was your experience upon leaving Le Wagon?
After graduating, I started applying immediately to jobs to see what I could find. I had technical assessments to complete for two roles and I actually got offers for both of them. One of which was at Accenture, which at the time felt like the perfect combination of my new technical skills along with my background in business.
Do you have any final advice for potential applicants?
My biggest piece of advice: do it. Le Wagon really made my career so much richer, giving me those extra skills that I needed to land a job in tech. If you end up as a full-time Software Engineer then that’s great, but if not, you’ll definitely still have the extra edge on your being a good product owner or being able to speak the same language as developers in your company for instance. Le Wagon will give you what you need to either find a place in tech or become a full blown developer.
Thank you Roel!