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From Brewer to Web Developer: Clayton’s Story

A brewer for five years, Clayton decided to learn web development skills on his own during the pandemic. When he realized he truly enjoyed it and wanted to land a job in the field, he decided to join Le Wagon’s bootcamp. Today, he’s a Full-Stack Developer at Life House.

Tell us about your background 

I had been working as a craft brewer for almost five years. When the pandemic began and breweries were shut down, I started learning python to pass the time and learn something potentially useful, with no specific outcome in mind. 

When the brewery shutdown became indefinite, I started to take coding more seriously. I started applying for jobs while trying to learn other requirements on my own, but my learning lacked structure and direction. That’s when I started looking into  bootcamps.

Why did you decide to learn web development? 

Web development opens up a lot of possibilities, and I enjoy the creativity that can go into solving problems. 

Also, if I was going to change careers, I wanted it to be in a profession where it wasn’t only one segment of companies that could benefit from my skills. I wanted to do something that gave me some flexibility and a variety of potential employers. 

Why did you choose Le Wagon?

It was tough to choose between all the bootcamps, but I went with Le Wagon for a few reasons. 

The price was very competitive compared to others. 

The hours were intense but didn’t seem to the point of causing a burnout like I thought could happen elsewhere.

I had only read positive reviews. I spoke with a colleague of a friend who had done it a year or so prior and who had a great experience. Whereas I had read and heard mixed experiences about other bootcamps.

I also thought the curriculum was unique with Ruby and thought it could be a differentiator in a job hunt.

What did you like the most about your experience at Le Wagon?

I enjoyed the learning-by-doing methodology. You learn some theory in the morning and spend the rest of the day going through problems that solidify what you just learned.

 Each challenge gets more and more complex, so if you understand it well and go through the problems quickly, the next one will force you to be even more in-depth.  

Now you’re working as a Full-Stack Developer at Life House. What’s your day-to-day like?

My responsibilities are to meet the acceptance criteria of the feature I’m working on, write tests to prove it, and review the code of my teammates.

We work in two-week sprints with defined goals. We work closely with the product team to define what is needed from a feature and what behavior they expect. We break up those behaviors into front-end and back-end tickets. Then team members choose tickets and get to work, collaborating and meeting when necessary. 

How do you use the skills you learned at Le Wagon in your job?

While I’m not using the exact stack taught at Le Wagon in my current job, the programming foundations, work ethic, problem-solving, and team collaboration are all skills I transferred to Life House. 

The project weeks we went through at the end of the bootcamp are very similar to the development cycle we use at work.

Do you have any advice for someone who’s looking for a tech job?

Choose something widely used and not taught in-depth at the bootcamp,  learn it, and build something with it. 

Show that you are motivated to learn and can do so on your own. 

Follow up with any connection you have in an even vaguely tech-related field and see if they are looking for people. 

When you get an interview, figure out what in their requirements you’ve never used before (there will be a lot) and start reading documentation and following tutorials so when the interview comes, you can at least know a little and show initiative.
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