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From Economist to web developer in 9 weeks

Marcelo Bentivoglio used to worked in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs for 4 years. He decided to learn how to code and after completing Le Wagon, he is now launching his own product: MVP Invest
The post below was originally published on Medium.

As most of natural Entrepreneurs, I was full of ideas and I liked to indulge in fantasy about striking a great product. Fill my head with make-believe online courses and tutorials in CSS, HTML, Javascript, Python, Ruby, etc. It was fun but no productive.

I’ve worked in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs for 4 years straight from a full year internship program into a great experience in New York working with great professionals who I really admire. I was working hard trying to place myself as a good employee and bringing new ideas to the table. However, the bank is Huge and meritocracy turned into long term career program. I wasn’t looking for that, I wanted to build from my own hands. Tried consulting for 2 years after Banking, got a great spot as leader in one the biggest success turnaround in Brazilian market helping companies negotiate more than 1bi brl in debt.

I decided to start my own business in 2015. My goal was very simple, help fast growing business grow faster. Sounds controversial but in fact many business run out of cash during growing periods and that’s when I came in, providing cash flow in a smart and fashion way, no bureaucracy I promised.

My first try was hiring a software company to start develop the product I was interested in. A kind of marketplace to help those growing business fund their invoices with better investors. I spent cash and time, nothing worked. My second try was to hire someone to start coding, during the interviews I was like “What I’m trying to evaluate here? I don’t even know why people keep repeating Java and Javascript, aren’t the same thing?”. Funny tough.

So, 2017 was THE year. I started fulling myself of online courses, tutorials, books, podcasts etc. I created my very first website with HTML, CSS and a very little of Javascript (at that time I already knew the difference). Ok, now next step, create a web application, a real product! Nothing I was working with could push me from knowing syntax to create a real product. How to connect front-end to back-end? How to create good schemas and software architecture? No tutorial could teach me that in time. I was struggling.

My Journey at Le Wagon

Regularly getting earlier, preparing myself to day class, getting my buddies coffee (I confess, never prepared the coffee) and kept myself really motivated. Formula to success. I did everything I could, every minute I had I was studying (or relaxing to empower the brain). First two weeks we learned bunch of syntax in Ruby. After that we started working with databases and first concepts of CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete). Then, we moved forward to Front-end, really hands on techniques to faster your development. Our batch sticked together, as a team, helping each other evolve. Finally everything were put together, we started develop our first web application using Rails, magic happened.

All preparations were meaningfully and every hour coding was worth it. At last 10 final days we had a challenge to build a product and show that product at Sao Paulo Google campus in a Open demoday to the community. If you want to check what we did, please check it out at mvpinvest.com.br. You can also watch our demoday (in Portuguese).

On a lighter note, I finished Le Wagon’s Bootcamp more motivated than ever, it really was 9 weeks that changed my skills set completely, I still working out to improve myself as I coder but now I know how to navigate in this open ocean.

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