Could you please present yourself?
Hello everyone, my name is Martin de Frutos. I am a designer and full-stack developer and also one of the lead teachers here for Le Wagon Madrid.
How did you decide on coding and Le Wagon?
I heard about Le Wagon a couple of years back. I was working a lot in UX/UI Design for one of those big network agencies here in Madrid and as the projects became more and more digital, I realized that I had a big hole in my knowledge. And researching my options of how I could upskill myself to a more technical role I found that bootcamps there was a wide variety.
Le Wagon, specifically, I found just on the Internet. Researching and comparing the different bootcamps, Le Wagon really worked for me because it's catered to a more entrepreneurial spirit. So we focus not only on getting you a job after you graduate, which we do as well but also for someone like me who wants to kind of get away from being an employee and do my own thing.
Le Wagon provided the skills to do that, as well as a global community which allowed me to really jump into different networks in Berlin, in London, and as far as Bali and Australia, and this is what really has allowed me both to learn how to code but also grow my freelance practice. This is what I do today: I work with people around the world building digital products.
Has Le Wagon actually "changed your life"?
Oh, most definitely it has. I guess that sometimes people think that the tagline is something that's just the tagline, but as someone who has been through the process and has seen so many of my friends go through it (and of course I'm talking about people who were my friends before and then they signed up), Le Wagon does change your life in the sense that it gives you the tools to really upscale yourself. It's something that I don't even think it's so much the future, but it's the present.
I think that the truth is that any time that you upskill yourself and become a better professional, you're opening so many doors. And this is what Le Wagon does: it opens you doors to keep growing either as a junior developer or opening your own start-up. I think that it changed my life in the way that it gave me the freedom to choose, I was not again a slave of the job market but I was kind of at the forefront of it.
What comes after Le Wagon?
So I guess your life after Le Wagon is really a world of opportunity, it really depends on what you want to do. I think there are three main paths that Le Wagon students go through.
One of them is a technical role; and by technical roles I mean maybe a Junior Developer or in case you do the Data Science (course) - a data scientist for a startup, and there are roles that you would go on to work in a company where you have people that are more experienced, where you can keep upscaling.
Then the second role is a Product role. So you can learn to code not necessarily to find a job where you're coding all day, but you can work as a Product Manager at a start-up because when you learn to code you can become kind of a link between the technical side and the business or creative side. And this is kind of another path that is kind of very common for our students.
And the third one would be to become a Freelancer or a Founder, I guess, which is more of the entrepreneurial side. Well, there it's quite obvious: if you want to open a start-up, you don't have money to pay someone to build it - you learn to code you build it yourself, you're agile and you can kind of test things really quickly.
And the same time, if you have some skill from before: like for example, I've been a designer and I'm classically trained and I come from that industry, so learning code really allowed me to kind of marry what I already knew: the creativity, you know, UI design and User Experience, the ability to talk to clients and understand what they need, with the ability to make it happen and this allows me to kind of work on my own.
And Le Wagon opens these three paths - and many others - but that's kind of a summary of what my students have gone through.
You're now a Teacher at Le Wagon?
Le Wagon actually has a system that works quite well, which is you can apply to be a Teacher's Assistant right after you come out of the bootcamp, and you can go and you can help other people doing the batch right after you to be successful towards it.
And as I keep mentioning, it's a global community. So right after I came out of the bootcamp, I figured out that I could go into the Slack channel and reach out to people from Le Wagon Barcelona, Le Wagon Berlin, Le Wagon Stockholm, Le Wagon London and ask if they had availability and if I could go and T.A.
Slowly, I realized that I have a talent to speak with people; that I am quite a good public speaker and this evolved into me doing some lectures and then you know as time progressed I just kept involving myself more in the teaching side, and right now it really is one of the things that brings me the most excitement in my work life.
And I think that having the two things: being a teacher and also being able to work on large-scale projects every month, gives me a bit of both worlds. I get a lot of face time with people but in my freelance practice I'm working more on more technical side projects and it's a nice balance, and I like it.
Who would you recommend this bootcamp to?
Really, the boot camp is for everyone because it doesn't matter what industry you're working for, these technologies that we teach are no longer (in my opinion) the future, they're the present. And in every company, especially now with Covid-19 and the whole situation where people have to go outside less, all the digitalization is becoming quicker and this means that every company is going to need someone who can do even the minimum amount of code.
And, yeah, I feel that this bootcamp is for anyone - anyone who wants to be ready for their job next year, and more importantly anyone who finds that not knowing how to code is a pain in their day-to-day. That is the biggest sign that something like this would be for you:
If you feel that you have the necessity because of your work, that you all the time are having to find solutions in whatever you do around these technical things: then you definitely need to get into it and I think that is the best best way to measure whether this bootcamp is for you is: is it a necessity and if it's a necessity, I'm sure and 100% of the people who I've had to teach who needed to learn how to do their job have learned it - because in the end, it's not that hard! So you know, if you have the necessity you will be able to do it.