Edouard used to spend time telling jokes on stage and making money out of this. But one day, He decided to shift his focus and try to do something new. He wanted to get into web development, and Le Wagon seemed like the most cost and time-efficient way to do it. He doesn't regret it!
Can you introduce yourself? What were you doing before you joined Le Wagon?
I’m Edouard De Prez. I studied linguistics and literature at university, then I spent five years trying to become a professional comedian. Telling jokes on stage became half of my income for a couple of years. I’m very grateful for this part of my life, but I decided to shift my focus and try to do something new. I wanted to get into web development, and Le Wagon seemed like the most cost and time-efficient way to do it.
What made you want to choose Le Wagon?
I had heard a success story from a guy I went to high school with. He had done Le Wagon and found a job pretty quickly, so I thought I might be able to do that too. I love the intensity of Le Wagon. It’s a two-month sprint, it requires all your focus and there’s no messing around. This matches well with how my brain works. I get bored with things quite fast, so if I had taken another course that took 6 months, I probably would’ve lost focus at some point.
After joining Le Wagon, I realized that I didn’t have to take detours anymore. I could just take what I wanted and code it without needing intermediaries.
Had you already started learning to code?
I wrote my first line of code doing the Bootcamp prep work on Codecademy. I had a lot of experience making and maintaining WordPress websites, but I was always limited to the point and click part of it. I used to spend way too much time scouring the web to find that one perfect WordPress template that fit exactly what I envisioned in my mind. After joining Le Wagon, I realized that I didn’t have to take detours anymore. I could just take what I wanted and code it without needing intermediaries.
What marked your experience at Le Wagon?
I thought it was wonderful from start to finish. The material was super well-paced. It was not too fast, nor too slow. The fast pace kept me on my toes and there was no opportunity to get bored. The teachers were great, they were able to answer all of my questions.
Sometimes, when something didn’t go my way, I got frustrated and I let my stubbornness get the best of me. It’s good to take a step back, exercise some patience, and attack things with a clear mind. I am not a naturally patient person and this is still my biggest obstacle.
Can you tell us more about the product you developed during your last two weeks at Le Wagon?
We made SafeMy.Bike, basically an AirBNB but instead of rooms, we had garages and instead of people, we had expensive bikes. The idea was: if you have an expensive e-bike, you don’t want to park it on the street, so now you could rent a spot in someone’s garage near your work. It’s a billion-dollar idea and when the day inevitably comes when AirBNB implements it on their website, we will be ready to sue the living shit out of them. We paid for the domain, that gives us eternal copyright, right? RIGHT? (laughs)
How did you manage to stay motivated throughout the training?
I loved coding! I loved the challenge of it. Every exercise was like a puzzle to get through. Le Wagon does a tremendous job of ‘gamifying’ your progress. Every time you get a small part of an exercise right, you get a green message on your screen. It’s super rewarding and it kept me motivated to push through when things got frustrating.
What also helped is that I mostly stopped coding for the day after I left the classroom. I exerted all my energy in that room and I used the rest of the day to rest. Sleep is important...whether in the train, at night, or during the live code (laughs).
How was life after Le Wagon? What was your first job? Are you happy about this turn in your life?
The week after Le Wagon, I started sending around my resumé (which looked better than it should have thanks to the cv guide provided by Le Wagon). I spoke to some companies and after three weeks I started my first workday at Student.be. Since then I’ve been working on a new, updated, modern version of their website (it’s not online yet). We use Ruby On Rails, which is great for me, and we use React, which is awesome to learn.
I like that Student.be has a bit of a start-up atmosphere. There are about ten employees and I enjoy that I get to be part of the decision-making process and that I get a lot of responsibilities. It’s teaching me a lot very fast.
I am super happy about my decision to become a web developer. I feel like I should’ve done this 10 years ago, but then again, Le Wagon didn’t exist back then, so I’m quite happy with how things turned out.What are your tips for those who want to become a dev after the training?
I didn’t code a lot after Le Wagon hours, but I did spend a lot of time researching the development world. I watched a lot of youtube videos on different programming languages and paradigms, I learned about different frameworks and generally tried to inform myself of ‘the state of the industry’. This helped a lot in interviews. Something that I’ve started to realize recently, is that it pays to read the WHOLE article you found on Google trying to solve a problem. Most of the time you just want to hack your way to a solution as fast as you can and you just pick out the nugget of information you need for your specific bug. But it really does pay dividends long term if you sit down and take the time to read the whole article from start to finish. Even if it takes a staggering 6 to 8 minutes. (I know, an eternity!) Getting a more profound understanding of concepts might prevent you from having to google it at all in the future.
Le Wagon is a community above all. Has this network been useful to you?
Yes it has, immensely! One of my Le Wagon teachers recommended me to my current employer. He’s basically the reason I have a job!
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