Memories of Batch #382’s Web Development Bootcamp, with Ulaş Savkin

"If I had to describe Le Wagon Istanbul in one sentence, I would describe it with a question, posed to future students, by asking: “Are you ready to change your life?” In this context I’m extremely happy that Le Wagon came to Istanbul."
I really wanted to discover how to code quickly and efficiently
Before I joined Le Wagon I was studying Linguistics at Istanbul University and at the same time I was trading on the stock and crypto currency markets in addition to a few side jobs in the hospitality industry.  I was already very interested in tech but the problem was that I didn’t have the necessary knowledge. 
In terms of coding, and coding languages, I didn’t understand the structure of websites or anything about APIs, so I really wanted to discover how to code quickly and efficiently. That’s when I started to search for a good bootcamp, which is also when I discovered that Le Wagon was launching their first bootcamp in Istanbul! 
Le Wagon is extremely fast paced, but it’s definitely worth it. 
I would say that other than the 30-40 hours of mandatory prep work that you need to do before joining Le Wagon, I was pretty much a complete beginner. I had done a little bit of self-taught coding using online platforms, and that probably gave me a little too much confidence. When I started the bootcamp I thought, I’ve got this covered, but by the end of the first week I realized just how little I knew at the time.
I was very surprised by just how much information you need to process when you want to learn how to code. In this context, Le Wagon is extremely fast paced, it never lets you just sit back, relax and absorb the information. It keeps you on your toes and just keeps loading you with new information, which is a challenge, but it’s definitely worth it. 
I can say that the assistance you get is the biggest difference between learning by yourself and learning with Le Wagon. But ultimately in my opinion, the strength of the community and the structure of the curriculum was amazing. It was extremely well prepared and being surrounded by like-minded people created a great atmosphere. Every day you were assigned a buddy of the day, allowing you to learn and help each other, in turn growing as a person. 
It was tough, but I learned a lot about myself, and about code
Before I joined Le Wagon I had a hard time working with groups. I’m more of an individual person, but after graduating I felt I learned how to work with teams and I also learned how to accommodate different characters and personalities.  I also discovered that I can take lots of pressure and I can be a lot more disciplined than I expected. It requires lots of hard work to complete Le Wagon and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to complete the bootcamp. In that sense, it taught me that if you put enough energy into anything, you can achieve it.
There were two things that surprised me the most about learning how to code. Firstly, the amount of logic involved in coding. Secondly, how unrelated coding is to mathematics. Fundamentally, coding is really about trying to solve a problem, without making your solutions more complex than they need to be. 
I have the necessary skills and enthusiasm to get the job done
Thanks to Le Wagon, which is a full stack program teaching both front-and back-end, I was able to discover a passion for back-end coding. Now that I’ve graduated, I will be applying to back-end Junior Software Developer positions knowing that I have the necessary skills and enthusiasm to get the job done. I could imagine myself living somewhere with clean cold weather, like Norway, working at a cool software company, solving real world problems with code.  
It was touching to know that the teachers were there to help us instantly
The curriculum, with its emphasis on practical based learning through coding challenges, was an extremely effective way of learning how to code. I really enjoyed it and I wish they taught everything like this in the traditional education system. It was really life changing for me to attend this kind of education program. The teachers of course played an important role. I liked them as characters and although their knowledge and experience were incredible, they were also helpful and friendly. Instead of making us feel embarrassed by our occasional ignorance, they inspired us to keep going. It was touching to know that they were there to help us instantly whenever we got stuck.
The campus was a brilliant learning environment
The campus was great, it was accessible and in the heart of Istanbul. We really benefited from it’s great design the layout, which had a great view of the Bosporus.  Taking a look at the view was the perfect way to unwind if you were stuck on a coding challenge. You could just stretch out and soak up the view, which helped a lot. The environment was even better because with that many like minded people together in one place, it was very cozy, time really flew by. You don’t even know what day it is, you just sleep eat and code.  
Since graduating I’ve also been checking Le Wagon’s Slack channels for job opportunities.
After the 9-week bootcamp, Le Wagon Istanbul offered a “Career Week” for free. Because of Covid-19 this had to take place digitally. However, it was still a great opportunity to meet with lots of alumni from previous batches who have gotten jobs in the tech industry. We were touched by their stories and journeys, and they provided in-depth insights into what it’s like to be a software developer. 
They explained what a typical day looks like, what challenges they face, and what are the expectations of employers if you are a junior. This really changed my perspective and improved my confidence. It was comforting knowing that I could reach out to them for help whenever I needed advice on the next steps after the bootcamp. Since graduating I’ve also been checking Le Wagon’s Slack channels daily for job opportunities. 
Le Wagon was life changing
I enjoyed the projects weeks the most. During the last 2 weeks we were putting everything we learned into practice, discussing new features we should add, and we were acting like a real software development team. I learned some magical things with Rails that were extremely helpful. Learning Ruby in the first week was also brilliant. It was an easy-going language using simple English and I was expecting it to be much more complicated than it was. Le Wagon was life changing, and if you are eager to learn, and if you really enjoy coding, then it’s the perfect place to be. 
If I had to describe Le Wagon Istanbul in one sentence, I would describe it with a question, posed to future students, by asking: “Are you ready to change your life?” In this context I’m extremely happy that Le Wagon came to Istanbul. It will really help young people like me in Turkey by giving them an opportunity to change their lives in their homeland. These alumni will have a very positive effect on the tech ecosystem in Turkey. I would go as far as to say that if I was bringing up a child today, after High School I would send them to Le Wagon straight away, that’s how powerful the program is.
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