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Why I chose an online bootcamp over self-teaching

Our online graduates had experienced self-learning online, so why did they decide to attend a bootcamp? Read more to explore the key reasons these alumni begun their journey into tech through our online bootcamp, helping them land a job as Software Developers or a Data Specialist.

We previously explored self-teaching vs In-Person bootcamp from the view of our London campus graduates. And we’ve written a handy guide on things to consider when deciding which path to take. Now it’s time for our 2023 online bootcamp graduates to have their say.

Seb, now Junior Software Developer 

“Learning web development on your own with no prior knowledge is daunting. There are so many languages and frameworks to pick up that I didn’t even know where to start. On top of that, it’s difficult to stay consistent when you’re only working to self-imposed deadlines. These are the two main reasons I decided to go down the bootcamp route, so I’d have a clear learning path to follow and deadlines to meet, which meant I had to stay consistent with my learning.

Before the Web Development bootcamp I didn’t think learning with a community was important, but during my time at Le Wagon, I realised how vital community is to a career change. Learning web development is difficult and some of the concepts are abstract, which can be frustrating. Having teachers who have been through the process, giving advice and explaining concepts to you is extremely important. On top of that, having other students to talk to about your struggles with makes you realise that everyone is going through the same thing; it’s not just you.

The community also makes the job search after Le Wagon a much easier process.”

Margarita, now Junior Full Stack Developer

“It wasn’t just the teachers or the TAs who were there for us during helpdesk or answering questions on Slack. Le Wagon made us feel like part of a learning community where we all had a different understanding of programming, with varying experiences and from all sorts of backgrounds. It brought us together, and we supported each other. Where I could help, I’d offer my support, and where I struggled, I’d ask for help.

I tried online self-paced courses more than once, and mainly struggled with the lack of structure and solid foundation to progress along the course. So, I kept falling behind and struggling to follow along or even ask questions. It takes a certain amount of self-discipline and time to learn by yourself, and it definitely is doable; it’s just not for everyone. I wanted support and structure, and that’s why I ended up signing up for a Web Development bootcamp.”

Isabelle, now Data and Analytics Specialist

“The Data Science Bootcamp helped me refine my Python and cloud computing skills, which I use regularly on the day-to-day. It also gave me a good understanding of data science and statistics, which has opened doors to contribute to different types of projects in my company.

I was almost entirely self-taught before enrolling with Le Wagon. Most of what I taught myself, I learned through copying other people’s code. As I progressed in my career, I worked more closely with software engineers and was expected to write code closer to engineering standards. This pushed me to explore more formal education in coding and data analysis.

Having a community to support you as you learn new technical skills is essential. At work, I regularly need to ask my colleagues in the engineering department questions, and it helps me move through bugs and coding problems much faster than if I worked alone. As my Le Wagon experience was fully remote, it was incredibly beneficial to have community chats and group calls to talk about the problems we were working on.”

When it comes to learning new skills, it’s always important to explore various options and pick what’s right for you at every step of the way. Isabelle had a passion for Python and had already developed skills that gave her access to the Data Science bootcamp to further those skills. At the same time, many alumni joined the Data Analytics bootcamp interested in developing a foundation in Python and other Data skills.

Continue to learn and adapt, and you’ll thrive in your career!

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