Hi, Simon! Please tell us about your coding journey.
I first started to learn to code in high school when I signed up for a Java course, but the traditional style of teaching didn't get me hooked. After that, my first professional experience was doing TV commercials for an advertising agency in London. Although I was passionate about design and animation, I also realized that it wasn’t something I wanted to do for a career.
Following that experience, I decided to take a gap year and move to Japan to hone my skills in judo, a lifelong passion of mine. I was training multiple times a week at Kodokan here in Tokyo, the headquarters of the worldwide judo community, and was planning to fly back after a year doing this. Six years later, I’m still here and married!
Like many foreigners in Japan, I ended up working as an English teacher. Looking for a career change, I turned to online learning resources to learn front-end development and what started as a hobby and interest quickly turned into a potential career. I finally decided it was time to give it a serious go, take it to the next level and sign up for Le Wagon.
How did the coding bootcamp help you achieve your goals?
With online courses, I would often find myself quite lost when trying to figure out what I should be learning, and I felt I needed a curriculum and a plan to move forward. Learning at Le Wagon made things click better than it had ever before, and I had the support I was looking for. I feel that the program was a great “enhancer” for everything I had already learned, and enabled me to move onto mastering more advanced concepts.
Working on my final project was the most challenging, yet rewarding part of the bootcamp. We had four people in the team, who really wanted to build something cool and that required loads of work. Learning how to communicate about web development with others, whether they are colleagues, clients, or other teams, is an essential part of the learning process.
Our final project was SplitIt, a web app for couples and friend groups to arrange their finances by splitting bills, scanning receipts and sorting them into a time frame. Before using it, my wife and I kept multiple notes and receipts so we could plug in the numbers once we got home. The process was complicated to say the least, but now we are using the app that me and my teammates built during the last weeks, and it has significantly reduced the number of arguments we have (laughs).
What did you do after graduation?
After graduation, I followed all the advice that Le Wagon teachers gave during the Career Week like setting up Linkedin and Github profiles, and reaching out to alumni for advice. The first company I applied for was one of Le Wagon’s hiring partners, CREAM, and the interview went really well. I was told I would receive a job offer the same afternoon!
In my new role, I am applying my skills daily, building apps for CREAM’s customers. The fact that everything you do goes into production and is being used really makes me excited. My plan for the next six months is to understand all the company’s products on a higher level and start doing more deployment.
On a personal note, I recently started practicing another martial art, brazilian jiu jitsu. It’s been an interesting ride so far and I’m incredibly grateful for everyone who helped me along the way!