Aug 14 2022

Meet Sander: From Freelance Journalist to Fullstack Developer!

After working as a freelance sports journalist, Sander joined Le Wagon's web development bootcamp looking to change careers and challenge himself. Learn more about his journey and how he landed a role as a Full-stack developer.

Lynsey Cook
Lynsey Cook

6min read

Meet Sander: From Freelance Journalist to Fullstack Developer!
“If you want to change your career, just do it. It’s truly a life-changing experience. If you’re open to learning, this is the perfect environment to get a kick-start in tech as a developer.”

Hi Sander, can you please introduce yourself?

Hello, I’m Sander and I’m 30 years old. I’m Dutch and I'm currently living in Leiden, but I have lived in a few cities in the Netherlands throughout the years. I recently graduated from Le Wagon Amsterdam's web development course and am now working as a Full-stack Developer! 

What were you doing before joining Le Wagon?

Before Le Wagon, I was working as a journalist. I graduated in journalism back in 2016 and worked as a freelance sports journalist for a variety of newspapers and magazines. After a few years into my career, I no longer felt the same sense of satisfaction as a journalist that I once did. Although I really enjoyed the work that I was doing, I no longer felt challenged, which was a necessity for me. 

Having always had an interest for computers, I knew that web development would be a great next step for me. Additionally, I’ve always really enjoyed playing around with website creation, and in my previous jobs, I was the go-to person when it came to anything surrounding technology. This is really what pushed me into the direction of the bootcamp.

When it came time to choose the next step in my career, I knew that I didn’t want to go back to long studies or take part in a 24 month graduates program, so a bootcamp was the perfect option for me. After doing lots of research, it became apparent that Le Wagon was very well rated and therefore the perfect choice for me.  

What made you decide to do the bootcamp in Amsterdam?

When looking to upskill, I was already living in the Hague. I knew that I wanted an in-person learning experience, so joining the Amsterdam bootcamp was the clear choice! 

How was your experience at the bootcamp?

I learned so much during my time at Le Wagon. The first few weeks were very intense, especially as it was my first time learning any programming languages. It’s now incredible to think back and realize that after only a few weeks of training, we were already building our own projects. This was such a great feeling.

Another aspect that is great to think back on, are the various skills acquired throughout the bootcamps. Aside from the hard skills that you learn, you also learn many valuable soft skills such as pitching products, public speaking, working in a team, and even leading a team. The bootcamp brought out sides of me that I didn't know existed and truly pushed me to where I am now.

What was your favourite aspect of the bootcamp?

After completing the bootcamp, I became a teaching assistant. One of the main things that drew me to this position was the environment at Le Wagon. The vibe on campus is really pleasant and a great place to work and learn in. This environment is definitely my favourite aspect of Le Wagon. 

How does the bootcamp format compare to your previous learning environments?

Le Wagon is really hands-on and practical. From day one, you’re building things on your own. You have challenges every day which are a really fun way to build and test new things. It’s really mind blowing how quickly you learn in this type of learning environment. 

What was your experience finding your first job post-bootcamp?

After graduating from the bootcamp, I began to work as a teaching assistant (TA) for the web development bootcamps in Amsterdam. This was a great way to further my knowledge from the course. After this, I applied for a traineeship at Voormedia, which was the perfect way for me to launch my new career while continuing my education.  

I am now working as a Full-stack developer at Voormedia as a part of their traineeship program. I’m learning everyday, which is great as it’s ensuring that I’m still challenging myself and growing in my new career. I really enjoy my new work environment, the people are really nice, they use many different tech stacks, and I’m upskilling in different languages such as JavaScript. From day one, we’re already involved in a variety of projects, so it’s a great way to grow quickly as a developer. So far, I’m really enjoying my new role. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing the web development bootcamp?

If you want to change your career, just do it. It’s truly a life-changing experience. If you’re open to learning, this is the perfect environment to get a kick-start in tech as a developer. You also get access to this great community which is really there to support you, whether its the Le Wagon team or the international community of alumni and hiring partners. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it. 

Thank you, Sander!