"I am 30+ years old, unmarried and unfortunately also an unemployed woman with good educational background. I am very eager to learn to code because I need the right way to restart my career.
I had a Master degree in Economics and used to work in the financial industry as a senior analyst. From a traditional Chinese perspective, I wasn't the type of women what the society or my parents expected me to be.
During many job interviews, companies were not willing to hire me because they were afraid I wouldn't be as "stable” as who was married at this age.”
Emily wrote those above when she applied to the "Women in Tech" scholarship we offered for the full-stack coding bootcamp. We were astonished by all the self-doubt she had and how eager she was to make a change for her life.
After 400 hours of full-stack web developer bootcamp experience, Emily was capable of building a web app, and a mini program as a developer. She kept pushing herself to dive deeper into the Data world and successfully got an opportunity to work as a data analyst at Bytedance.
Something was missing for her.
"Before I joined Le Wagon, I was in a dark period of my life. As a buy-side analyst for more than six years, my job is to do the research and analysis of listed stocks. I do enjoy learning new things every day and upgrading my understanding of business and economics. But there's always something missing.
Sometimes, we need to make decisions about something that we didn't know, or we thought we knew, but actually, we don't. After I quit my job, I had to face this, do I want to continue working in Finance, just switch to another company? Or should I try to find out that missing part? I choose to do something different."
Witnessing all the frustrations, Emily's best friend introduced her to Le Wagon, "Why not make use of your time and learn a new skill instead of worrying and complaining?"
Why did she chose to learn to code?
Emily didn't have any confidence at the beginning; she never had any overseas study experience and the intensity of learning so many coding languages in 9 weeks. But she passed all the excuses she made herself, learning to code was the bridge between Emily and her dream job. The direct fear that drove her to make the determination is that she's afraid of being replaced by AI.
"I read a book written by Kaifu Li, <AI Superpower>. There's an interesting question ‘what kind of job will be easily replaced by AI?’. His answer is the jobs that have information as both the input and output because computers are good at dealing with information. So one of his predictions or worries about the future is that the unemployed people will no longer be uneducated ones, but the well-educated, especially those with advanced degrees. Since these people are working in "information in, information out" areas, if that happens someday, I want to learn the language of communicating with computers: coding.
I have to say that those wonderful people I met on this journey are the wealth of my life. Especially in 2020, the COVID-19 brought us a tough time. I felt so lucky to have these friends around me. We learn together and encourage each other."
Her team built a product for the seniors who are struggling to use new apps.
Emily was calling her Dad for some inspiration for the product they will make. He shared with her how difficult it is nowadays for older people to understand and learn new apps to solve daily life problems.
Why not make it easier for them? We are all getting older every day! We won't want to feel being left behind by technology at that time.
They built ICANTECH, a product that designed to help the seniors who have difficulty in using mobile internet to solve daily life problems, like taking a taxi, using a map to find their way, making a group call with their friends.
How did she land a job in Data?
"Apply more, take every chance to practice, and always find out something you can improve in the next interview."
There are countless opportunities for our students when they are determined to make a life change. After the bootcamp, Emily set her target as data-related work and self-taught data science skills with the mindset she picked up from the bootcamp：never stop learning!
In September 2020, she got an offer from Bytedance.
"Thanks to our lovely Le Wagon alumni community, I saw this job opportunity in a Data Science group(I used to be the TA in some Le Wagon data science workshops ). And I applied for it. The reason I joined Bytedance is it's a diversified and inclusive company. I like Bytestyle, e.g. "Always Day 1", "Champion Diversity and Inclusion". That brings possibilities for people who want to switch to a new field.
Before Bytedance, I also got some interviews from other tech companies, these experiences helped me to get prepared.
Emily devoted herself to advocating female diversity and inclusion in the tech space since.
She went through lots of struggles but also gaining confidence, and she now has such a shiny smile on her face. Along this career-changing journey, she kept on helping many tech events of Ladies Who Tech, inspiring more women to take on challenges with her story.
"As a female working in tech, just by doing a good job every day and keep learning, you're already contributing to diversity. I've seen so many excellent girls in the Le Wagon community, especially our teachers and TAs, they already proved that girls could do a good job in this area. Having been encouraged by them, I also took part in some events held by Le Wagon and Ladies Who Tech, want to contribute a little bit. And I'm sure we will see more and more girls join the tech industry."
Many of my friends felt discouraged seeing all the pain I went through to change my career, but I think it was all worth it! I can feel the growth and joy of heading in a clear direction.
"Just do it. It's normal to doubt yourself sometimes, but it doesn't mean you can not do it. I like a quote from my teacher Pavel: In the business world, if you failed, you fail. In the developer's world, if you fail, try again. People may fail you in the job market because of your gender, but don't fail yourself.
Keep moving. Although you may doubt yourself some time, it's okay. Just don't stop moving forward."