Alumni Story | Find The Transferrable Skills to Enter The Tech World
Covid may be the catalyst for Bennis' transition into the tech world, but he has always believed in the power of technology and its wide applications in different industries. How did he acquire new knowledge to upskill his career? Let's hear about what he has to say about his journey.
Anna Yuewu Hou
Le Wagon has been proud of having a powerful alumni network that is full of talented and supportive people. Their contribution and engagement is the very motivation for us to improve the community in every way. As usual, we present an alumni career story to inspire and encourage. Though based in HK and working on a tight schedule , Bennis was happy to participate the interview with us. With his transition story and the photos he sent to us, we are brought back to the good memories from batch 427! Now let's dive into the interview! Like many other career changers, Bennis had the same concerns about technical qualifications, pay and so on. Covid may be the catalyst for Bennis' transition into the tech world, but he has always believed in the power of technology and its wide applications in different industries. How did he acquire new knowledge to upskill his career? Let's hear about what he has to say about his journey.
Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Bennis. I am working in the education department of a listed tech company, supporting schools in using our EdTech products.
I have been in education for over 13 years, and my experiences span from language training, programme management, curriculum development, recruitment, communications to business development.
I am a Cambridge CELTA certified teacher with a MA in English Language Teaching.
What motivated you to join Le Wagon?
COVID! I witnessed a drastic change in education, the training company that I was working for at that time and all my teacher friends were facing a huge amount of challenge, switching to online teaching. Even if it’s not fully remote, it’s the mix of both, i.e. Hybrid Learning Mode, which means we have to teach with technologies. Even though we are experienced teachers, we panicked because it’s simply not how we trained to teach.
When COVID first hit, all education centres and schools were in forced closure for months. Some didn’t make it through and were out of the game for good. That’s when I realised technology was the only thing I could rely on as all industries need technology. Then I decided to sign up for the Full Stack Web Development Bootcamp at Le Wagon.
Interesting fact – I didn’t even know I could take a bootcamp to get into tech, I thought I had to do a computer science degree. I learned about Le Wagon from my friend who was also about to start her Data Science course with Le Wagon.
How was your learning experience at Le Wagon?
I now understand how tech products are developed. Le Wagon gave me a strong foundation and I am now able to learn new technologies by myself. The course was well-designed and the teachers are wonderful.What do you think is the scariest part for you to switch into tech?
Salary is definitely a concern for career transitioners. Switching fields mostly means you have to take a pay cut because you have no experience. I am very lucky that I am in EdTech so my previous experience still applies.
You mentioned transferrable skills, can you dive deeper into it?
Soft skills are just as important as subject knowledge. Being able to solve problems, communicate and work well with others is extremely valuable. Technology is an industry where we have to constantly learn in order to keep up. Showing that you are eager and ready to learn and take up new challenges is also important to work in the tech industry.
What makes you join the current company? and what do you do?
My company is called NetDragon Websoft. It’s a listed tech company headquartered in Fuzhou, China and I am based in the Hong Kong office. I joined because NetDragon’s education business is striving and has quite a good collection of high quality EdTech products. I think it’s a very smart move to incorporate its gaming DNA into education as gamification in education is clearly the way to go. This way, I can be in tech and I am still in education.
I have also heard that only China’s EdTech market is worth at least 3 trillion RMB per year, better get into the game before it’s too late, right? Ha! I spent half of my time training teachers and supporting schools in using our EdTech products. I also work closely with the product development team on our roadmap of new features and updates. It’s fun!
Does learning to code bring something new to your working style?
I start to notice that I think and plan things differently. Thanks to Le Wagon, I “pseudo code” every project now! Not only do I organise work better, but also plan things better. Another thing I want to share is that the way we work with our “buddies”, work on our projects in the team, as well as follow the ticket system during the course, is exactly how things work in a tech company! Therefore, I have no problem transitioning into this role.
What do you enjoy doing during your spare time?
We are looking forward to a lively classroom in the upcoming summer again, are you READY?
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