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How Caroline became a great Front-end Dev by adding new Tech Skills to her Strategic Abilities

I wanted to learn to code - not necessarily to become a developer but in order to understand how it worked and to be able to work with developers. I wanted to strengthen my strategic digital abilities with hard skills. So I decided to apply to Le Wagon in Spain.

How Caroline became a great Front-end Dev by adding new Tech Skills to her Strategic Abilities
Featuring graduate Caroline Bixner Front-end Developer in Worksuite More about Caroline
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What was your experience prior to the bootcamp?

I did a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration and Organization Sciences and a Master’s in Business Strategy in Amsterdam. Right then and there, I realized I loved the digital side of things, so I decided to do a second Master’s degree in Business Information Systems which focuses on strategic digital problematics applied to business. I wanted to live abroad so I did it in Sydney, which was nice. 

I then started to look for a job back in Amsterdam and decided to search for one in the financial sector - which I thought was a sector in dire need of digital transformation. I found a traineeship in Finance at ABN AMRO, the third-largest bank in the Netherlands. After the traineeship, I was offered a role as a Business Developer for Digital Transformation projects. I worked to implement digital projects, exploring and writing new strategic value propositions to innovate and further improve the way of working within Global Markets. Additionally, I was the Scrum Master for the agile activities of the team. I learned a lot.


Why did you decide to learn how to code?

It was a combination of things really. My boyfriend and I decided to move abroad, so I started to apply to similar jobs but then realized I wanted to learn more digital skills.

I wanted to learn to code, not necessarily to become a developer, but in order to understand how it worked and to be able to work with developers. 

I wanted to strengthen my strategic digital abilities with hard skills. So I decided to apply to Le Wagon in Spain.


How was your experience at the bootcamp?

The first weeks were quite challenging. The learning curve is steep and it takes some time to see the big picture, but it is very rewarding and the people were great. Before the bootcamp, I had done an intro course on Web Design, and I had already noticed how much I liked UX and Design. The bootcamp gave me the opportunity to learn about the full process of building a product and to confirm I particularly love the design and frontend side of things.


What are you up to now?

After the bootcamp, I updated my LinkedIn with my new skills, and I started getting a lot of messages about opportunities. I got in touch with Worksuite, a matching platform for data enthusiasts for networking and finding jobs/opportunities. They offered me a role as a Frontend Developer with a focus on Product Design and UX. The perfect role. So naturally, I took it. Now I focus on what I love, which is product design but because I know how to code, I understand the codebase, and I can actually implement my design ideas and make changes.

It makes me a better designer because I know what is technically possible. 

We recently finished a complete redesign of the website, which was an amazing project.


What programming language do you work with?

React. I finished Le Wagon in July, and by August I had Worksuite’s offer. They knew I didn’t know React yet, I was very transparent about that, but they believed I could learn. They offered me to start a month later to have time to learn it.

From the foundation in JavaScript I learned in the bootcamp I was able to learn the basics of React and start the role.

Now I understand the codebase, I can make changes to the site, reuse components, etc.


What did you like most in your experience with Le Wagon?

It is very product-focused. You learn about coding, but it is about the product. The whole process of building a digital product, with the entrepreneurial side of it, has helped me a lot in my current role because I understand how to translate the business needs into features. You also learn about workflow and how to work within a team and push code together.
I think these soft skills are invaluable.


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