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From chemical engineer to Full-Stack Developer

Is it really that simple? To spend 9 weeks learning to code and land a job as a developer after? For Grace it was. Grace is one of our first graduates from Le Wagon Singapore and she came into the Bootcamp wanting to make a change in her career. As cliche as the saying 'if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything' is, we couldn't agree more.

From chemical engineer to Full-Stack Developer
Featuring graduate Grace Cheung Full-stack Developer in Excelgames Interactive
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The job hunt process

Grace landed her first full-stack developer role with EGI Interactive a month after graduating Le Wagon Singapore in September; she was a chemical engineer before joining the Bootcamp. “At Demo Day, companies will come over to scout for people and that’s how I found my job,” she said. Changing her career is something she wanted to get out of the Bootcamp, and she recommends on biting the bullet and going for interviews if you really want to become a developer. “Interviews really help you gauge your situation because you will find out what you have to know or learn,” she said. “After the Bootcamp you’re still pretty fresh but you just have to go for interviews because at the end of the day, they’ll give you a test so it depends whether you can do it or not,” Grace said, “most of the time, the test is just to see the process of your thoughts.”

Resources that are always accessible

She quickly realized how integral the learning platform Kitt, that Le Wagon uses was for her both during and after the Bootcamp as a budding developer. Her test was focused on Node JS. “It was something I didn't learn from Le Wagon but it wasn’t completely foreign because Node JS is basically Javascript for backend development and integrating APIs,” she said. The first thing she did was to go back into Kitt and look for API integration in Javascript on how to do it again. Another great resource Grace has come out of the program with is Github. “Sometimes when I do scraping I look for help on there,” she said, “and they provide new resources and different channels every day which is really good.” Most importantly, Grace passed the test and she is “still using what I learned at Le Wagon.”

Coding is a learning process

As a new junior full-stack developer, Grace comments that coding is a learning process for everyone, no matter what skill level they are at. “My boss is a good example,” she said, “he’s still googling answers for me when I ask him questions and looking in stack overflow.” When she commented on her boss’s code the other day, it was actually what she pointed out that was the issue and why the whole program wasn’t working. “It’s always better to get another perspective,” she said. Le Wagon gives you the fundamentals you need to kickstart your career as a developer. How much you have to learn after the Bootcamp to succeed in your role depends on the type of job it is. When Grace went into her new role she told her company that she was actually a beginner and she didn’t know if she could handle the job. “Even now he(her boss)’s still teaching me a lot,” she said, “you just need to find the right company.” She’s now learned new syntax, new technologies specific to her company and she notes that in real life, you’ll be fixing more bugs. The only difference she feels from the Bootcamp is that she’s now required to know how to solve errors when there are ones, without stopping the program. Whereas in the classroom, “when there’s an error you can reload it again. In production things can’t stop running when there’s a bug,” she said.


The community continues after the program

On the topic of the app she and her batchmates built for their final project of the Bootcamp, she said, “my team is trying to commercialize it and we’re looking at incubator programs to get funding but that’ll take a while.” The general consensus is that when you go through something as difficult as this, it’s a shared experience and many alumni keep in contact with each other. In Grace’s case, it’s even easier because almost 100% of her batch was made up of Singaporeans. “What’s nice is that because you know each other so well, after the Bootcamp, you can go to hackathons together. We recently went for the shopee data analysis challenge with people from our batch and it was really fun,” she said. It was an interesting experience for her because she got a taste of how these things go. She and her teammates from the Bootcamp are also working on other new projects so they can grow their portfolios. 
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