How I became the CTO of my own startup with no coding background thanks to Le Wagon.
How I landed in Le Wagon?
I discovered Le Wagon during a business presentation at a Ruby Meetup in Paris 5 years ago. Someone introduced the bootcamp as "learn to code a full website in 2 months". I had wanted to learn to code for a while, I had already tried twice with tutorials and MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses), but unfortunately it went nowhere. I was lacking support, it was difficult without a teacher to understand my mistakes, even harder trying to find the answers to my questions… So Le wagon seemed an attractive alternative, but at this time I was in a great position in a company and it was impossible for me to me dedicate two months to a bootcamp…
4 years later, my Brazilian girlfriend found a great opportunity in São Paulo, so I quit my job and I arrived in Brazil without plans and with only very basic knowledge of Portuguese. Shortly after that, I discovered that Le Wagon had opened a bootcamp here. For me, it was the perfect opportunity to learn both web development and Portuguese (the bootcamp was only available in Portuguese in São Paulo).
That’s how I joined batch #46
14 future coders (70% Brazilian), a cool working place, free coffee, let’s start to code. The beginning was very difficult for me, first trying to understand the classes in Portuguese, but even more difficult - trying to finish the daily exercises. During the first week, I just couldn’t get through all the exercises and started wondering if maybe I simply sucked at coding? The teachers were really helpful at this stage to keep my morale up. Second week, same problem. The bootcamp was hard, a lot of new concepts, new ways of thinking… but I didn’t give up. And it’s only after the third week that I began to feel more comfortable, my efforts were finally paying off. After 5 weeks we have to pitch an idea of a product to develop during the last two weeks of the bootcamp in groups. I presented a platform focused in tech recruitment with cool features like matching algorithm, search engine, document upload, social connect, and a bunch of students joined me to create it.
The last weeks of the course, which, in my opinion are the best of the bootcamp, you manage to create a complete web app in all its dimensions (frontend, backend, database, hosting). All day, every day, we are coding, eating pizza and drinking beers… up until the early hours of the morning.
And on the very last day, we could present our baby to the world: ProgramaThor
was born! The demo went perfectly with no bug, what a relief! But that was the end of the Bootcamp, now what?
Recruit Brazilian developers with ProgramaThor
After the bootcamp, I continued to add functionalities to the platform (emails, crons, I created an admin, etc…), and thanks to Le Wagon’s network I met a Brazilian student willing to join a tech startup, he was very motivated to get involved in the project with me and help me with customers (my Portuguese was improving but I still needed help on that part…).
Deal! We created the company and managed our first sales on the very first week.
Now our start-up is accelerated by GVentures, the acceleration program of the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV). After 8 months the platform has more than 10 000 developers registered, and more than 500 companies have posted job offers, growing like crazy… Check it out :)
is a platform for developers looking for their next opportunity and companies actively hiring. Our algorithms take the guesswork out of finding the right fit, and make smarter matches over time. Our talent experts support both people and companies with unbiased advice, proprietary insights, and support.
One year after the bootcamp
I continue my Brazilian adventure with ProgramaThor, 50% CTO / 50% CEO, I continue to improve my dev skills with new features and my Portuguese.
But the achievements of this bootcamp allowed me to close the loop, I now have a very versatile profile: with expertise in marketing / acquisition / product management (6 years), design (autodidact), web development (Le Wagon + 1 year). When you create a startup theses skills are very precious to gain agility and decrease your costs: create a logo, develop and maintain a website and attract clients.
Would you recommend Le Wagon?
In my opinion, Le Wagon is not for everybody, if you hate trying to solve problems during hours/days/weeks, move on! Also, you have to know that all Le Wagon alumni don’t leave the bootcamp with the same level, it is VERY proportional to your own investment (time, energy, sweat) during the course.
If you are very motivated and you want to understand how web development really works, and code your own platform, site, web app… I’d highly recommend the course.