A year out of school and flexing his hospitality skills managing a hotel in Angola, Gui felt dissatisfied with the outdated industry of hotel management - he needed a change and he wanted that change to be geared towards the future, i.e. tech. Enter Le Wagon.
What piqued your interest in learning to code?
In hospitality, I didn’t feel like I could be myself. I also didn’t see much opportunity for growth. Even after having managed a hotel in Angola, I still had difficulty getting jobs in entry level positions in other hotels around the world.
Web Summit had just arrived to Lisbon and I felt there was a lot that could be done in the hospitality sector in terms of technological disruption. Initially, I didn’t consider learning to code myself. I wanted to hire a developer to build an app idea I had been stewing on.
I first heard about Le Wagon through my childhood friend, Joao, who had completed the bootcamp in Lisbon the summer before and wouldn’t stop talking about it. I ended up meeting one of his teachers, Cyrille, on a night out where I tried to hire him as my CTO.
The answer was obviously “get your shit together and actually learn what you’re talking about”. Cyrille saw I didn’t have a clue when it came to the technological implications of my idea. Which now that I am on the other side, it’s something I see very often with people who are trying to get into tech without having any knowledge or putting in the work for real understanding.
Was Le Wagon what you expected?
I know it sounds very cliche, but it was far better than expected. Le Wagon obviously changed my life. People who look at me now and know what I was doing a year and a half ago, see the difference, especially in terms of my focus to really build a career.
There’s also the added motivation of knowing that my industry is not going to die in the next ten years. As opposed to hospitality where I just saw an apocalypse - no jobs, low wages and massive competition.
For me, the best part about Le Wagon are the people. Even though ages, nationalities and backgrounds differ, some are there to change careers and others to build their own product, we are all motivated to change our lives and do something different. And that is very powerful.
What are you doing now?
After the bootcamp, I actually started to work for Le Wagon as a teacher assistant. I was also working remotely for a startup as a junior developer. I learned a lot. I call it my second bootcamp. I was also able to meet a lot of people in the startup scene and now I feel like I can make the move to start maturing my career.
I think I am not alone in the feeling that I don’t like doing the same thing every day. In this day and age, people do get bored very easily. This is perfect for the career of a developer where you always need to be learning and you’re probably working in small teams that demand various skill sets and market adaptation. The work is never dull.
As of recent, I have taken a new job in an American startup where I am focused on marketing. Ironically, I wouldn’t have gotten the marketing job, if it weren’t for my programming skills, they’ve come in very handy. I am coding a proof of concept to help kick start the companies’ MVP and also growth hack our way to the official launch.
Do you have any advice for people who are considering taking this path?
Make sure you understand why you want to learn and then go for it. One thing is for sure, code makes you more valuable.
I think that the biggest deterrent is not seeing yourself as being a developer because of the stereotype. There are so many types of programmers these days and also so many different applications for code.
When I look back on my past, I could have automated many of the processes that were very repetitive in which I lost a lot of time every day. As a sales associate, I could have growth hacked my way to better results. Now as a developer, I can build things that optimize my knowledge.