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From lawyer to developer and entrepreneur in less than 6 months

With programming, it’s always black and white, and I guess that’s why I really like to code.

Featuring graduate Viola Stöckli Founder in Baeis More about Viola
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With programming it’s always black and white, and I guess that’s why I really like to code.


Who are you?

Viola, I am 26 years old, from a small town in Switzerland’s German region.


What were you doing before Le Wagon?


I studied law in Switzerland and I worked in many different areas. I started working in migration law, as a jurist, with a specification on Sri Lanka. And then I did corporate law for a while and, at the end of my legal ‘career’, I practiced corporate law, just out of pure curiosity.


And..?

Well... law in big companies was just not my thing. In the end, you feel your work doesn’t have much impact. I worked in Cologne and also did an internship there with a firm who advised startups and VC’s. I really liked the work and the type of young and enthusiastic people that were involved.


And then what happened?

I wanted to dive into the tech world and I thought the easiest way to get started, to get a real understanding and see how things were made, was to do a course. Coming from a background in law, programming is truly a different world - with law you can always argue, there’s no solution, but with coding it’s binary. And I guess that’s why I really like to code, because, at the end of the way, you can see your results. In law, you can always read an article, read another book and change your opinion.


But, why did you decided to do Le Wagon in Lisbon?

I was traveling in latin America - Mexico and Colombia - and I was feeling I wanted to stay there, but the timing with the courses (luckily) didn’t work out. So, I started looking closer to home. Le Wagon appeared as the top rated bootcamp, at least in Europe, had really good reviews, and I liked the curriculum. Lisbon had the right timing. Plus, I was in Lisbon four years ago and I really liked the spirit of the city. So, I decided to move to Portugal to do the course.


How was it?

The course was very intense. For me as a non-engineer, it takes more effort than others, and at times, it’s difficult to catch up. But I really like, for example, the buddy system, because you always work with someone else. The bootcamp is super hands-on. The day is split up into different blocks: theory, then practice with your buddy, and, in the evening, we all code together, one in front of the other.


When you planned to do the course, did you imagine yourself working in the area?

As a programmer? No. I wanted to understand how much it takes to build something like this, the different parts of an application - like how difficult is it to include a payment system or to have a referral email program. I wanted to understand the really small things that you just don’t have a clue how much time it takes, or how difficult it is to code, if you don’t have a background in the area. That’s what I wanted to understand. Le Wagon is good to build a MVP and that’s what I am trying to do now.


And what are you doing now?

Between two worlds. One, coding for a startup that are work in legal tech, Lexer. Actually, the job mixes my background in law with technology, which is interesting because I know what they’re talking about. They are in the early stages. I am building their online presence on the front-end side, because they don’t need so much backend work at the moment.

The other project, which is the main reason I stayed in Lisbon, is to create my own sustainable swim brand. We’re aiming to launch next summer. Currently, I am working on the product. The swimwear will be made to order. The fabric is made from plastic found in the ocean.


What are you planning to do next year?

Learn as much as I can!


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