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How I went from high-school teacher to full-stack developer.

See how Kaylin radically changed her career from high-school teacher to full-stack developer. She shares her experience at the bootcamp and how she learned to think as a developer.

Featuring graduate Kaylin Bittner Full-stack Developer in PlusPeter More about Kaylin
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1.What were you doing before Le Wagon and what made you want to join the bootcamp? What made you want to change your career?
I had actually just made a career change, having left education after 5 years as a high-school teacher. I was working in state government. I worked on a tech project and absolutely loved it. I wanted to further explore the tech field.

2. What were your ambitions and expectations when you joined Le Wagon?
I joined Le Wagon hoping to find out if a career in web development would be as enjoyable as the government project that sparked my interest in tech and if it was a field I was even cut out for. 

I had very minimal exposure to tech and was not sure if it was a field in which I could experience professional success, or enjoyment.

3. Did you face any difficulties during the bootcamp and if so how did you overcome those?
The first several weeks of bootcamp felt overwhelming as it took me some time to start “thinking like a programmer”. Attending the 2-days of the Ruby Reboot really helped! Additionally, allowing myself to rest on the weekends created a greater balance in my life, and provided my mind some time to absorb everything I had been learning. I just had to trust the process!

I was also working to get my VISA to stay in Germany post-bootcamp, which was quite stressful and, at times, required a much better grasp of the German language than I currently possess. Thankfully, I had a great support system at Le Wagon that helped me navigate this process!

4. How did you stay motivated during the bootcamp?
When bootcamp first began, especially as I felt it was taking me longer to pick up basic Ruby concepts than my classmates, I was coding a lot on nights and weekends - which was really starting to burn me out. 

As I started providing myself more time to rest and participate in Le Wagon community events, it became easier to be motivated when it was time to learn because I allowed myself time to enjoy other things as well - football games with friends, beers on Fridays after a long week of coding, etc.
"Curiosity is one of the best traits a developer can possess and I believe that learning new languages is important!"
5. What was your experience upon leaving Le Wagon? What are you doing now? How much time did it take for you to find a job afterwards?
Le Wagon ending was bittersweet. I really enjoyed the last 9 weeks and was going to miss seeing my fellow “wagoners” everyday. However, I was really excited to continue to grow as a developer. I felt extremely prepared to seek employment as a developer.

I was recently hired by PlusPeter as a Full-Stack Engineer, and begin working on Feb. 1st in Berlin. I am also going to be a teaching assistant for batch #223 during Rails week. It took a little less than a month after bootcamp to find full-time employment.

6. What are the lessons you learned from your experience at Le Wagon?
Le Wagon was such a transformative experience. The most important lesson and skill I took from my time at Le Wagon was learning how to learn a programming language. As I transition into a role using Python/Django, I feel confident in my ability to do so. Curiosity is one of the best traits a developer can possess and I believe that learning new languages is important!

I also learned that everyone has something to contribute to the team. Everyone comes from a different background and has a different way of solving problems.
Finally, on a more technical part, reading the documentation is essential! Also knowing how to read your error messages and independently problem - solve programming issues using online resources. 

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