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How Le Wagon gave two computer science students the skills and network to build their own products

Computer science majors Francisco Azevedo, 25 and Manuel Sepúveda, 23, both from Lisbon, take relevant classes at university, but they wanted to learn practical, hands-on skills.

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Computer science majors Francisco Azevedo, 25 and Manuel Sepúveda, 23, both from Lisbon, take relevant classes at university, but they wanted to learn practical, hands-on skills.


Le Wagon attracts students from diverse backgrounds—dancers, economists, musicians—who know that a coding bootcamp can help you change your career. Computer science majors Francisco Azevedo, 25 and Manuel Sepúveda, 23, both from Lisbon, take relevant classes at university, but they wanted to learn practical, hands-on skills. For them, the bootcamp was the key not only to building working applications but also starting their dream careers.

For both Francisco and Manuel, the best part of Le Wagon Lisbon was the small class size—27 students in their batch vs. more than 700 students in their uni courses—as well as their teachers’ dedication. Read on to find out how these two computer science students got the most out of their coding bootcamp.

Manuel Sepúlveda

How Manuel and Francisco heard about Le Wagon Lisbon ?

Francisco: A friend of mine had done Le Wagon in Berlin and told me amazing things about it. I really like programming, but at uni, I only have three programming courses, and the classes are not as up to date as Le Wagon’s. [After graduation] I want to work on products, and I thought the bootcamp would provide me with the best skills to do that. The university classes are very theoretical, and I wanted something more practical, more modern, more applicable.

Manuel: I was struggling in my programming classes at university. When I understood what was going on, I loved it. But often I was stuck. Francisco told me about Le Wagon Lisbon, and I got excited because I knew the bootcamp would be a turning point for me. The 9 weeks went by quickly, and I don’t regret it at all. I just want to be a developer and build products.


Why these computer science students chose Le Wagon Lisbon?

Francisco: Studying computer science is enough to get a job, but not the job I want. I could work for a big consulting enterprise, but I want to go to a start-up. The bootcamp is the opposite of a traditional CS course. The bootcamp is practical, where you learn how to actually do things. The uni course is theoretical, where you just memorize concepts. In the uni course, there are more than 700 students; the teachers weren’t able to help everyone. In the bootcamp, you have a buddy, and you learn to tackle things together.

Manuel: The bootcamp gives us way more freedom to choose what we want to do for work, because we have a lot more skills. The big difference between our uni courses and Le Wagon Lisbon is the teachers. Many teachers in our uni classes just read slides. They never do live code. At the bootcamp, it’s completely different. After our lectures I was excited to try things, because I just saw them being demonstrated.

Francisco Azevedo

What Manuel and Francisco learned at Le Wagon?

Manuel: My methodology of studying has been changed by the bootcamp. In uni I would study an hour and a half. I would get tired, and if I got stuck, I would quit. In the bootcamp, if I had doubts about something, I could ask a teacher or my buddy. The teachers we had at Le Wagon worked with us for so many hours, helping us with everything. Instead of giving us a fish, they give us the tools to go fishing. They demonstrate how to do the work, and they’re there to support you, but it has to be your effort.

Francisco: I’m also more efficient in my work now. In university, they’re teaching us, but they’re teaching 700 people the exact same thing. At Le Wagon, we have much more freedom and learn practical applications. We can truly be creative.

Manuel & Francisco teacher assisting students from Batch 122

Why the bootcamp is more than just learning to code?

Manuel: And it’s even more than that. It’s fun. At the bootcamp, we were spending time with people from all over the world who share our interests. We’d go out for a drink, have dinner every Friday, and hang out for hours just talking to each other. We felt very integrated in this community that helped us to be more proactive and work efficiently. We weren’t getting that in university.

Francisco: I am also more proactive in my learning and much more creative when is comes to solving problems. Besides that which is already amazing, our English improved a lot, we also learned some Italian with our third partner, Gabriele, and made some great friends.


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