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Learning to code part-time, while on Kurzarbeit.

Since the tourism industry was greatly affected by COVID-19, I began working from home in March and was placed on Kurzarbeit in May. I came across a post from Le Wagon advertising that people who were currently on Kurzarbeit could qualify to have their course funded by the Agentur fur Arbeit and I applied immediately.

Learning to code part-time, while on Kurzarbeit.
Featuring graduate Cydnie Seelenbinder
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Did you know that as an employee in Germany you can take advantage of public funding from the Agentur für Arbeit to learn to code while on Kurzarbeit or being unemployed? Make the most of this difficult time by upskilling yourself in your job and become more equipped for work in the future and continue with the bootcamp even after returning back to work!


My name is Cydnie Seelenbinder, and I’m originally from Oxnard, California which is located about an hour north of Los Angeles. In the U.S., I worked in healthcare administration but since moving to Berlin 3 years ago I’ve been working for a startup company in the tourism industry. I worked in the customer service department assisting customers in the English and Spanish-speaking markets.  

Before starting the bootcamp I had absolutely no experience coding but had always been extremely fascinated with technology and computers. Working for a startup, I was exposed to and collaborated with many departments, Engineering being one of them, and this gave me the idea that learning to code may be the next step in my career.
Cydnie on our Berlin campus.
Since the tourism industry was greatly affected by COVID-19, I began working from home in March and was placed on Kurzarbeit in May. I came across a post from Le Wagon advertising that people who were currently on Kurzarbeit could qualify to have their course funded by the Agentur fur Arbeit and I applied immediately. 

The best part of the bootcamp so far has been the cool people you meet during the bootcamp who come from all walks of life and have such diverse backgrounds. The struggles we face during the bootcamp are a bonding experience. I also really appreciate how nice and supportive the teachers and teaching assistants are at Le Wagon. They really create a safe space for learning and understand how difficult it can be to learn how to code when you have no prior experience.

Being able to participate in the bootcamp from home has kept me motivated since there is no excuse to miss class. I also believe the pace and workload of the part-time bootcamp are very manageable, so it’s not too hard to keep up with the modules.

Being able to participate in the bootcamp from home has kept me motivated since there is no excuse to miss class. I also believe the pace and workload of the part-time bootcamp are very manageable, so it’s not too hard to keep up with the modules.

In the beginning, my bootcamp experience was not really affected by COVID-19 other than us needing to wear masks while in the office. However, about halfway through and as restrictions got tighter we went completely remote, and then we were able to do everything from home, which I didn’t mind.
Berlin campus during COVID19.
I don’t think my experience was very different from other attendees as there are people who are doing the bootcamp alongside a full time job and then there are people who are not working so doing the bootcamp while on Kurzarbeit I think you fall somewhere in the middle. 

For anyone contemplating whether to join the bootcamp while on Kurzarbeit, I would 100% recommend going for it. I think now is the perfect time to do a coding bootcamp since many of us are staying home and don’t have the usual outside distractions. 
For anyone contemplating whether to join the bootcamp while on Kurzarbeit, I would 100% recommend going for it. I think now is the perfect time to do a coding bootcamp since many of us are staying home and don’t have the usual outside distractions. I also think focusing on a coding bootcamp is a great way to take advantage of these times and stay productive. 

I would like to use the skills I’ve learned in the bootcamp to continue studying on my own and learn other coding languages, so I can find work as a developer. After completing Le Wagon, I plan on working as a junior developer in Berlin or possibly in a neighbouring country if the opportunity presents itself. All in all, Le Wagon has been a life-changing experience and I’m so happy I decided to do this for myself and my career. 

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