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Learning to code to change your career: from English teacher to Front-End Developer

Before joining Le Wagon I was a language student and an English Teacher afterwards. I lived in Portugal and France teaching English as a foreign language. I decided to join the bootcamp because I really wanted to learn to code and I could only get so far on my own. I knew Le Wagon was a perfect choice and challenge in just 9 weeks!

Learning to code to change your career: from English teacher to Front-End Developer
Featuring graduate Catherine Oxley Front-end Developer in Publicis Sapient More about Catherine
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Before joining Le Wagon I was a language student and an English Teacher afterwards. I lived in Portugal and France teaching English as a foreign language. I decided to join the bootcamp because I really wanted to learn to code and I could only get so far on my own. I really wanted an intensive ‘boost’. I knew Le Wagon was a perfect choice and challenge in just 9 weeks, and with my background in French, it just seemed appropriate!
The experience was incredible, it was definitely intense and I loved every minute.
Catherine's Demo Day
Le Wagon has a real ‘work-hard, play-hard’ vibe. Once you’ve done Le Wagon, you kind of never leave! I’m still visiting 3 years on and it’s great to see so many familiar faces.

It’s actually almost frustrating how much you learn in 9 weeks. You start thinking ‘Why didn’t I do this years ago?’ I loved coming away with a Full-Stack knowledge that few people in the industry even have because they are either ‘Front-End’ or ‘Back-End’. I love having the ‘birds’ eye’ view of an application even if I’m not working on some parts of it. 
The whole bootcamp was challenging and exhausting, but you know it’s worth it looking back at what you’ve learned and achieved in such a short amount of time. 
During the project weeks, my team was certainly engineering-heavy and mostly came from a Maths or Science background, so they gave me complete creative freedom and I really enjoyed working as part of such a varied team. We created an app to help Sports teams find an extra player and vice-versa. It was called Sportl. This experience definitely helped me with my first agency job as I was already used to taking a lead on the Front-End of an application. 

When I decided to join the bootcamp, I was very determined that I wanted to become a developer. Beyond that I was open to all sorts of roles and I am so pleased I let my experience shape what I actually came to do.
I think learning to code is massively important, especially for young women. 
I am a huge advocate for women in technology (there still aren’t enough of us) and I really think it needs to be pushed in school from an earlier age. We all know how important code will be in our AI-heavy future, so pushing for coding to be taught in school really needs to be a priority. There’s such an advantage to having a varied workforce so we need to target girls from a young age.
Networking with one of our speakers
I noticed when starting my tech career after the booctcamp that the industry tends to really focus on back-end JavaScript skills and let creative skills fall by the wayside. I would love to hone my skills in visual code and complex animations. On the other hand, I’d also love to dive into Machine Learning and pursue a career in Artificial Intelligence so right now the future is pretty open!
My advice for other students doing Le Wagon, or for those who are thinking about taking the chance to start this life-changing experience, would be to keep learning. There’s so much out there.
Never be that person who thinks they are done improving. If you find something you really love, don’t be afraid to specialise either – there’s no harm in being an expert on something as long as you’re always moving forwards.

I wish I’d been more confident when I left Le Wagon. You can always aim high even if you’re afraid to, and chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Demo Day presentation
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