Before I came to Le Wagon I had spent most of my twenties without a fixed career in mind. My prime objective was to travel and to make money on the go, whilst having as much fun as possible. Something happens to you though when you turn thirty. All of a sudden your priorities shift and without consciously realising it, stability and structure become far more appealing.
It was at this stage in my life that I started to look for a new long term career plan.
Around the same time I started watching a tv series called "Mr Robot". It revolves around the world's greatest hacker and his quest to bring down the world's biggest corporation. Now I'm not saying that I wanted to hack a government or anything like that, but it piqued my interest. Within a week I had started to learn coding, teaching myself online via free resources. After a couple of months I had decided that casual independent study wasn't going to cut it if I wanted to get serious about becoming a developer, and so I began trawling online message boards trying to discover the best coding bootcamp around. It was this that led me to Le Wagon.
What's challenging about being a dev in London?
Now the thing that gives me the most pause for thought is how to accurately quote for the endless stream of development requests that come across my table. Every one is different, and trying to figure out how much to charge someone is like trying to guess the length of a spool of string. Not that I'm complaining though, it's a nice problem to have, and definitely not one I would have anticipated this time last year.
When I finished the batch I didn't want to head straight into a dev job (which would have been no problem at all, they're desperate), instead, like many who take the course, I had my mind fixed on starting a business of my own. I watched as fellow teachers took on individual freelancing contracts and then struggled under the pressure that comes from developing large projects solo. With that in mind I floated the idea of starting a development agency together with some other teachers and they jumped on the idea. That was three months ago, now here we are, having launched our first app and with a string of contracts ready to roll out. Check Hoxton Digital out!
How is it teaching at Le Wagon?
Without a shadow of a doubt the best job I've ever had.
Having been on the other side I know how appreciated the help is when you ask a teacher for guidance on a problem that's been driving you insane. Every issue you help a student solve not only gives them a little rush, but gives you one too. Watching everyone progress from absolute novices to fully fledged developers over such a short time is a pretty amazing experience. On top of that reward the environment is amazing too. Before I started Le Wagon I didn't really have a solid base in London, my friends were spread all over the place an I didn't really feel like I belonged to any sort of family within the city.
Le Wagon changed all that, and I've been enjoying soaking it all up ever since.
My piece of advice for anyone wanting to change their lives...to quote Nike, Just Do It. Once I'd done the really hard bit (actually having the courage to commit to it) the rest was as easy as falling off a log. Everyone is nervous about doing it and rightly so, it can be a risk. Unless you choose to code.
As long as you've got the ability and determination you'll have a great career ahead of you.