From working in an e-learning startup to a FullStack developer at an AI company.
Meet Mia, originally from Northern California and alumni from batch #244 (April - June 2019) in Berlin. She studied Political Ecology at UC Berkeley before backpacking around the world and then working in Education Technology. After searching for a way to combine creativity, analysis, and a passion for building, she decided to join Le Wagon so she could t...
Published on Oct 10, 2019
Featuring graduateMia Szarvas
at Blackout Technologies
More about Mia
Before learning to code at Le Wagon, I was working at an e-learning startup based in New York. During my time working at this company, part of my job was to directly interface with our users and thus experience their pain points. In my position, I did not have the necessary knowledge to solve these pain points. This made me interested in moving to the product side of business, where I could have a direct impact on the product and actively build a better user experience.
I wanted to have more influence on the products themselves and get back to building things, which is what I have always loved to do.
I had always been interested in coding but never found the right opportunity to learn. I decided to take the leap into pursuing my dream of learning to code and preparing myself to make a career change from revenue to product. I wanted to have more influence on the products themselves and get back to building things, which is what I have always loved to do. I decided to join Le Wagon because I wanted to transition from customer success to product. I planned to learn the basics of programming so I could be a more effective product manager. I expected to be challenged but excited by the challenge. I didn’t expect to fall in love with coding; rather I saw it as a tool to help me transition into a product role.
I found building the final projects so gratifying, I decided I wanted to continue as a developer rather than go into a product role after the bootcamp.
What truly helped me to stay motivated during the time of the bootcamp is my love for
coding. I got lost in trying to solve the puzzles the curriculum presented to us. I found building the final projects so gratifying, I decided I wanted to continue as a developer rather than go into a product role after the bootcamp.
I also found my peers to be very motivating. It’s easy to make friends in such an intense environment and struggling and succeeding together was a great encouragement. I never stayed stuck - if I was stuck for more than twenty minutes, I got help from one of the very talented teachers or teaching assistants. This helped me stay motivated, as I learned there was always a solution eventually, and I liked the collaborative nature of solving problems together.
Upon leaving Le Wagon, it was sad to say goodbye to my cohort and took time to transition out of that kind of intensive routine. I got to come back as a teaching assistant at Le Wagon pretty soon after I finished the bootcamp myself, which was a lot of fun.
I then applied for a few full-time positions and did hear back from most for interviews. I also had the chance to work with a freelancing cooperative that is made up of Le Wagon graduates one of who is Alexander Dubovoy.
I am now working as a Fullstack developer at Blackout Technologies, a startup in Bremen that builds AI products. It only took me a few weeks to find a job.
Coding is something that has always seemed inaccessible to me, or out of my reach, but those were limits I was imposing on myself.
The main lesson that I learned from my experience at Le Wagon is that if I find a course that works for me and focus then I can learn anything. Coding is something that has always seemed inaccessible to me, or out of my reach, but those were limits I was imposing on myself. I also learned not to let other people’s fears and anxieties stop me from pursuing what I am interested in. The surest way to fail at something is never to try in the first place.
Le Wagon taught me the basics of what I need to know for object oriented programming. I’m currently working in a completely different stack from the one we learned at Le Wagon. Le Wagon also taught me that it’s okay not to know everything, and gave me the skills I need to utilise outside resources ( i.e. google, stack overflow, asking a peer or mentor) to find the solution. Mostly, though, it made me believe that I can build things, that I can be a developer, and gave me the confidence to continue to pursue programming as a professional path.