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The Microbiologist Who Became A Developer

Jessica is a problem solver and an entrepreneur by nature. She graduated with two bachelor degrees, one in medical biology and another in environmental science. Upon graduation, she worked as a microbiologist then decided to transition into programming, a field where she could express her creativity.

Featuring graduate Jessica Scanlan Full-stack Developer in REA Group Ltd More about Jessica
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What were you doing before Le Wagon and what made you want to join the bootcamp?


Before Le Wagon, I was a Microbiologist working in the pharmaceutical industry. But I was really disillusioned and disengaged with that job, there was little prospect of career progression unless people retire. In addition, the research and development budgets were decreasing on a national scale. 

I'm someone that needs to express my creativity, so I need to be building things every day and solving problems regularly to be fulfilled. It's here that I found Le Wagon and left my job to undertake the 9-week bootcamp.

How was your experience at Le Wagon?


I can't even begin to describe how amazing the experience has been. It's completely turned my life around both personally and professionally. Not only do you learn how to program, but you learn all the fundamentals of web development, software architecture, database development and migration management, the real world application of Ruby in both a front and a back end context, the paradigms of MVC and CRUD, and key entrepreneurial strategies. 

The best part of it all though is that you, with a team of your peers, design and build a fully functional web application in just 10 days. Your teachers are so supportive and create such a positive environment, that I felt like I could completely push myself out of my comfort zone. Everyone there, including your peers, builds you up and you're all working towards the same common goal as a team.

What were the most challenging parts of the bootcamp?


There were moments during the program when I was pushed out of my comfort zone, particularly when it came to be the team lead of fellow learning developers during the final project build. But in contrast to my experiences in life, everyone at Le Wagon, especially your peers, builds you up and you're all working towards the same common goal as a team.

What was your experience upon leaving Le Wagon?


My experience with Le Wagon didn't end with the bootcamp and you become part of a growing community. I was given a lot of support with building my resume for the tech industry after my career change, and there's always someone to go to for programming advice if you get stuck on a problem. 

What are you doing now? How much time did it take for you to find a job afterward?


After the bootcamp, I traveled a couple weeks before I started to apply. When I was back in Melbourne, within my first week of searching, I found work as a Fullstack Developer at a digital agency. 5 months after that, I now found my dream job working for one of the most innovative tech companies in Australia. 

As I'm also driven by a passion to facilitate positive change in the world through identifying societal and environmental challenges, I have also been co-created carbonshop.com.au to give people an opportunity to offset their carbon emissions.  
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