As a student at HEC Montreal, Nicolas took advantage of his summer vacation to learn to code. At that time, he didn't think about making it his career, but rather boosting his curriculum with skills that are in demand on the job market. After several freelance missions, including as a teacher at Le Wagon, he finally decided to become a web developer. Discover his career path.
Why did you choose to learn to code during your studies?
I studied at HEC Montreal where I specialized in Business Intelligence. I was interested in programming courses but I felt that I didn't have enough skills to find an internship in this field.
While doing research, I discovered bootcamps. Le Wagon's syllabus showed that learning to code can go beyond lines of code, as the program also focuses on product vision and teamwork.
Why did you choose Le Wagon?
The alumni reviews helped convince me. I also liked the hands-on approach of Le Wagon and the career support services offered.
When I signed up for the bootcamp, I wasn't necessarily thinking about becoming a developer, I just wanted to be able to leverage those skills to open up new professional opportunities.
It was important for me to learn more than just technical skills and be able to understand the aspects of a web product.
There was also an enthusiasm from the team that I didn't see elsewhere!
How do you think university is complementary to Le Wagon training?
At HEC I learned theoretical skills in back-end programming and database. I realize now that there are only one or two courses I took in university that I use now. A bootcamp offers condensed, practical content that serves me for everything in my current job.
It's more common to drop out in college whereas at Le Wagon I was always happy to be in class. There is also a great atmosphere between the students and teachers. We often went for a drink at the end of the day, which was a good opportunity to ask for more explanations :)
You started freelancing after Le Wagon. Tell us about your experience.
To find projects, I posted an ad online and used Le Wagon and university communities. I worked on three different projects in the long term, including the redesign of the website of an HEC association.
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Today you are a web developer at Explorance. How did you get there?
After graduating, I was an assistant and then a teacher at Le Wagon for six months while finishing some freelance projects. Once I got my post-graduation work permit, I worked at Mentorly as a full-stack developer.
The strategy that worked in my job search, was to target a few companies and contact several people before applying. This allowed me to focus my efforts and stand out from other applicants.
Today, I work at Explorance, a survey platform for universities. I work in a more senior position where I do back-end, front-end, and software architecture.
How did Le Wagon training help you in your job as a developer?
In my first job, my team appreciated that I was able to understand customer needs and the product.
I could bring something else to the table besides my programming skills like product vision and UI/UX contributions.
Learning GitHub was also very helpful. It's an essential tool in web development. You have to know how to work in a team and do code reviews. Thanks to Le Wagon, I learned to use this tool with confidence.
You're also a teacher at Le Wagon. What motivates you to teach?
I like to help others understand programming. I think we are all capable of coding but when we start we may find it impossible.
Everyone has a different way of understanding a problem and I find it challenging to find the best strategy to trigger understanding in someone.
Plus, it's a good opportunity to validate my own skills.
Any advice for those who want to learn to code?
Don't give up or get demotivated!
I too started learning to code on my own several times and I found it difficult to continue as soon as I encountered obstacles. That's why I signed up for the bootcamp, to have a clear direction and to be accompanied in my learning.