3 students share their experience of following our bootcamps completely online.
Meet 3 of our current students at Le Wagon in Berlin who share some insight on their experience of the online format. We’re currently running our Web Development & Data Science programs across our campuses in Berlin and Munich completely online.
Deborah Sillmann, current Student of the Full-Time Web Development Bootcamp
Hey, I'm Debbie. I have a background in Product & UX Design. I studied Product Design at the University of the Arts in Berlin and Interface Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam.
After quitting my last job during the pandemic, I knew I wanted a change. I had long dreamed of having a job where I could work independently of location. And I was still super interested in coding and thought, why not take the opportunity to expand my skills with something very useful while I was stuck at home anyway? So I started researching different coding bootcamps in Berlin.
The best thing about bootcamp is that now that half of bootcamp is over, everything is coming together and makes sense. Things that seemed really complicated in the beginning are now easy to do. I feel like I've finally managed to get into that mindset, and that makes me really happy. And most of what we've done has been really fun. Absolutely challenging, but so rewarding.
Aside from the progress, the best part of this experience so far is the great people I'm surrounded with. My batch is super cool and I am truly dazzled by the staff at Le Wagon. Every single person I have met has been so open, friendly, and helpful. The teachers and TAs are just amazing! Everyone seems genuinely interested in helping us get the most out of this bootcamp. I am really glad I chose Le Wagon over the other bootcamps I applied to. The culture here is amazing and I'm super happy to know I'm now part of this great network!
I have also had some difficulties so far. The amount of knowledge that is pushed into your brain at such a fast pace is insane! I sit in front of my laptop all day. Sometimes I tend to want to solve a problem so badly that I forget to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, or take a lunch break. After days like that, I just feel completely brain dead and sometimes start crying randomly. When that happens, at least I know why: I didn't take care of myself and my health, which is extremely important because this wagon doesn't stop until the end of bootcamp! What helps me is getting up early, doing some yoga, and using a timer during the day to remind me to take breaks. Oh, and maybe next week I should stop being a perfectionist...?
"Of course, it's a shame that we can't see each other in person. Interestingly, even though we only see each other through Zoom, I don't feel like I'm home alone because the Zoom campus feature creates groups of four that can talk to each other during the day."
My batch already started completely online due to the pandemic. Of course, it's a shame that we can't see each other in person. Interestingly, even though we only see each other through Zoom, I don't feel like I'm home alone because the Zoom campus feature creates groups of four that can talk to each other during the day. Also, we interact with each other a lot during lectures and live codes and talk to our TAs during tickets, even though most of the interaction is focused on coding. I love meeting new people and hanging out after official hours to get to know each other better as a person. That's what I'm missing the most right now. Of course, sometimes there are events where we can talk, but those are also by call and after a full day of calls, it's just not the same as having lunch together, going for a walk, or having a beer after class. However, I really appreciate the efforts of the staff. Zoom campus is a feature that is really well done. Regardless, I hope we can see each other on demo day. That would be great.
Marie Chauvois, current student of the Full-Time Data Science Bootcamp
Originally from France, I travelled and lived in several countries during my studies (master and MBA in Business), I’m living in Berlin for almost 5 years now.
Prior to Le Wagon, I was working as a Corporate Account Executive with SaaS and cybersecurity companies - my role was to manage our European potential customers, from first contact, through negotiation and closing deals. My clients were mainly CTO/CISOs and the products and services I was selling were extremely technical. I always enjoyed diving deeper into the technical aspects, even though this was not really my role and no one was expecting me to do so.
I started with Le Wagon FullStack Web Development bootcamp October-December 2020 - I had such an amazing experience that I decided to move forward with the Data Science bootcamp, which started in January 2021.
I discovered Le Wagon via its events in Berlin, and word-of-mouth within the french community. When looking for a bootcamp Le Wagon kept showing up as the first option, being recognised as one of the best bootcamp in Berlin. A friend of mine just completed the web dev track, so I called her to get her advice, and she was so thrilled by the experience that I decided to apply immediately.
The past weeks were all about Python, SQL, Data Visualisation, Mathematical concepts, and Machine Learning. The best part was definitely my first prediction, and being able to calculate its accuracy! Everything we’ve learned before came together and finally made sense. It also made me realise how powerful and useful Machine Learning can be - my brain went full on, thinking of all the different situations in which I could apply this new knowledge. I also found Natural Language Processing extremely interesting - I could really see how this could be useful to automate and scale processes within sales departments.
Learning the mathematical concepts on which Machine Learning is built was pretty scary at first. I’m more of a visual learner so it took me some time to grasp all the theory. But what’s great about Le Wagon bootcamp is that after learning the concepts we have to complete challenges throughout the day, to apply these concepts to concrete problems and for knowledge to sink in. So even though I was overwhelmed, I took the time to go through the challenges until everything started to make sense.
"Throughout the day though we are split into smaller groups, so if we are stuck during the challenges we can discuss and help each other out - we usually use these moments also as an opportunity to socialise a bit, which makes everything nicer. "
The pandemic definitely impacted our experience. One of the reasons I joined Le Wagon was its notorious Friday drinks (:D) and events. Due to Covid, we don’t have the opportunity to meet other classmates face to face and get to know each other outside of the lessons. Throughout the day though we are split into smaller groups, so if we are stuck during the challenges we can discuss and help each other out - we usually use these moments also as an opportunity to socialise a bit, which makes everything nicer.
During my time at Le Wagon I’ve learned how to build applications, integrate them with other systems, collect data, transform and analyse it. I can’t wait to combine this technical knowledge with my sales background and help solve concrete business challenges, in a hybrid role such as Sales Engineer or Sales Operations.
I also want to keep learning about Data Engineering and Machine Learning, play around with web scraping and API integrations.. Simply have fun bringing some ideas to life!
Jordan Siemens, current student of the Part-Time Web Development Bootcamp
I am Canadian born and raised, from the near arctic city of Edmonton. I grew up heavily involved in music and pursued a music degree which I later dropped out of to move to Montreal and study marketing and work as a musician on the side. I really didn’t enjoy studying marketing but nevertheless finished my degree and felt even more confused about the direction I wanted to head than ever before. I then moved to Berlin in 2018 without ever having stepped foot in Europe and so started my search for new opportunities.
I work in a tech company where I was fortunate enough to have a sizable network of software engineers literally right next to me and I had begun talking to several people about pursuing coding which had re-ignited my interest. When the pandemic started in 2020 my employer put every on Kurzarbeit and I suddenly was granted copious amounts of free time. A lot of free time to think... and so I decided to research some bootcamps and I landed on Le Wagon.
I decided to join the part-time program because I wanted to keep working my full-time job and study at the same time. My social life has definitely sacrificed a bit but it’s all been worth it.
The best part of the bootcamp for me is just how much newfound knowledge I have gained that I am consistently excited about. Then being able to immediately apply this knowledge and overcoming challenges along the way is incredibly gratifying.
Of course none of that would be possible without the incredible support and wisdom of my teachers and peers. They really foster an astonishing learning environment which is very contagious and encourages you to be as supportive to others as they are to you.
I think every single student who goes through this bootcamp faces difficulties, it is simply the nature of the coding world! There was not a single day I didn’t face difficulties, whether it be with understanding concepts, solving a problem, among many other things. What kept me motivated and ultimately allowed me to overcome these difficulties was that I always knew that these challenges and overcoming them would be rewarding and beneficial.
Though I would say one of the biggest challenges for me was being patient and taking my time to write clean code. I think my excitement really got the best of me and I just wanted to code code code! Until I learned the hard way that this can get really messy really fast…
"Speaking from experience, the pandemic might be the most opportune time to enrol in the part-time bootcamp. There's not much to do or places to go so it’s the perfect time to focus and learn a new valuable skill(s). You won’t regret it."
I applied to Le Wagon mid-pandemic so I knew my learning experience would possibly be fully online, which was new for me but I came to terms with the fact this was the new normal. If anything the pandemic pushed me further into my decision to apply as I know developing is a very remote friendly job, and that I would love the freedom to work from anywhere in the future. Although, I was fortunate enough that I was allowed to go to the campus for the first half of my course and was able to meet my teachers and peers (distanced of course!) which I definitely prefer over the online setting but I’ve gotten used to it by now.
My goal is to absolutely work as a developer. Le Wagon has only further solidified this dream and ignited a new-found passion! Right now I am trying to finesse my own company to transition me from my current position to a junior developer to learn from the professionals in my company and to gain experience. I also hope to take on projects of my own and help my friends and community develop websites and applications for whatever it may be.
Speaking from experience, the pandemic might be the most opportune time to enrol in the part-time bootcamp. There's not much to do or places to go so it’s the perfect time to focus and learn a new valuable skill(s). You won’t regret it.