While on lockdown, Pins learned coding remotely and became a software engineer
As countries were closing borders over COVID-19 fears, Le Wagon Tokyo alumni Pins Thoo found herself stuck in her home in Malaysia and took this unexpected opportunity to go through our coding bootcamp remotely. By the time lockdown ended, she had an excellent tech skillset under her belt and landed a developer job at one of Malaysia’s top web agencies.
What made you join Le Wagon Tokyo remotely?
Prior to joining Le Wagon Tokyo, I had been working in Malaysia as a freelance graphic designer for a few years and thought I would make a change. After doing a lot of research online, I was convinced that Le Wagon could help me learn new skills and change my career. I signed up for the course and was ready to jump on a flight to Tokyo. But then COVID-19 hit and changed my plans altogether (laughs).
Apart from closing the country’s borders, Kuala Lumpur residents were barred from leaving their homes for unnecessary reasons. Fortunately, Le Wagon bootcamps shifted to remote education and I could go ahead and participate from the comfort of my couch. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
How would you describe your remote learning experience in Le Wagon?
To be honest, I was a bit skeptical about it at first. I was worried about internet connectivity issues, and thought that the lack of direct human interaction would have a negative impact on the learning experience. But everything went very smoothly, and way above of my expectations. Le Wagon’s curriculum is extremely well-structured, and that makes the learning process smooth and efficient. The instructors were very supportive and put so much effort in helping me and my classmates learn how to build web products. The lead bootcamp teacher Doug went above and beyond, often staying with us after his working hours.
Le Wagon's built-in learning platform is very suitable for remote education. If I struggled with a coding challenge, all I needed to do was to press a single button to create a ticket and get help from a teacher or teaching assistant.
On top of that, the Tokyo team organized a lot of online talks and workshops on the side to provide additional insights or technical knowledge. For 9 weeks, I basically coded days and nights, and when I got to the end I was truly impressed with how much I was able to learn. This whole experience has been so life-changing and has given me the confidence to build the stuffs I want. Despite being far away, I feel a strong connection with my batchmates and teachers who kept me motivated throughout the bootcamp. Since we all were in the same boat, we were constantly helping and encouraging each other.
How did you land your job after graduation?
Surprisingly for me, this came really fast. I googled for Malaysian tech companies working with Ruby and Rails, applied to four of them, and one software company invited me for an interview two days later. They saw my Demo Day pitch at Le Wagon and were impressed by the web application, its design and my pitching style.
WATCH DEMO DAY VIDEO (Pins pitch starts from 23:48) My first Zoom interview happened with their CTO based out of Berlin. After that, I went through the online technical interview, which wasn't too hard. The final interview was at their Kuala Lumpur office, and I eventually was offered a full-time position as a software engineer at Suria Labs!
As of now, I’m getting myself familiarized with the company, doing front-end and back-end for their in-house applications. I love my new job, to working environment is very chill, and I know that there is only room to grow from now on.Suria Labs is a web & app development agency in Malaysia
When Japan opens up its borders for visitors, I’ll definitely come and have a big reunion with my amazing batchmates and Le Wagon Tokyo team! ❤️