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Learning to code remotely: Hugo's story

Meet Hugo, a student from our remote Web Development program. Hugo is a Product Manager at TravelPerk, where he joined Le Wagon as part of an upskilling program. Discover how he's learning to code in order to work more collaborative with his engineering team.

Learning to code remotely: Hugo's story
Featuring graduate Hugo Hodinka Product Manager More about Hugo
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"We're learning to code as a part of the company experience and upskilling in order to work more efficiently and collaboratively with the engineers." 

Hi Hugo, can you give an introduction to yourself?

Hello, my name is Hugo and I'm 25 years old. I'm currently working as an Associate Product Manager at TravelPerk, which is a corporate travel startup based in Barcelona. Within my role, I'm trying to simplify the business travel world for our customers by making their lives easier and cheaper in terms of booking management. 

I've been working at TravelPerk for the last three and a half years. I started off as a Customer Care Intern. At that time, I was very dedicated to aiding our customers and ensuring that we were able to get solutions to their problems, and that's when I fell in love with product. I eventually applied to transition into a Product Manager, and the rest is history. 

What made you want to learn to code with Le Wagon?

TravelPerk recently built an APM (Associate Product Manager) program in which myself, along with five other colleagues, have been fortunate enough to get the opportunity to upskill in our roles. We're learning to code as a part of the company experience and upskilling in order to work more efficiently and collaboratively with the engineers. 

The main reason that we chose to go with Le Wagon is because of its ranking amongst coding bootcamps, holding the number one spot worldwide. Being a Product Manager without a technical background, you're always only going to be half as efficient. By learning to code with Le Wagon, we're expanding our engineering skills and horizons, allowing us to have a better understanding of the products being shipped by our engineers. 

Had you already had some coding knowledge before joining the Bootcamp?

I did have some coding knowledge as I'd been working in product for about a year before I started the bootcamp. During this time, I was working very closely with engineers on a daily basis and therefore got introduced into the software engineering growth. Prior to that, not really. I had done some very basic coding in university where I studies International Communication Management. Here I took a more technical course where I learnt some basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but I had never done a deep dive into coding like I currently am with Le Wagon. 

What pushed you to want to learn Web Development?

As mentioned previously, I'm a unique case as my company is sponsoring this learning process. With that being said, where the push definitely did happen was in the job itself. Doing the web development bootcamp, or learning to code in general, has truly opened my eyes to the lack of coding knowledge that I had while previously working as a Product Manager. 

Within my company, we work with scrum, where we have daily standups with our engineers. During these meetings, we get updates on what they've been working on the day before. With this new knowledge, I'll have a much better understanding with regards to timing, technical skills and the overall terminology. This knew comprehension will allow me to work smarter with my team and bridge the gap between us. 

What were the best parts during the Bootcamp (so far)?

The best part of the bootcamp for me was that 'aha' moment. Ever since I began with the lectures, the exercises and the live-codes, I've been exposed to this terminology that I've been hearing every day as a Product Manager. Before the bootcamp, I wasn't necessarily able to connect the dots and see the big picture. The big takeaway for me is the whole vocabulary and having things make much more sense in my role as a Product Manager

Did you face any difficulties during the Bootcamp, and if so, how did you overcome them?

The most difficult aspect for me has been time management, combining my learning process with my full-time job. When you're learning a new skill, it's quite complex and you need to dedicate time to it in order to properly gain knowledge which requires energy. When you're coding with peers, you need to make sure that you're giving it your all so you don't take away from anyone else's experience. Having said this, I try to combat this by taking breaks in between my job and my learning. By taking these mindful breaks, I've found that I get much more out of my learning experience. You really need to be 100% focused during the bootcamp, so by taking 20 minute breaks, you're sort of re-setting your mindset. 

How would you describe the remote Bootcamp? How is your experience so far?

I think that this pandemic has really changed my mindset with regards to remote work and learning. In today's day and age, we're so used to working in this remote format so this wasn't much of a shock to me. To be honest, I'm much more of a hands on learner, but I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised with how well Le Wagon has managed to pull off this new remote format. It's been a great experience, and I'm overall really happy with it!
Hugo's Remote Learning Setup

What are you planning to do once the Bootcamp is over?

I'm luckily in the position where I'm currently working a role that I plan on staying in. As I had mentioned, I took part in this course as a means of helping me to enhance my current skills, which I hope to apply to my role as a Product Manager. Learning to code really makes you a different type of Product Manager. I can already see the difference in the way in which my team is working together. This experience has built up enough confidence in me to argue that I now have a technical background, something that I wouldn't have said before I did the bootcamp. 

What is one piece of advice you would give anyone thinking about joining the remote bootcamp?

A piece of advice that I'd like to share is clean your calendar before you begin the bootcamp. You want to make sure that you're putting the right amount of time into your learning and properly balancing your work, learning and personal lives. Set yourself up for success, you won't regret it! 

Thank you Hugo! 

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