The WOW feeling when you've built your product from scratch
After having finished my degree I was a little unsure on what I really wanted to do and hadn’t found my true passion, but I always knew I wanted to create something myself. I was curious about programming, as it is evident that the world is going digital, so I started looking into it.
I was born in Switzerland and grew up in Munich with my mother, only starting school in the UK at age 13. After finishing my A-Levels I went travelling around the world and became a scuba diving instructor. After doing that for 3 years I knew I needed a new challenge, so decided to return to London to do a Bachelors Degree in Business & Finance.
After having finished my degree I was a little unsure on what I really wanted to do and hadn’t found my true passion, but I always knew I wanted to create something myself.
I was curious about programming, as it is evident that the world is going digital, so I started looking into it. A contact told me about Le Wagon (and at that time I was in Berlin), he called his contact at Le Wagon there and then, who then invited me along to their pitch night that evening. A little nervous and not quite sure what to expect, I went and listened to the students pitches and the projects they are creating. I immediately realised I wanted to have that skill too. The skill of coming up with an idea and bringing it to life myself.
I spoke to very helpful teachers and students, one student telling me “It’s been the toughest few weeks of my life, but at the same time the most rewarding” - and having finished the batch myself, I couldn’t agree more! I was signed up for Le Wagon London soon after my visit.
Within the first few weeks I had the chance to host a fireside chat with Zach Grosser, who's now a freelance designer but started his career at Apple, then moved to Square and then Figma. We used Figma to create our products in the final weeks - it was so great to chat to him and also hear what product design tips he had to share! It's even been made into a podcast - have a listen!
The whole bootcamp was the toughest and most intense few weeks I have ever experienced, especially since I am also studying nutrition alongside the course, and was training for the London marathon which was half way through my batch. BUT hands down it was one of the greatest experiences. The journey was a rollercoaster, with points where I thought I would never get my head around it.
It finally ‘clicked’ and everything made sense. When everything you’ve learned in the first few weeks comes together in project weeks, you realise you can actually build a website from scratch yourself - WOW - what a feeling!
The best part of the bootcamp was the buddy system, you get to know so many amazing individuals, from so many walks of life, with so many incredible ideas, all helping each other out to get their code to work! The worst part was being really stuck with some code. For hours. It hurt my brain but it was the best way to truly understand in the end.
My team and I built an app which helps people save and budget. We called it MyMoMa (My Money Manager). I was very lucky with my team, we communicated very well and all had strengths in different areas, therefore we worked very efficiently without much conflict at all, but it gave us a great insight in what real working life as a dev would be like.
I didn't come to the bootcamp with a specific goal in mind, so don't worry if you don't either. I did the bootcamp thinking it would give me an added skill which was unique to have, and therefore an advantage on my future career path more generally. Having finished Le Wagon I believe I have finally found my passion in something I genuinely love doing. So therefore I would love to pursue a career as a developer. I definitely believe learning to code is beneficial for anyone.
We should all have some knowledge of it, since it’s part of every business there is.
For now, since I've just graduated, I’m taking it slowly - making sure I'm continuously learning. I'd like to broaden my knowledge on some other coding languages, and get better and more efficient at creating projects.
If I were to give advice to anyone unsure about what they want to do, I would say to try things, try as much as you possibly can. If there is a field that interests you, try and talk to as many people in that field as you know, ask them how they got to where they are, and ask them for 3 more people to talk to.
This is what’s brought me to doing Le Wagon, and I couldn’t be happier with a decision.
I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Le Wagon, the knowledge I have acquired in those few weeks is enormous, and has already had a big impact on me, and I’m sure I will always look back to those few weeks as some of my best and most relevant of my education so far.