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Memories of Batch #382’s Web Development Bootcamp, Andy Van Laere

Personally, it was a relief to discover that software isn’t intimidating for me anymore. This was a tremendous benefit for me, and there’s a lot of people I know who would benefit from working in a group and presenting their code. That’s one of the great aspects of the bootcamp.

Memories of Batch #382’s Web Development Bootcamp, Andy Van Laere
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Memories of Batch #382’s Web Development Bootcamp, with Andy Van Laere
 
That’s why I decided to join Le Wagon…I wanted to change my career
 
Before I joined Le Wagon, I was a technician who repaired computer hardware for a big company in the United States with 5,000 employees. Earlier on in my career, I was a real estate developer for 15 years, but I switched to hardware after the 2008 financial crisis. I got my first taste of coding when I joined a 2 year Web Development Degree, which I left after 1 year. Ever since, my intention was to get back into coding eventually. That’s why I decided to join Le Wagon. I wanted to change my career from hardware to software, so that I could work flexibly and increase my quality of life. 
 
When you look at a problem from a different angle, all of a sudden it makes sense
 
Thanks to my experience with coding before Le Wagon, I knew what to expect. Certain days were harder than others, but over time all that concepts that you were struggling with, starts to come together. Then, when you look at a problem from a different angle, all of a sudden it makes sense and there is this moment of pure clarity. There were times when I panicked, I couldn’t understand what was going on, then 2 weeks later it all makes sense suddenly.
 
I really enjoyed spending quality time with my friends at the bootcamp
 
I made great friends at the bootcamp and really enjoyed going out for dinner at a traditional “Meyhane” on Friday. That was before Covid-19 struck Istanbul, and I was deeply disappointed when I had to leave Turkey to continue coding during the bootcamp in the US. Coding for 7 weeks on a US time zone from 11pm to 8am was tough, but what kept me going is knowing that I’ll definitely come back to Istanbul. It’s a wonderful city – and yet so affordable – and the whole Le Wagon experience is just wonderful.  I really appreciate how Le Wagon Istanbul followed up with the students.  Once you graduate, Le Wagon doesn’t tell you: “Hey, it’s over, and then cya”, whereas college was like that for me. 
 
Discovering software isn’t intimidating for me anymore
 
I saw lots of people come out of their shells during the bootcamp and become more comfortable promoting products and showing their code. That’s hugely important.  Personally, it was a relief to discover that software isn’t intimidating for me anymore. This was a tremendous benefit for me, and there’s a lot of people I know who would benefit from working in a group and presenting their code. That’s one of the great aspects of the bootcamp, just getting through each day is like a miniature agile development course. 
 
The foundational knowledge I have gained has empowered me going forward
 
I really enjoyed Le Wagon and found it all extremely interesting. When I read Le Wagon’s reviews and saw the 5/5 average rating from thousands of people, at first I was surprised. But then I went there, did the program, and discovered that all the reviews were really accurate. Honestly, I’ve never done anything where the reviews were so high but when I graduated, I felt that the bootcamp actually exceeded my expectations. 
 
Ruby was easy to learn and I really liked the Rails part, where it all came together. The first three weeks were super intense from a learning perspective, but I loved it. “Projects Weeks” were the best, where you put all the pieces of your coding knowledge together and work as a team.  We quickly realized that communication is key so we all started communicating one-on-one which is very crucial. The foundational knowledge I have gained has empowered me going forward. Now all I have to do is just keep coding and keep going!
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