Reality: Even though Le Wagon advertises as having a hands-on learning structure, I assumed it will involve the lecturer teaching the concept by going through presentation slides and assigning practice questions for us to attempt after class. However, I was really delighted to find out that we are required to go through the content before lessons, and our teacher will allocate the first hour of class to revise the concepts. The rest of the lesson is then allocated for students to work on different practical questions. This structure emphasises heavily on practical sessions, and this really helped to build up my confidence in coding. Especially so as I was a part-time student and did not have much time outside of work or class to revise the content. The lesson structure helped me greatly as I could focus on practising the programming concepts during lesson time.
Reality: I didn’t expect Le Wagon to have an in-house learning portal for students. This portal is very robust – it has everything from lecture videos and summaries, flashcards, tons of practices questions and a slew of videos that teach topics not necessarily part of the curriculum, but which we may want to implement in our applications. I enjoyed using the portal, and to date, I am still using it even though I have graduated from the bootcamp. Students have lifetime access to the portal and I think it is really a great learning tool that helps to create a more efficient learning experience.
Reality: Le Wagon teachers are very knowledgeable and surprisingly approachable too. They are so willing to help students in any way they can – even outside of lessons. I can book a time with the teacher for consultation on a project that is not related to Le Wagon, for career advice, or for help on technical challenges in upcoming job interviews. In my journey transiting to a career in technology, I never thought a bootcamp teacher can become someone I can look to for help and mentorship.
Reality: I was worried and fearful of not being able to secure a job after the bootcamp. As I have a business degree, I expected it to be very challenging as I would be competing with graduates from the relevant fields of study in IT. However, the project that I completed from the bootcamp earned me interviews and because I learned how to build an application from the front end to the back end, it helped with the technical challenges in my interview. Also, I realise whenever I mentioned that I attended a 6-month part-time bootcamp, recruiters are more willing to bring me to the next stage of the application. Initially, I thought that Le Wagon’s career support program would just involve forwarding us available job roles from various companies. However, Le Wagon has a career week where they organise workshops based on student needs. The workshop was very useful in exposing us to topics we needed to know, such as what to do after the bootcamp and how to prepare for technical interviews, and provided us with the chance to network with different recruiters from NodeFlair and Wantedly.