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Meet the women who code in Brussels #2

Every year, Women in Tech launches a code festival in order to fight gender disparity in the tech field. As only 20% of tech jobs are held by women, Le Wagon is proud to partner with the initiative Women Code Festival , since we regularly strive for more diversity in our campuses worldwide. In this article, we wanted to share the experience of a couple of women who joined our 9-week coding bootcamp and dived into a new career in tech.

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Check the full program of Women Code Festival in Brussels with Women in Tech

Christina Wunder


Bringing tech skills and AI knowledge to political communication.

Batch 229 - ( Learned to code 6 months ago )

Christina
"My career is in political communication. Over the last few years I realized that even this field is heavily impacted by technological changes. I wanted to learn more about it, so I started reading loads about the topic. I started reaching out to researchers and developers, in order to learn from them. 

As I found out more and more about the tech world, my curiosity only grew bigger, too. So at some point I decided to take a small sabbatical from my job and dedicate two months to learning how to code. I am very happy with this decision, because these new technical skills have definitely helped me to better understand the bigger picture.

I was already a little bit comfortable with tech, but I didn't know anything about Ruby, GitHub or Rails. The tech world can seem quite intimidating at first, but it is amazing how welcoming and accommodating the majority of people in the scene are, and how much they are willing to share their expertise and help someone who wants to learn."

My life after the bootcamp 


"I felt incredibly proud. In only two months I not only learned how to code, but I also built a couple of websites and applications! That's a pretty amazing learning curve, when you think about it. I was also very sad that the bootcamp was over, because I really enjoyed going back to the classroom, and I made some great friends among the students and teachers, whom I still hang out with now.

Though I went back to my job at the European Union (with tons of new skills and fresh inspiration), I am in the middle of a career switch, so I don't know what is waiting around the corner for me just yet. But I know it will be fun, challenging and exciting. Ideally, I would like to merge my experience in politics with my skills in tech. 

Initially I started coding in order to continue my learning journey into the direction of artificial intelligence – that's what I am now doing. I am organizing free workshops on AI and data science in Brussels. It's quite fascinating, because I get to connect with others who are also learning, as well as experts who know infinitely more than me and who are willing to share their knowledge.

Of course I don't regret learning how to code. It only gave me more confidence and credibility in doing what I do, and it triggered thousands of new ideas about what I could learn and what I could achieve professionally."

[ Check out School of AI Brussels on Meetup ]

Christina's advice:

Okay, at the risk of sounding cheesy: you can do it, so believe in yourself. 
The first weeks were tough for sure, and at the beginning it seems almost impossible to master this challenge – but one of the main surprises for me was how doable it is! I wouldn't say it is easy, but it is doable. It is incredible how much you can learn in only two months, and if you stick with it (after all, why wouldn't you?!), just imagine what you can do in a year!


Christina's inspiration note:

I get a lot of inspiration from other people. I try to reach out to and meet people who do great things or who work in areas that I am interested in. Some books that I really enjoyed, because they shed some light on new technologies and how they impact our modern lives, society and democracy, are The People Vs Tech or Technically Wrong. A YouTube channel about artificial intelligence and data science that I really like is the account of Siraj Raval – it is super entertaining and informative.

Nhu Truong

From Financial analyst to Freelance web developer. 

Batch 185 - ( Learned to code 1 year ago ) 
Nhu is now a freelance web developer
 

"After 10 years working in Finance, I was hesitating to make a career change and add more creativity to my job. I was curious to discover the digital world. 
Learning to code was a good compromise between things I like : I would keep the logical and problem-solving aspect of my current job while adding the creative side that I was missing. 

Before starting classes, I was not comfortable at all. I was a financial analyst and  I didn’t know anything about tech!"
Nuh pitching her final project at Le Wagon Brussels' demoday.

My life after the bootcamp


"I felt that I’ve made the right choice. We were 4 women in my batch and we could demonstrate that we were also able to code and present our final web project at the end of the bootcamp. 
I was also proud of myself : going back to “school” after 10 years, stepping out of my comfort zone, learning something completely new and doing a bootcamp while having 2 young children at home was a real challenge. But I made it ! 
 
I continued to code and to explore all things digital. With the positive experience I had at Le Wagon, I felt that I wanted to continue on this path and I was determined to make a career change! 
 
Today I have become a Freelance Web developer, under the name of Codalist and I am now specialized in building websites. 
I am so happy to see the interest and the demand in this sector ! 
 
I was happy to have made this experience in Finance as I learned a lot both professionally and personally but it was time for me to change. Sometimes, you need to go out of your comfort zone and learn new things, it gives you fresh air ! And now I am so excited to start this new challenge again! "
 

Nhu's advices:

Do not hesitate, follow your gut feeling and do it ! 
Do you feel that you are too old ? Well, it is never too late, and I talk from experience: 35 years old women, 2 children, 10years experience in Finance ;-) 
In a few years, the tech world will be more and more present and also taught at school, so it is not a waste of time to jump into it now, you are just building your future ! 




 
 



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