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Making a career change, from communication to full-stack development

As her work in communication involved working on several web development projects, Eva got really interested by the subject and decided to join Le Wagon to learn technical skills. It then became a life-changing move, as she decided to switch career and become a full-stack developer.
I come from a non-technical background. I studied political science and public administration at university and after spending some time in Iceland, the US and Sweden, I moved to Brussels a few years ago to work in communications for an international organisation. There, I was mainly writing and producing content for the organisation’s website and social media channels.

Why did you decide to attend Le Wagon and learn to code?

I was involved in several web development projects at my job, but always from the client side. During those projects, I got more and more fascinated about web development and wished I knew more about the technical aspects. I would allow me to have a better understanding about the opportunities, challenges and limitations at hand. 
Eventually, I realised that I would most likely enjoy my work much more if I could spend my days coding. So, I quit my job and signed up to Le Wagon to see if I could make it a reality.

How was your experience at Le Wagon?

I had a great experience at Le Wagon. The days were packed with information and the syllabus was well structured, so each day we kept building on top of yesterday’s knowledge. It’s an intense tempo so the bootcamp was definitely challenging: the first weeks I would go home exhausted at the end of each day. But, it was such a great feeling to manage to get your code working after trying for a while so, despite it being hard, I was always looking forward to going back the next morning. Gradually the pieces started to fall into place, the connections between concepts and processes became clearer and the possibilities of code opened up. It didn’t take me long to realise that coding was definitely something for me and that there was no going back — I wanted to build a career as a developer.

What are you doing since graduating?

After graduating, I landed a job at Smovin, a Belgian start-up which has developed a web application to simplify real estate management. I’m a full-stack developer so I work both on the backend of the app in Ruby on Rails, and the frontend which is built with Vue.js — a JavaScript framework which I’ve really grown to love. I have been working there for almost a year now and I couldn’t be luckier with my workplace. My team is great, I get a lot of valuable feedback on my code and I’m trusted with taking on challenging tasks throughout various parts of the app. This has clearly helped me expand my knowledge every day. In fact, this is the beauty about code, you never stop learning because there’s always something new out there for you to explore. 

Being a woman in tech - did it ever felt as an obstacle? 

I think being a woman in tech for sure has its challenges but I also think it’s changing. Once I started looking for jobs, I noticed that even though, there are some companies that don’t seem to place a high value on general equality, 
more and more firms have understood the benefits and importance of having a diverse workforce and are bringing more women onboard their dev teams. 
In my team, we are four developers, two men and two women, and I think this clearly brings added value to our work: we have a very positive culture and we can approach issues from more perspectives.

I also think it’s important to not let the fear of being the odd one out stop you in your dreams. When I signed up for Le Wagon in 2020, I was a bit nervous that there wouldn’t be a lot of other women in my group. However, on the first day I was really happy to see that nearly half of the batch were women! As we got to know each other, we realised that none of us had expected to find this many women. It would have been such a shame if any of us would have let those doubts stop us from taking the step, because even if you might think that it’ll be a lonely road, once you start the journey you’ll realise that you’re not alone. 
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