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A hands-on coding experience to refresh long lost skills

After heading towards another career path for a while, I then decided to go back to my domain in computer science and start my career in IT. I also chose to attend Le Wagon to refresh my coding skills as I didn't get to use these for quite some time.
My name is Gokhan, a computer science graduate from UCL. After graduating from UC, I decided to take a gap year and found myself working as a supervisor for a franchise of Domino’s Pizza in France, something completely different from what I had expected.
After a while, I decided it was time for me to go back home in Belgium to finally start working in the IT sector. But I also needed to feel 100% confident in my work so I felt like it would be a good idea to refresh my coding knowledge, as I didn't use it for years. 

What pushed you to learn to code?

I always loved gaming so I actually started my computer science studies with the goal of becoming a video game programmer. I figured by studying computer science at the university, I would be able to start working on a concrete project as soon as I finished but it turns out I wasn't. It was mainly theory and no hands-on experience. 
Once I've finished my studies, I actually started to work in a completely different field.

And why did you chose to go back studying code?

Because I was working in a completely different field, I ended up not coding for years and there were a lot of things I couldn’t remember. And also, let’s face it, technology is evolving fast! I wanted to get back to coding but felt like I needed a refresher. And Le Wagon seemed perfect for that! 

What did you like most about the bootcamp?

What I loved most was that the bootcamp is all about practical exercices. From day one, we code. There is no overflow of theory, we are actually on our computers writing codes. So we get a lot of practice, meaning we are actually able to put to an use what we are learning. 

While learning, you were also working in a company. How did you manage to find the right balance?

I had the will and motivation to make it work. I wanted to get my career back on track as soon as possible and be able to evolve into working in the programing field as I’ve always wanted to. I wanted that change to happen. So when you are motivated, you find the right way to make it work. 
But that don't mean it wasn't challenging!

And what happened to be your biggest challenge during the bootcamp?

Lockdown happened right during the bootcamp and that wasn’t easy! In my opinion, 2020 will soon be a part of history books.
It was hard for everyone, as it’s not the same to be in a classroom with everyone and to just have to turn to the person next to you to talk, and to follow online classes while stuck at home. But Le Wagon’s team made it work and I’d like to say that they’ve done a tremendous job to make the switch to full remote smooth. 
And aside from that, I have to admit that it’s not always easy to keep going for 24 weeks. You spend several months just working on your computer, with a lot less free time and you sometimes need to give yourself a push to keep going. 

What advice would you give to get the most out of the bootcamp ?

Don’t be afraid to fail. There is nothing wrong with that, only practice will make you better.
And you need to believe in the teaching methods of Le Wagon. There is no use to try and go faster than the lesson. I’ve tried this at first, thinking that it was moving too slow for me but in the end, you only get tired quicker and don't gain anything from it. 

Now that you are done with the course, what are you up to ?

I’m now able to create a web app from scratch. That fact only gave me a lot of confidence in my skills, confidence I didn’t have when I finished my university studies. 

And even though, I'm not currently able to fully use everything I've learned, as my company uses a different technology and programming language, I realize I have learned so much more than just web development skills. It goes beyond that.
We learn how to approach an issue, to analyze it and to come up with a solution using the information you find on the web. It teaches you to be autonomous when fixing issues, as at work, there isn't any teacher by your side to help you! 
One of the most valuable thing I've learnt at Le Wagon is to work on a project with a team. I was a lone wolf before but see, working in web development is actually a lot about team work!

And now I have a community to turn to when needed. Le Wagon's alumni all over the world are always there to help or to create opportunities. 

One last advice for anyone thinking of joining the bootcamp as well

I only have one thing to say: don’t look elsewhere. This is the best bootcamp you’ll ever find!
why? Because it’s not just a bootcamp, it’s a family. And I’m very proud to be a part of it. 
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