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Stay smart, upskill yourself: how Farrah got promoted

While working her full-time job at a startup, Farrah went through the Le Wagon Tokyo part-time program to learn a new set of coding skills. Her company recognized her efforts, and she got promoted to QA engineer right before graduation!

‍   Thanks for your time, Farrah! What were you doing before joining Le Wagon? 

Originally from Hong Kong, I moved to Japan to work as a customer support operator at a travel startup. I quickly got promoted to operation manager and made myself busy looking for ways to improve my team’s workflow. 

At that time, we found out that using AI for customer support improves response accuracy and we decided to automate manual processes. Since I had management experience, I got promoted to the position of AI team manager to help my subordinates reach KPIs and solve customers’ problems more efficiently. 

Sometimes it was difficult to interact with our developers and I felt that learning tech foundations could be a key to success. I started looking into different options to learn programming, and found that Le Wagon part-time course was the most suitable for my needs. It turned out that one of our product managers Ben had also graduated from Le Wagon, and after checking the syllabus a developer friend confirmed that the tech stack was very similar  to the one we use at the company. 

‍   Was it difficult to juggle between your work and studies? 

At first, I struggled a bit since my official working hours overlapped with Le Wagon’s evening classes. But the best thing about working for my company is that they’re always looking for ways to help you grow. My supervisor was supportive and happily agreed to change my working hours to make sure I could be on time for evening classes. As I progressed through the course, she encouraged me to discuss with our CTO and put the ideas into practice at work.   

My final project idea was born out of the real pains at work having several interviews lined up every day. At that time I really wanted someone to help me save time by automating the whole process. The web application we developed has the first screening process done by AI, which analyzes the applicant’s video interview, evaluates it with a score and sends an email to schedule a second one. Several of my team members watched the live pitch and said it was amazing!

Watch Farrah’s pitch (from 39:02)

‍   How did bootcamp help you to achieve your goal?

Going through a coding bootcamp gave me a huge boost of self-confidence. Before enrollment in the part-time bootcamp, I lacked arguments to convince my boss that I needed to enter the engineering field. After I gained enough knowledge, I asked if he could delegate me some tech tasks and he offered to promote me to the QA engineer!

As of now, my tasks consist of testing our products manually, teaching other departments about our product and cooperating with developers and PMs to achieve our product team's KPIs. In a couple of months, I will move to writing code for automation, improving our workflow for customer support and designing some KPIs tracking templates for the product team. Though now I’m already in the tech field, I will have to keep learning new skills and tools all through my career, considering how dynamic the technology sector is. 

‍   What is your advice for anyone considering upskilling? 

Don’t be afraid to share with your company your interest in further education, as it will show you are committed to the business and see your future there. Once you identify gaps in your experience, present them with a clear plan of how and where you will obtain further knowledge. Companies do recognize that their workforce needs upskilling, and if you have a supportive boss you will definitely succeed in having them on your side. 

Thank you for your time, Farrah! Wishing you good luck on your career growth!
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