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Meet Rana: from TV-producer to Web Developer

Former TV-producer, Rana joined Le Wagon Dubai last April 2021 in order to switch careers. All TV projects being cancelled by the pandemic last year, she was able to take online coding classes and realised she had a true passion for coding. That’s how she decided to join Le Wagon. Read her full story!
My name is Rana. I am 30 years old, I originally come from Beirut Lebanon but I now live in Dubai.

What were you doing before joining Le Wagon?

I have 12 years experience in TV & music studio production and Events management.
When I was younger, I started studying Audio Visual Arts in college but had to drop out because I wasn’t earning enough to pay for my studies. So I decided to work full time for the production company I was working at back then. 
It was a good opportunity because I learnt so much while working and in 12 years no one ever asked for my college degree. In 12 years, I went from production assistant to project coordinator to co-producer and producer. I was even invited to join The Voice Kids Season 2 in Lebanon. I started freelancing when I moved to Dubai before the pandemic last year.

Why did you decide to join a Web Development bootcamp at Le Wagon?

I decided to join Le Wagon for different reasons. 

On the one hand, I have always had an interest in Web Development having tried to learn on my own. Coding has always been in the background. I started learning HTML, then CSS, stopped, then went back to it. I kept trying on and off! It was difficult to learn on my own as I lacked the motivation and time. When covid happened, all TV projects were put on hold so I had time to explore this interest again. I took online classes again, and realised that I liked this more than I thought. 

On the other hand, I felt the need to explore something else than TV production. It is a very competitive market which became saturated over the years. I also wanted a job that would give me the chance to work from anywhere. I wanted to be able to grab my laptop and go anywhere I want. I am also a night owl as I prefer working at night so having a flexible schedule was very important for me.

For all those reasons I thought of making a career switch. I heard of Le Wagon from a friend that is now also a student at Le Wagon and decided to apply.

How did you feel before starting the course?

I was excited as it was a complete career switch for me. I also felt anxious because I thought I was too old for this. It was mentally challenging to accept that I was going back to school. But then, going on campus I saw that I wasn’t alone so I was quickly reassured.

What was your favourite part of it?

The Live codes! Live codes happen at the end of the day. One student volunteers to solve the challenges of the day with the help of the other students. It is a way to make sure that students master all core concepts seen during the day before moving on to the next lessons. Since we were a small batch, live codes made us feel like we were part of a group. We would help each other and work together to solve challenges as a team. 

What was the most challenging part?

The most challenging part is to stay motivated. It is a very intense bootcamp with a lot of new stuff to learn. I sometimes didn’t understand where things would fit. The last weeks were when it all connected and all made sense!

What support does the bootcamp provide you?

The nice thing is that teachers are not only your teachers, they are also your friends and cheerleaders. If it weren't for such nice teachers I think we wouldn’t have made it. They were constantly motivating us and making sure we were alright. The fact that they also went through the bootcamp makes it even better as they can understand exactly how we feel. It was a very personal and human experience because we shared more than just teaching classes. It is about meeting people and learning about their life. This bootcamp gives you both emotional support and educational support. 

What are you doing now ?

I took some days off after finishing the bootcamp as it was very intense. My goal now is to focus on Front-end development. I would like to learn more front-end languages and enrich my knowledge about Web Design, Colours series etc. I started a Google course on UX/UI experience to start digging more in this field. My goal is also to build my portfolio of projects. And finally, I am about to launch my company - Webdroid - where I will work on different UX/UI projects for clients.

My experience at Le Wagon really confirmed that I wanted to pursue that career. It gave me the knowledge, self-esteem and reliability I need to start working in this field. I am now open to work on any front-end related projects! 

Any advice for someone who wishes to learn to code?

My main advice is that if you are not satisfied with where you are right now, don’t postpone your career change! The more you postpone it, the more time you will need to excel at it.
Sometimes it seems easier to stick to your current job because you already spent too much time in it. For example I remained stuck in TV production for a long time just because I thought that I had already invested too much time in it.
However, you will always find skills from your previous experiences that you can apply to your new job. Learning Web Development gave me problem-solving skills and management skills that I will eventually need in my future company or if I want to be a Product Manager.

And finally if you want to join Le Wagon trust the process, listen to the teachers and do not give up :)

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