Alumni Story: Mariana Leitune, from lawyer to front-end developer

ironhack amsterdam alumni

Mariana is from Brazil but has been living in Amsterdam since 2019. She joined the Ironhack Full Stack Web Development bootcamp in May 2021 and we interviewed her about her experience during and after the bootcamp. 

You always dreamed of being a magistrate of a criminal court, how come you changed your mind?

I have always considered myself a very fair person and wanted to use that to make my country a better place to live. But after doing a postgraduate degree in digital law, my curiosity to learn new things led me to do an online Udemy Bootcamp about Web Development. And after 10 years involved in law, I realized that I want to change the world in another way. So I started planning a career transition and, after finishing the online Bootcamp, I joined the Full-Stack Web Developer Program at Ironhack in May/2021, which I finished at the end of July.

I'm an adaptable and focused person, who likes to plan things carefully and keep them tidy. On a personal level, I love traveling and learning about different cultures.

Tell us about your experience at Ironhack.

My experience at Ironhack couldn’t be better. I learned a lot about development, but I also developed other skills, like communication,  for example. In addition, they helped and encouraged me during my job search. It’s very challenging and tiring, but definitely it’s worth it.

What did you do before doing the bootcamp?

I used to be a lawyer in Brazil. My last permanent employment was at the same law company that I worked at since I left the university. They kept me in the job when I moved to the Netherlands, but then I decided I wanted to have a work experience here in the Netherlands and I looked for a company that outsourced catering services.With that, I worked for a while as a dishwasher at the company where my boyfriend works as a developer. So I discovered a new universe for me and started to open my mind to new things. A year later, I started thinking more seriously about transitioning my career, so I took a Udemy course on full stack development to check if I would like it before investing in a bootcamp and then joined the Ironhack bootcamp in may of this year.

Why did you decide to make a career change?

Because I would like to have more space to explore my creativity.  In addition, technology is an area that grows every day and enables a flexible work culture.

I chose web development because I like the idea of ​​being able to reach the whole world with my work and also because, because of my personality, I like being able to test things I do before presenting them to other people. 

Do you think having been a lawyer has helped you in the world of programming? How?

Yes. Having been a lawyer has helped me to focus on finding solutions and meeting deadlines.

After graduating, you found a job. What would you highlight from your current company and position?

As it is an agency, Ii work on several projects, which helps to learn more dynamically and develop different skills.

I found my job through Ironhack. When I finished the course I was a little insecure about looking for a job, mainly because I was going to spend three months in Brazil at the end of the year, which restricted my job options. But, through a "Meet our partner" meeting promoted by Ironhack, I met Strangelove, which is a company that combines remote-first approach together with flexible office spaces, and I applied for the position through my career coach, Carla Martin.

What I can highlight about my work is flexibility. Now I'm in Brazil, visiting my family, and I still manage to work in Holland. Expats certainly know that this is a huge advantage.

And about my position as a front-end developer, I find it very rewarding to be able to build things that people in different places can use.

What advice would you give to those people who want to get started in the tech sector and are afraid of change?

Changing careers is certainly not easy, especially when we spend a lot of time on our previous career.  But it's never too late to pursue your dream and with effort and dedication everything is possible. 

If you felt inspired by Marian’s story and you are interested in making a career change, check out our bootcamp in Web Development and take the leap!

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