What led you to enroll in Ironhack?

I was enrolled in an engineering program at university, but ended up dropping out pretty quickly because I didn’t really enjoy it. After that, I enrolled in what I believe is called a ‘vocational degree’ in other parts of the world: it’s like a three-year degree for programming. I was doing pretty well but, again, I didn’t really enjoy it. However, whilst there, I met some people who pointed me towards Ironhack.

I looked at the website and thought: “Well, this looks cool! This looks more like my type of thing: fast, hands-on and just better overall”. So I applied to the Web Development Bootcamp, dropped out of the other school, and eventually enrolled with Ironhack.

Did you have any concerns before starting the course?

Not really; I was really looking forward to it. It looked really promising, and I’m the type of guy who’s never afraid to try new things (I moved to Canada by myself for a year when I was just 16). So, when it came to Ironhack, it was just a case of: “this seems like my thing, I should just go for it!”

Did you encounter any difficulties with learning during the bootcamp?

What I found most difficult about the course wasn’t so much the coding or programming aspect -- it was actually having to program with other people and learning the skills required to work in a team. One of the most positive things I experienced at Ironhack was seeing how other people learn and program.

Part of Ironhack’s bootcamp experience is teaching other people certain things and learning what other people might be able to teach you. That was the most challenging part for me; learning how to be more open, more receptive to suggestions, and also being more forward with my opinions. My classmates made a big difference in terms of my experience. We really got along -- all of us.

The teachers were really engaging, too. For instance, we had a teacher from Spotify who was a JavaScript expert; he would keep giving me challenges. We’d be talking about prototypes and inheritance and all that kind of stuff, and, when I’d finished all of that, he’d encourage me to go a little bit further, and pointed me in the direction of things like Polymer (a framework).

Web Development Bootcamp

What did you do right after bootcamp, and what were your plans for applying your new skills?

I actually landed my current job at Xing after just two weeks at Ironhack. Aside from the teacher who worked at Spotify, there were a lot of high-profile names on the course, both as teachers and mentors. In my bootcamp, there were two teachers from Xing, which is sort of a German LinkedIn. There was a guy from eBay and another guy from Spain who’s big in the JavaScript community. So, there were a few big names around.

To be honest, I was expecting to be able to get a job after the course. I was already getting job offers -- not very food ones, but job offers nonetheless. However, I certainly did not expect to get a job offer as good as the one I got -- and definitely not that fast!

It felt pretty good to land the job. I didn’t sign the contract until week six of Ironhack, but in the second week, one of my teachers had recommended me for the position, and sure enough, I got it. I started working for Xing straight after the course.

Ricard Solé Casas

What are you up to now?

Right now, I’m still working at Xing, where I have a really flexible schedule, I’m part of a really good company culture and everyone’s really helpful. Being able to contribute to something that’s used by 20 million people is really amazing. The company also made sure that they didn’t hire me without having the right mentorships program in place for me, so I’m really happy with my job.

I thought I knew a lot about programming before, but what I’ve managed to pick up during the first three months at Xing is astonishing. It’s difficult to say how much of all of that is thanks to what I learned at Ironhack, but I’m 100% sure that, had I not attended Ironhack, I wouldn’t have this job; I would probably be in London or Finland or somewhere else still looking for one.

As it stands, on top of my job, I have a several side projects that I’m working on in my spare time with friends, as well as some personal projects. I’m quite pleased about that.

What are the first steps you’d recommend to anybody who wants to learn to code?

I think that if you’re thinking about learning to code or want to become a programmer, you must be the kind of person who loves to solve problems. If you don’t like to spend hours of your day trying to solve a problem, maybe it’s not for you.

My first piece of advice is to learn to add and subtract. Then, pick a language; whether it’s PHP, Javascript, whatever, and start coding! You can either do what I did, and find a great bootcamp like Ironhack, or try to find a company that’ll hire you.

Why would you recommend Ironhack over other similar learning programs?

For me, Ironhack isn’t like your typical education where everyone is expected to achieve the same bare minimum. Ironhack is always trying to get the best out of you, they push you to your limit and, that’s what made it different.

Of course there is a standard that everybody is expected to reach, but then if you exceed that standard, they’re not going to limit you or hinder any further development; they will actually empower and encourage it. That’s one of the most challenging but also rewarding parts of the whole Ironhack experience: getting into the right mindset.

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