We recently met with Daniel, a 32 year old front end developer. He trained with Ironhack in the very first Madrid cohort which started at the end of 2012. Being first to market in Spain meant that the first group of trainees would enter a whole undiscovered opportunity. It gave him the chance to be part of something bigger from the start.
10 years later he reflects about his experience and his journey which lead him to become a Senior Front-end Developer. He is now based in London, a capital for tech working with Beauhurst.
Here is what he told us:
What was your perception of bootcamps back then? What made you want to start?
Back then, the tech “bootcamp” was not well known in Madrid, so Ironhack was really the first one coming up! It caught a lot of attention since it was something really new! At the time, we studied Ruby on Rails, the concept of tech bootcamps was still unknown, and it was an incredibly exciting opportunity. I was taking the bootcamp with both Ariel Quinones and Gonzalo Manrique, the co-founders of Ironhack, joining as fellow students. Before joining I did a Computer Science degree at university and I wanted more experience coding. I thought Ruby on Rails would be good for my CV, and thought why not learn something new!
What have you been up to these past 9 years?
I haven’t stopped learning! There are always new languages to learn. I’ve studied React, and Angular. Right now I’m focusing on React as I’m doing personal projects with React and using View in my work. It’s good to know the basis of these languages as you can compare what you like and what you learn more easily. I moved to London in 2015, started working almost immediately.
What benefits did you get from doing Ironhack?
One of the main benefits is the community! I’m still talking to the guys that did the bootcamp with me, some are in the US. You have this community that you can ask when you’re looking for someone with certain skills, you can help them and get help from them! Sometimes you get drinks together, sometimes you get interesting emails. So one of the best benefits is definitely the community. The other benefit would be the skills that you get that are actually used in work. It’s not like in university, where you have a lot of theory, in Ironhack everything that you do is applied in real work.
Why did you move to London? Can you tell us about your experience finding the job and working in London’s tech scene?
I learnt English in the USA, in San Francisco, and I asked them what is the place in Europe most similar to San Francisco, and they said London! It’s the most cosmopolitan, everyone speaks English, there’s a lot of buzz in fintech and job opportunities in tech in general, so it was the place to be!
My first day in London I went to a meetup and got a job, The fourth day since arriving to London was Monday and I started working! This city is crazy, always busy and always changing! People care about how you’re treated, the companies care for you, you work with people from around the world, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, English, etc. The salaries here are excellent as well.
What has been the outcome from the time you took the bootcamp to what you’re doing today?
I guess if I look back from the boot camp until today, I think it helped me a lot to open my mind, to know what my strengths were at that moment but also, help me a lot to Interact with people much older than me and work as a team. Remember that I was 21 when I did it. So all these points are things that from the bootcamp I realized I needed and today I am still trying to improve them.
What have been some of the most amazing achievements that you have accomplished since then?
Well, I am quite proud right now of the Beauhurst platform, the company I've worked with over the last 5 years. It is something that I care about a lot.
What is your current role, company and responsibilities? How have they changed over the years?
Right now, I am a senior front end developer at Beauhurst. We are redesigning the entry platform and at the same time I need to help juniors to progress to their task. Since the beginning I remember the first website I made… I will say to myself, good job but you need to improve in this or that, so keep going!
Lastly, what would you say to someone who’s thinking about breaking into tech or just getting started?
First I would tell them to try any tutorial and try to build something to get the feeling of if they’d like to work in this industry. Check job offers and their requirements, try to see yourself working in that environment and if it suits you. If you want to work remotely, try working by yourself for a couple of days and see how you feel. If you want to work in a company, try working in a coffee shop with a little bit of noise and see how that feels. Go to meet-ups, meet people, open your mind and see if it’s really what you want to do.
Now Daniel joins the alumni network that we’ve built for Ironhack in the UK. He keeps building more connections while learning and supporting others and taking part at community events.