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. Why did you change 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 in law, I realized that I want to change the world in a different way.
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.
The Ironhack Experience
My experience at Ironhack couldn't have been better. I learned a lot about development but I also developed other skills like communication. In addition, they helped and encouraged me during my job search; it’s very challenging and tiring, but it’s definitely worth it.
I used to be a lawyer in Brazil. My last permanent job was at the same law company that I had been working at since I left university. I kept my job when I moved to the Netherlands, but then I decided I wanted to have work experience here in the Netherlands and I looked for a company that outsourced catering services. I worked for a while as a dishwasher at the company where my boyfriend works as a developer; I discovered a new universe for myself 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 see if I would like it before investing in a bootcamp. I joined the Ironhack bootcamp later that same year.
Why did you decide to make a career change?
Because I wanted to have more space to explore my creativity. In addition, technology is an area that grows every day and encourages a flexible work culture.
I chose web development because I liked the idea of being able to reach the whole world with my work and because of my personality, I like being able to test things I do before presenting them to other people. And being a lawyer has helped me focus on finding solutions and meeting deadlines.
I’m currently at an agency and work on several projects, which helps to enhance 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, restricting my job options. But through a "Meet Our Partners" meeting promoted by Ironhack, I met Strangelove, which is a company that combines a 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 can still work. Expats certainly know that this is a huge advantage. And as a front-end developer, I find being able to build things that people in different places can use very rewarding.
Advice for future Ironhackers
Changing careers is certainly not easy, especially when you spent a lot of time in our previous role. But it's never too late to pursue your dream and with effort and dedication, everything is possible.
If you feel inspired by Mariana’s story and are interested in making a career change, check out our Web Development bootcamp and take the leap!