We’ve had a chat with two of our 2021 winners of our Hackshow for the Ironhack Remote’s cohorts. The session was an opportunity for our top students from each bootcamp to present their project to an audience which would then vote for a winner. Our web development winners were Joanne Seiler (JS) and Anja Ramihone (AR). In our interview, we got to know more about their stories and the bootcamp experience.
Living in completely different cities and countries, Joanne and Anja decided to change their career path and gain new coding skills. Joanne lives in Flensburg, Germany. Her previous background was in Educational Sciences. Anja was based in Paris with a background in Finance as a financial auditor. They formed a team during the bootcamp and delivered their project called Ninja Coder: a tool to help children from younger ages discover the world of coding. At the Hackshow, they were the winners of the Web Development cohort. We wanted to get to meet them and asked them a few questions to learn about their experience:
Why did you choose to join Ironhack and break into tech? What was the key moment in your life that made you think about taking this step?
JS: I previously studied educational sciences with majors in health and nutrition and special education and for a few years I was confident that this was the right fit for me since I had worked in special education prior to college. I didn't really like the internships during my studies, so I started to doubt my choice. In the end, there was something missing from this job for me.
Logical thinking and creativity are required in many jobs and are also important qualities as a teacher. However, I was missing living out these two things and developing into something. So I thought again about what I'm actually good at and what I like to do. I tried to disregard what I had already studied. At the end of these considerations I had come to the conclusion that I like to analyze things, I am good at logical thinking and I am interested in design. I started to read up on frontend development and had the hope that this could be the right thing for me. I was thinking about training or studying and then by chance I came across Ironhack.
AR: I studied finance and audit for 3 years in a French Business School, to get my Master, then spent 4 years working as a Financial Auditor in top audit firms in Paris. I chose the IT sector because I have always been amazed by technologies, maybe because I’m part of this generation of ‘Millennials’, who have known the beginning of the Internet, the surge of technologies in our lives.
I’ve had the privilege of working on several clients, from start-ups to largest international companies such as cloud provider, or treasury software. During those years, I went deeper into how tech companies work by analyzing and understanding their business models and especially, by helping them to deal with their financial numbers. I liked what I was doing, but at some point, I lost interest in my job that impacted my self-esteem. The thought that my daily tasks did not trigger any dopamine inside me was the sign. I decided to quit my job, without any plan.
After that, I took months to think of my real aspirations - it was not that easy. The main dilemma I could not quickly figure out was : A change of job or a change of career?
I first started reading about coding, then I took a 3-week course about CSS and HTML to create my first page about diving, one of my passions. I was hooked ! Seeing my first page ‘online’ was really satisfying ! I just discovered a new world full of opportunities.
The thing is there are tons of resources you can use to teach yourself, but bootcamps can be the best option if you feel more confident with real instructors and mentors who can see your growth and support you throughout this short time of learning. That is why I found Ironhack ! Having conversations with some Ironhackers helped me as well to take the decision of attending the Web Development bootcamp. Last but not the least, Ironhack offers courses related to technologies that are in high demand in the job market.
How did a Remote Bootcamp fit into your plan? Why did you choose Remote instead of an on-campus bootcamp?
JS: Since I live in Flensburg (Germany), only remote learning was an option for me. I would have liked to go to a campus. Especially when I worked in a team, I missed not being together in one place. However, I have to say that, contrary to my expectations, I had a great team feeling despite the distance and certainly made long-standing contacts. (Besides, you can leave your pajama pants on and no one sees it - you can concentrate on your work and don't have to struggle with uncomfortable clothing).
AR: The main reason is that I do not live near an Ironhack campus. I moved from France to live in Mauritius 9 months ago. In addition, being on Ironhack Remote allows you to meet people with different backgrounds and living in different countries. Also, this experience definitely prepared me for the transition towards a remote job that I am looking for.
What was your best moment at Ironhack?
JS: I can't name a best moment. The entirety of the boot camp was just great. Experiencing how everyone supports each other and seeing how hard everyone is working was a highlight for me and motivated me a lot. Also, we had many nice, funny and also serious moments.
AR: I have a few great highlights about my Ironhack experience, like all the projects-week after each module (3 real-life projects). But if I had to choose only one moment, it would be the last project. It was definitely the consecration of the 9 weeks of hard-work and learning, with a lot of tiredness. I really enjoyed seeing my teammate, Joanne, and I working like real web developers, challenging ourselves on a project from scratch with total freedom and all the technical and interpersonal skills we have gained. We were able to solve our bugs on our own, we tried to call our mentors at the last critical moment. We are extremely proud of it.
You won the Hackshow with your project. Can you tell us a bit about it?
JS: We have created a website, where programming courses for children are provided. On this website you can register both as a developer/teacher and as a parent. As a parent you create a profile for your child and you can buy courses or add them for free to your child's profile. The idea behind the platform is that every child should have the opportunity to learn coding in a fun way. Here we had the increasing importance of digitalization in mind.
AR: This idea was obvious regarding our experience with Ironhack. Web developers are in high demand now, kids must know about the environment and the technology around them. And learning coding increases their development, logical thinking, creativity, confidence… For that project we made research on other websites already existing to make ours intuitive and interactive for parents and kids. In addition, we emphasized the design to make it responsive and kid-friendly.
What are you aspiring to do next with your new skills?
JS: I am very grateful for my newly acquired knowledge. We have gained knowledge in both backend and frontend. Calling myself and applying as a full-stack developer seems too daring for me personally. I don't want to lose the design aspect and focus on one area. That's why I want to take the time to learn more about the frontend and review and solidify everything I've learned. Getting into UX/UI design and learning more about usability would also be super useful and nice. If a company gave me the chance to progressively develop and learn more within the company, I would be immediately willing and very happy to work with creative and open-minded people.
AR: The Remote bootcamp provided me with foundational knowledge. So my learning doesn’t end at graduation. That is why, I really want to continue practicing and building some personal projects. For the next few months, I have already scheduled my to-do list with the skills to strengthen and the new ones I will dive into. At the same time, it is important to stay aware of the job market, the reason why I will apply to test myself. And with that, I will feel more comfortable and confident to apply for a job.
Thank you for being so open about your experience. Do you have recommendations for anyone who is thinking about changing their life with Ironhack and tech?
JS: Do it! Buy a second screen if you don't have one, say goodbye to your friends & family for the next 9 weeks and enjoy the irreplaceable and unique time you will have during the bootcamp!
AR: If you are not really sure of your decision, examine your situation : what are you looking for? and why? It is definitely a matter of attitude. Also, find some Ironhackers via Linkedin for example, and chat with them. It is very helpful to hear from someone who’s already experienced your situation and learn about their opinions.
If you are sure on your big move, then go for it! Ironhack Remote will help you to learn in a short time, with incredible staff-teaching throughout the journey, and even after your graduation, because once you enter Ironhack, you become a part of this big community. You will meet beautiful people with whom you will share your ups and downs, because it won’t be easy. Setting up goals and keeping them in mind helped me to stay on track and provided me motivation when I felt frustrated or left behind at some point.
And lastly, trust the process...
Ironhack Remote allows students from Europe and the US time zones to study from the comfort of their homes without the need of going to campus. We offer programs in UX UI Design, Web Development, Cybersecurity and Data Analytics. Check out all the information and get started in tech today!