1. What is your background – work and education experience? And how long have you been living in Sweden?
I’m an editor, proofreader and translator with BA in the Portuguese Language. I’m doing jobs related to these specifications since 2010, but I worked as a teacher too. I have been living in Sweden for about a year and a half.
2. Why did you apply for the pilot Beginner Software Developer course at SmartCoding?
I wanted to change career and was looking for ways to learn how to program. Also, I am looking for a job that will be less freelance. I have received a suggestion from a friend at The Newbie Guide of Sweden that
3. How is it going with the new knowledge, what have you
I’m progressing and feeling that I found a new passion! I didn’t expect to like to program this much, haha. I have
to look into problems from a different angle and how to think thoroughly at each step of a solution. I have
mindset. At the moment, we are programming with C, mainly to understand the basics and how to build a solid foundation in programming aspects.
4. What can you tell about the group participants, atmosphere, teacher?
I found amazing people in just one place. It feels like a new family, I’m very comfortable. They are all supportive, open and
thrilled to progress and learn. I don’t feel misplaced at all! <3
5. What is the added value, if there is any, of his course?
This course is highly valuable. The proposal to have a place where women with similar struggles can gather, learn and evolve is amazing. To receive help to find a new career path and have the company alongside is my main achievement with SmartCoding.
6. What would you say to other women to motivate them to start learning
Programming is everywhere nowadays. You can use it to do everything. Even if at your main job people don’t use it directly, learning the “programming mentality” will help you with building solutions to daily problems
I really enjoyed dealing with the basics of programming language and computers in the first course. Programming in C, dealing with problems and seeing effects of my work live were inspirations to delve into this world of web developer and learn more about it. I knew that SmartCoding would offer a more advanced course and I grabbed the opportunity! This was an excellent decision because I confirmed that programming is something I want in my life.
2. You have a few friends from the previous course learning Full-Stack with you on a daily basis so you already know how to communicate and cooperate with them. But what were your experiences with the new group and the new teacher at the beginning and has that changed over the 3-month course period?
I learned to communicate better about work and things related to it – after all, this is essential for pair programming, and, despite my shyness, it was quite easy to feel comfortable in a familiar environment with wonderful women like those who were with me in the course. The teacher helped a lot with this matter because he was always very assertive and kind at the time of teaching and helping us with doubts and problems.
3. It’s been now 6 months of your programming education at SmartCoding in total. Do you recall what were your expectations and plans at the beginning? Have they changed in any way? Has your self-confidence about your capabilities changed?
At the beginning, I wanted to see if this area was “it” for me, if I could see myself as a programmer or if it was possible to begin a new career. I confirmed all of those questions in an amazing way: it’s possible to change a career, I found out that I really like working with that and it’s possible to grow to become more than what I imagined. Nowadays my goals involve getting better, learning more and confirm what area of programming gives me more happiness (backend seems very promising!). My self-confidence is growing, it relates to learning and seeing my work getting “life”.
4. If you could describe your thoughts and experiences with learning and working on front-end & back-end what would that be? Is there anything you like/liked in particular?
I enjoyed the experience of dealing with an entire project like what SmartCoding offered. My way of understanding how front-end and back-end relate is connected to metaphors: back-end is the skeleton of the body, the project, it holds all that is needed; the front-end is the face, the skin, is what will have contact to the user.
Back-end was what I worked with most at this course. I quite enjoyed being able to deal with structures that are not normally visible, I learned to read errors and I got quite happy when some error message changed at some point, haha!
5. Which part of the Full-Stack course do you find most challenging so far and why? Have you learned anything else beyond programming?
Dealing with some specific documentation, which has no didactic language or is easy to understand, was my greatest difficulty. The first contact with “what will be used” is the most complicated part, but after a while, everything begins to fit in and it becomes easier to understand what is happening.
I have learned to estimate the time I will spend in some parts or how and when to ask for help at times when I am stuck at some point. There is also good software that helps with the management and guidance that we have been using that I found very interesting.
6. Since you dedicated so much time to get your new skills can you give your personal tips for women how to stay motivated in the long term? What should they think of and do to prepare for this career change?
It’s a process. You really need to have contact with code every day or you’ll become rusty. It’s like learning any other skill: take some time to code every single day, even if it’s for a little time. Some days will be hard and you’ll doubt yourself but you need to persevere and continue it for your own sake. Use any tools and methods that you think will help you, don’t be afraid to reach out for help or guidance and communicate all the time along the way.
To start, you need to be open-minded and prepared to give the energy to dig things on Google and code every day. After a while, things will become easier and will start to fit in with all the knowledge you’ll acquire. It’s awesome to be part of a group, to help and be helped, to see your code working and responding!