What is your background? Tell us a bit about yourself.   

I have a bachelor degree in food engineering and a master degree in toxicology from Karolinska Institutet. After that, I worked as a doctoral student researcher in SciLifeLab for two years with a focus on genetic and computational/quantitative biology projects.
  

Do you think that your background gives you any advantages as a junior developer now?   

Although I do not have an IT background, I am very grateful because my educational background trained my logical and critical thinking, which is quite essential for a junior developer. In addition, I started programming when I worked as a student researcher and that was the experience that made me realize my interest and led me on the path of becoming a junior developer.   

What made you interested in a career as a developer? And do you remember what was the first moment when you realized you want to try programming?   

The first moment that I tried programming was during my master study on a biostatistics course, I tried programming in R and generated several nice figures. Since then I started to try programming more and more, worked on several projects so I could use my programming skills. Then I felt that using programming in a biology lab is not enough for me and I would like to learn more. There I realized that being a junior developer is a great chance to continue programming and learn some new things every day.   

What are the advantages and challenges of learning at SmartCoding?   

Challenges are mainly about my limited knowledge and experience in some programming language. It is always difficult to start. But there are many advantages, as a group of motivated girls – we can always learn from each other, share our feelings, discuss questions and confusions. You do not feel alone. In addition, Victor, our teacher, always tries to be there and help, both physically and remotely. The SmartCoding programme has done their best to increase our chance to be recruited.  

   

What have you learnt so far?   

I have learned to programme in Django, React, Python and JavaScript and gained experience in both frontend and backend. Other than that, I have learned to work in pairs, to organize tasks in order and always finish them before the deadline.    

 

How much time in a week outside classes do you spend on learning & practising coding?
I would say approximately extra 4 hours per day, 20 hours per week.   

How does a typical class at SmartCoding look like?   

In the first month, we typically had lectures about basic Python, JavaScript and SQL given by Victor. Small exercise and tasks were given to us to practice. In the second and third month, we were mainly focusing on the real IT projects, Victor and mentors were coming a few times per week and the rest of the time we were working in pairs on our projects.   

What is your dream job after the course? Do you have any expectations?    

My dream job is a junior developer, either frontend, backend or full-stack. I would also like to be a junior data analyst, so I could learn and work with big data in the industry. I wish to have a chance to gain new experience in a company that I’ll be encouraged to learn and implement new ideas.    

 

Would you like to develop your own product by using what you’ve learnt during the course? If not now, maybe in the future?   

Yes. With a close friend, we are interested in distributing a Polish fashion brand to the Nordic market. We would like to build a website to present the brand to the market. I guess this would be my first exercise after graduation.   

Will you, or are you already, joining any tech events dedicated to women?   

I know there are some tech events for women, like Pink Programming or Women in science. I will definitely join some event.   

Looking from a time perspective, is there anything you would change, do differently, as it comes to start learning to programme?    

In my opinion, the best way to learn to programme is to do it. People always say: learning by doing. I cannot agree more. I wish I could practice more when I worked as a researcher and have better ideas to integrate programming into scientific research.    

   

What would you say to a woman, who, same as you a few months ago, wants to become a developer without having an IT background?    

I have the same concern as you’re having right now, but don’t worry! As long as you have passion and motivation, you will become a developer. Just believe in yourself.    

Xinge