SmartCoding (SC):What is your background? Tell us a little bit about yourself
Victor (V): I’m Victor, currently working as a teacher at SmartCoding but I am also a full-time Full-Stack dev. I’ve started to programme as a child (about 10 years) and then got self-taught. I went through an apprenticeship and that’s how I became a developer. I’ve lived in different parts of the world working both with non-profits and enterprises.
SC: How has your journey with coding begun? What was your education path and please share the knowledge sources that you used to gain and practice most of your current skills?
V: I stopped formal education at the high school level and started coding at companies through an apprenticeship which later introduced me to the industry of startups, I worked at some early stage startups. That’s how I got most of the practical knowledge that I share with students now.
SC: Assuming that coding is your passion are there any particular aspects of IT/languages that you like the most?
V: Well, I do not fall in love with languages. I learned it the hard way, programming changes and trends change – my first was Python. Over time, I’ve learned new languages and have a cocktail of up to 10 different programming languages to choose from.
SC: You are a full-time developer can you tell why you decided to become a teacher and mentor? And why did you decide to work as a course teacher dedicated to women?
V: I’ve been mentoring people and engineers for close to 10 years. Before mentoring and teaching, I looked for ways to understand coding. Teaching people was one of the ways to do it. Making contributions to the world through helping people uplift their economy through coding has always been a second passion.
SC: How does the typical class at SmartCoding look like?
V: A typical class involves some theory sessions and breakout sessions where practical parts of the lesson happen. The class has a 6:4 ratio – 60% practical, 40% theoretical. After classes, my students are left with some take-home assignments and exams which they submit and discuss one-on-one.
SC: Is it a challenge to teach a diverse group, women with different backgrounds and coming from different countries? How would you describe your students?
V: It can be a challenge to teach people from different backgrounds. Most come to class with different mindsets and we have to teach them to life-long learners in “organized chaos”. But as I said before, it’s also an important lesson for me – interacting that way helps me somehow to organize my own knowledge, so it’s a win-win both for me and the students.
SC: What kind of challenges do you face at your work at SmartCoding and how do you solve them?
V: We face many challenges ranging from people management to the moments when you feel like you are ready to give up. Solving that kind of problems involves sometimes talking to the student one-on-one and in some cases, I ask for advice someone on our amazing team. We treat everyone in a special way and with an individual approach. It takes more time sometimes, but that’s the consequence of our inclusive and diverse environment and it comes with a lot of pros as well.
SC: What is your opinion about diversity in the tech sector? Do you think IT needs more women in tech?
V: I think a balance is healthy. Different perspectives on a team are important and research shows that a balanced team is usually more effective and less “boring”. As I am observing my students and the progress that they make, I could definitely say that having them as team members would be a great asset to any company.
SC: Is there any particular story of your student that you are proud of?
V: I’m proud of many students. I won’t mention names, but they know themselves 🙂 I think everyone who completed the courses offered by SmartCoding should be really proud, as it’s a lot of new knowledge and everyday challenges in a short period of time.
SC: Do you think everyone can become a developer? Is there any particular set of skills that makes it easier?
V: That’s a hard question. With hard work, you can be a developer. That is the big skill; working hard and smart, do not overwork yourself because you need to have a balance between life and work, but still do what you do with passion.
SC: Any final words of wisdom or a tip for the future female students/junior dev?
V: Always be learning, stay hungry for knowledge.