Our awesome first batch!

After Le Wagon: “Understanding programming changed my perspective on everyday life”

Our first Tokyo batch ended on April 28th, and we’ve been closely following what our nine fresh graduates went on doing after the 9-week session. When we first decided to launch Le Wagon in Tokyo, we had that hunch that there was a strong need in Japan for web developers and engineers across all industries. Recruitment websites were full of IT positions openings. Companies were hiring talents from all over Asia. And the results are beyond our expectations: all of our batch #1 students who were looking for a job found one within less than 2 months.

But Le Wagon is not only to help our students change career — We also put a strong focus on enabling the next generation of web entrepreneurs. That’s what we discussed with Hidehiro (or Hide as we call him), who had a clear idea about what he wanted to build before joining our first cohort.

Before the bootcamp

“I was always fascinated by entrepreneurship” starts Hide, “and my very first experience with it came when I joined Mercari during its very first months. It was a small team, only 10 people, and the year I spent there is probably one of the reasons why I wanted to start my own business”.

Not being able to build anything by myself was a liability

“After that first dive into entrepreneurship, I went on and started a couple of companies” he continues, “but in both cases I found out that not being able to build anything by myself was a real liability, and I could not move fast enough. Then I heard about Le Wagon through TechCrunch, and decided to apply. The fact that it was in English was one big factor in the decision, too.”

Expect the unexpected

You probably had a clear idea about the program and the content, but what was the one thing you did not expect to learn? “Well, there was actually more than one” he laughs, “Before the class starts it’s very difficult to imagine what programming is, and you really discover it during 2 months. The pace is intense, and everyone in my batch was really serious about it. The most interesting part is to now suddenly be able to understand what’s happening behind each website I visit.”

Understanding programming changed my perspective on everyday life

So eventually, was it a good decision to do it in English? “Now I can actually read documentation in English!” Hide jokes, “Besides this, I also start translating some of Paul Graham’s work into Japanese, so yes, it was really beneficial. And again, understanding programming changed my perspective on everyday life. When I take the train and see everyone around using smartphones, I think to myself: I can actually understand what’s going on behind”

After the bootcamp

Since Hide had a clear idea about his next project before joining Le Wagon, we naturally asked him where he was standing with that one “First, I wanted to make sure that I understood every single bit of the program” he starts, “so I went on and spend time reviewing it. I guess that solidified all the knowledge acquired. After that, I started working on my product idea.” So is that moving well? “I took a membership at Impact HUB, and started working on it alone. I must say having Dimitri (ed: one of our lead teachers) around helped a lot too, especially when it came to GitHub workflow.”

By the way, what’s the product about? “I feel that small and medium Japanese companies are wasting a lot of time with paperwork and manager approvals, expecially when it comes to purchases… So I want to optimize that. I am finishing the prototype now, and testing it with a few customers. After that, I’ll start looking for funding. So expect to hear about Ringi soon! (laughs)”.

Last words

So anything you’d like to add as a last word? “Yes! I actually really enjoy the teaching assistant part — It’s quite funny to see people struggling on things you learnt a few months ago… And it really makes me realize that I came a long, long way”.

Well thanks a lot Hide, and best of luck for the launch of Ringi!