Code Chrysalis’ 4th Cohort just finished their first week in the program, so we pulled them aside to discuss their expectations, goals, and thoughts going forward. In the coming weeks, please look forward to in-depth interviews with each of our students!
Why did you decide to come to Japan? If you are originally from Japan, why did you decide to enroll in Code Chrysalis?
As always, our students are from a variety of places across the globe with a wide range of experience in coding and technology. Some are veterans with extensive knowledge of their programming subfield, while others are basically new to tech, coming primarily from education.
For Beau and his wife, the desire to shake up their lives led them to move first to Korea, then Japan, where Beau rekindled his interest in tech.
Mike, meanwhile, met his wife during their time at the American School in Japan and was brought back to the country through a combination of a wonderful family vacation and an exciting work opportunity.
Jia initially came to Tokyo because he wanted to “go somewhere he’s never been” and had an interest in the country from his childhood.
For Yusuke and Taka, Code Chrysalis was a way to both further their expertise and gain experience in an international working environment.
Yusuke: “Other than the technical side, of course, I also wanted to work with English. I didn’t have a way to train my English, especially in technical situations.”
Alex: “After I graduated university, I was trying to figure out what to do with my life…I decided, if I was going to move countries, this is the perfect time to do it.”
What are you hoping to gain or learn from this program? Additionally, is there anything in particular you are looking forward to most?
Almost all of our students are looking to further their careers in tech, so the most common answer followed those lines. They also all expressed an eagerness to create useful technology alongside their peers. For those coming from an ESL background, there was added excitement about getting hands-on experience working through problems in English and, on the whole, students were looking forward to delving into the Tokyo tech scene.
Jia: “I want to become a better engineer. People have different definitions of what an engineer is, but ultimately an engineer is someone who solves problems. And in my job, there’s not too many hard problems left…At the end of the day, if I’m not solving problems, I’m not becoming better.”
Taka: “I want to improve my communication skills speaking in English…Pair programming was very exciting for me, because it was my first experience to tackle problems [in English] with other developers. It is so much fun.”
Now that it is almost over, how do you feel about the first week? Are there any thoughts you’d like to share?
Students all felt that the course was challenging, but not unreasonably so. That challenge encompassed both the problems assigned to them as well as the need to pace oneself to avoid undue stress. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside peers and looked forward to further collaboration as the course continues.
Beau: “I expected it to be very challenging, I didn’t expect it to be easy…My intention coming in was to work on my soft skills and the interpersonal [aspects of development] — like pair programming — as I know that’s what I need to do to become a professional programmer. So I’ve been focusing on collaboration so far.”
Mike: “It was both sort of what I expected and not. Or rather, it was what I expected it to be, but I was not what I expected to be. I knew it would be hard, but I’m not used to not being able to figure things out…By working together we’ve been able to solve some of the problems, but even just last night we left without figuring out some of the day’s work.”
Going forward, is there anything you hope to accomplish during your time at Code Chrysalis?
Everyone had their own goals coming into the program, ranging from the acquisition of specific technical skills to the more general development of their ability to solve problems as part of a team. They all looked forward to creating their own projects, and, as Jia states below:
“What I want to achieve is to build something useful. It would be great if we could find some problem and build something to solve it.”