Developers Discuss: the world of development really begins after training
Since the onset of COVID-19, training for coding has been on the rise. Yet, according to a study carried out by CodinGame, only 25% of all companies say they recruit atypical profiles — developers who learned how to code by themselves, or via a coding camp or MOOC. From short training courses to university courses right up to a master’s degree, we might wonder if there’s really an ideal path to becoming a developer, one that allows us to enter the job market more easily. nexten.io explored the topic by interviewing Cédric and Ludo, two developers on its own tech team.
Let’s zoom in on the career path of our two favorite geeks and their informed views.
nexten.io: Can you describe your own career paths?
Cédric: After spending several semesters at the Universities of Brussels and the University of Luxembourg, I finally gave up on the idea of studying to become a computer engineer in an academic environment. The curriculum included subjects related to electronics and mechanics — two subjects I was not particularly fond of. The method of studying didn’t really suit me: some subjects didn’t interest me, and this inevitably had an impact on my motivation. So, I preferred to turn to intensive developer training courses that would allow me to become operational more quickly. I chose NumericALL. The principle of this training is simple: we followed theoretical courses each morning and devoted afternoons to practice through concrete exercises. The training leads to a group project, which also allows us to learn about project management and the importance of knowing how to code as a group.
Ludo: After three years of university studies in economics, I finally realized that sector didn’t suit my career expectations and in fact didn’t interest me that much. I decided to challenge myself by joining the famous school “42.” The experience was immersive and at first a bit confusing. During the first month of total immersion called “the pool,” all candidates work on exercises and projects seven days a week while scoring the others. Then, if you’re selected for the next step, the rest of the training is divided into multiple computer exercises and projects that are also validated by your peers. There are no teachers at 42. The whole principle is precisely to push the students to learn by themselves — to rise up through their own tenacity, perseverance and curiosity.
nexten.io: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of your respective training paths?
Cédric: The short web development training courses have a definite advantage: they help newcomers learn the basics and clearly give them a head start once they land in the job market. However, following a short training course requires a lot of involvement and a lot of personal commitment. Training alone is not enough to become a seasoned developer: the world of development really begins after training! In my opinion, this job requires a lot of autonomy and resourcefulness.
Ludo: In addition to teaching me the code, 42 also allowed me to do more personal work. The intensive program — sometimes involving acrobatics and combined with complex working conditions — pushes students to offer their absolute best, both for themselves and for others. Teamwork is indeed at the heart of the training. The 42 school has taught me essential values such as listening, sharing, mutual aid, and rigor… As a disadvantage, I could cite the absence of a diploma at the end of the course, but this has in no way been a hindrance in my search for professional opportunities.
nexten.io: Let’s talk about how your professional integration went? What difficulties did you encounter?
Cédric: I think that short training is simply not enough to become a developer. You also need to have a few essential qualities. The work to be done in parallel, the desire to dig deeper, the curiosity to read more and go further: all of this is what garners companies’ interest and what makes them want to recruit you as a developer. For example, only four out of 18 of the people I trained are currently working as developers. For me, these are the most self-taught profiles that flourish in this form of teaching. For my part, I integrated nexten.io through an internship, right after completing the short training. Two years later, I’m not going anywhere!
Ludo: Originally from Moselle, I didn’t want to stay in the Paris region at the end of my training, so I went to an open conference dedicated to employment in Luxembourg, and by the end of the day, I had left with seven internship proposals. I might as well tell you that at the end of the day, the lack of a diploma didn’t pose any problems for me in finding an internship, as the reputation of 42 is well established! I decided to move forward with nexten.io after having exchanged with the developer in charge of the technical part — a real enthusiast who made me want to join the team. I’ve been working there for three years now.
nexten.io: What are your favorite technologies?
Ludo: React to start with, as well as TypeScript, a language I learned from my experience at nexten.io.
Cédric: TypeScript, too, along with GraphQL, which I didn’t know about either before joining the nexten.io tech teams.
nexten.io: So, short training or academic training: which one should others choose?
Cédric & Ludo (both agree on this point!): Academic training at a major university, hybrid training such as Ecole 42, Coding Bootcamp such as NumericALL, MOOC, self-taught learning… In truth, each type of training has its own set of disadvantages and advantages. For those who are still hesitating, turn to trainings that are similar to you, and in which you will be able to grow. Are you rigorous, and do you prefer structured studies with a lot of theory and support from teachers? You belong in a university. Are you autonomous and extremely curious, and do you want to enter the job market quickly? With these qualities, the short coding, bootcamp-type trainings will surely be more adapted to you… The choice of training will depend largely on your personality!
nexten.io: One final question: would you be willing to hire a candidate with a short education?
Ludo: Of course, Cedric is proof of that! We don’t stop with one particular profile; we encounter candidates from all walks of life. In all cases, skills tests are offered at the beginning of the interview to check their level. We also attach particular importance to the personality of the candidates. As we mentioned earlier, we feel that certain soft skills are essential for a good developer: autonomy to be sure, but also curiosity and communication — both essential for the team to know the progress of the project in progress.
Cédric: Yes! In my opinion, knowing how to communicate well is a very important point for a developer. Not only that: you also have to know how to accept criticism and understand that when you receive feedback, it’s important to dissociate work and personal life.
About School 42 :
42 is the first IT training course that is entirely free, open to everyone without any diploma requirements and accessible from the age of 18. Its pedagogy is based on peer-to-peer learning: a participative approach, without classes or teachers, which allows students to unleash their creativity through project-based learning.
Created in 2015, WebForce3 Luxembourg (via NumericALL) has been offering trainings in Luxembourg since November 2015 as part of the Fit4coding programme and in partnership with Adem and ESF. The WebForce3 trainings meet a real need of the Luxembourg market and the learners quickly find a job after the training in various structures (start-ups, web agencies, SMEs or large banks/insurance companies).