This is the second post in a series about the unique and interesting stories of people in the Udacity alumni community.
Meet Michel Moreau:
What is your background?
I just turned 27 years old and live in Quebec City, Canada. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and a Master’s Degree in Public Health (completely unrelated to the IT world). I have worked for about two years as a Public Health Researcher and personally chose to learn programming in my spare time during that period (so I could add more value to projects we were working on during my day job). I started out learning the basics of HTML, CSS, and statistical programming in the R language. The main point here is that I truly fell in love with programming from day one, and saw the value in pushing my abilities in these technologies.
It’s been two-and-a-half months since I made the decision not to do public health research anymore and to dive into web development full time. Although I am still in the transition to getting a job as a web developer, I could not feel better about my decision. It just feels right; it is the thing I must do.
Which Nanodegree program did you graduate from, and what led you to enroll in the first place?
I graduated from the Front-End Developer Nanodegree program. I was actually looking for a credible self-paced program matching my interests and current skill level. It was a great fit with the schedule I had: working 40 hours a week during the day, coding at night and on weekends.
What was your favorite part of the Udacity experience?
I was on many platforms before Udacity: Coursera, Codeacademy, Treehouse, and the O’Reilly School of Technology (the latter is now closed). I also considered more expensive options like online bootcamps—Thinkful and Bloc, for example, and I also looked into physical bootcamps such as Full Stack Academy and General Assembly, but these did not really make sense for my situation, especially considering the present CAD-USD exchange rate.
I ultimately arrived at the conclusion that Udacity’s Nanodegree programs have the best ROI of all the options out there. The tricky part is that you do not get to network a lot within your area if you stick with doing only Nanodegree programs, which is bad if you would like to work where you currently live. What I did is reach out to all the companies for which I was looking to get hired, and inform them of my process, interests, and intentions in the near future. I also found some local mentors to help guide me throughout my learning process.
I am currently enrolled in the Senior Web Developer Nanodegree program. My goal for the next two to three months is to finish the Nanodegree program and nail my first job as a web developer, ideally at a product-oriented company that I love and admire. I will definitely continue to learn new technologies and programming concepts in my spare time even with a job. In a not so distant future, I am also looking forward to starting a business that will require both my public health background and the technical skills I am currently developing.