I’m no stranger to trying to learn programming. Some of my college courses involved the basics of programming with Java and PHP, some discrete mathematics, networking and databases.
I remember that while the teachers had fancy PhD’s they weren’t good at explaining the practical uses and applications of what we were learning.
Back then what I was trying to do was to build cool things using computers and the lectures where focused towards explaining the theoretical aspects of computers.
Nowadays it seems that traditional education is aligned towards preserving the status quo and teaching “what works” than to update the curriculum to meet current and future challenges that the real world has.
That’s why you see that nowadays you can find just as great engineers that never went to college compared to those that went. It just so happens to be that the real value of education lies not on the titles but on the practical skills that you can learn and apply to be of value to the market.
So when trying to learn to code I ended up just going throught the motions and never really ‘getting’ what they were teaching.
I still wanted to code because I discovered people like Joel Gascoigne the founder of Buffer and started reading his blog and realizing all of the things that you could do when you knew how to code.
I fell in love with the thought of having your own thing that you could create from anywhere in the world and sell to anyone anywhere.
This and the drive to create something of value led me to start looking around for other more modern means of learning that were more aligned with my learning style.
That’s when I started buying a lot of online udemy courses, while finishing my degree. I felt that I just bought them because as Neo I would suddenly ‘get’ the knowledge and skills that they were selling.
I read some books, launched some small things with the half cooked coding skills I got from the content I bought but I never felt quite ready. I was always missing that small detail or overall picture that would make me understand the tools and methods that I was using.
That’s when I finally decided to go to a coding Bootcamp. I was reading so much praise about them on Medium and other Social Media spaces that I frequented and read skepticaly how people with no past history on engineering started to earn 50k+ salaries or launched their startups thanks to the skills they got.
After researching for a bit I found out that Le Wagon was opening up in Mexico City and it seemed to be the best option compared to the alternatives.
It is the only course that’s rated #1 3+ years running at multiple bootcamp reviewers online, the students that went there where working at awesome places and their blog stories inspired me to take the leap.
Fortunately for me I was already working in Mexico City as a Product Manager for an ecommerce startup and had enough money to quit and dedicate myself to something that I was triying to do since I started college.
After talking with the bootcamp manager I decided that this is what I wanted to do!
Since I’m always talking about how great my experience was and some friends have asked me the same questions I thought it would be a good idea to make a F.A.Q.
The thing with all the bootcamps is that you are going to get back as much as you put in so if you go there with the mindset to give it your all you’ll do well.
Le Wagon was really useful for me for developing my programming skills and making me even more comfortable writing code at a professional level.
For context before I went to the bootcamp I already finished my Bachelor in IT Engineering and Management and I was no stranger to Front End development since I took various online courses.
But really it was nothing like taking a half cooked online course. Le Wagon’s program, structure and platform is key and it makes you learn a lot of fundamentals in a short amount of time.
By now they have 5000+ students that took the program in almost all major cities in the world.
All the iterations on the curriculum are now sufficiently tested and designed so that you learn the tools you need to build extremelly high quality Tech products.
You will not only learn how to code but also the fundamentals behind everything so that you acquire a programmer logic and have the necessary to keep building your skills after the program ends.
So while I went to the bootcamp knowing a little bit of this and that I came out being sort of a Mid Level Developer and my skills were enhanced tremendously and now I also know how to learn any new technology that I need since I got the fundamentals right.
I got what I was expecting in the sense that I put the blood, sweat and tears to prepare myself before the bootcamp taking online ruby courses, finishing the pre course and also reading and writing ruby code to take advantage of everything that the program gives you to learn.
The truth is that thanks to my preparation and dedication I got even more out of the program and now I run my own web development studio and have multiple job offers that I’ve chose not to take yet.
I also know how to launch any technical idea that I have and estimate the time that it will take to build it. Also to be really down to earth with my projects and not make them ridicolously ambitious and think in a lean focused ‘experimentation’ way.
It was incredible. We were a small batch (9 people) and we all were very close. Since all of you will go to the same place with more or less the same goals you will discover that you can get along pretty easily.
The experience every day inside was intense: Take a lecture, check the challenges and start coding until lunch time. Go out take a break and go back in and keep coding until live code.
After it I stayed more time rereading everything and making sure I understood it. But other times I just went out to eat with the group.
On weekends we all went touring CDMX and it was really fun! One day we all went to Xochimilco and had a blast.
The other day we went to a Karaoke bar and sang (the lead teacher was singing too) so overall the vibe was extremely positive and friendly both inside and out.
All that being said… While it might be good to worry and consider the vibe and culture is going to be… What you really should think about is your goal.
Why are you really taking the bootcamp? Is it to get a job? Is it to freelance and travel? Is it to found your startup?
Any of those reasons will require you to FOCUS. That means that the 9 weeks that you are going to be there should be maximized to achieving your goals.
Really learning and trying to take advantage of the knowledge of the teachers and the insights you get from working on and solving the challenges.
I’ll go ahead and say that if you want to be successful 90% of your time there should be about coding and only 10% about going out and making friends.
Thankfully the program is structured in a way where if you give your all during the week you’ll be able to rest a little bit and go out to tour over the weekend so that’s a plus.
I think that as I said before, the vibe was really friendly and positive. Most of the time we had healthy stress and frustration because the program is hard and requires most of your attention.
But that doesn’t take away the fact that all of the team (teachers and students) are really enthusiastic and positive.
Remember that the other students are expecting mostly the same things as you: They want to learn a new skill that will open the doors to more opportunities.
So it will be really good and you’ll meet many similar minded people
10/10 - I finally managed to really learn the fundamentals of programming (Object Oriented Design), Data Structures and algorithms strongly enough to be able to learn any other thing that I need to develop my applications.
I also know how to apply the sprint methodologies used by startups to launch their products and iterate fast to find the perfect fit. From using Figma for UI design to creating user stories to define features.
Apart from all the knowledge that Le Wagon gave me I also finally launched my first digital product!
All things considered, Le Wagon changed my life and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to do the same.
If you are ready to commit here’s a preparation guide and some tips I wrote for you to get ready:
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