Today's interview is with Valentin, who changed career with the help of the Boolean online bootcamp, who supported this blog post.
Hi, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Valentin Mocanu, I am 26 years old, originally from Romania and I work as Junior Fullstack Software Developer, currently focusing on the frontend side of the project I have been assigned to.
Why did you decide to learn to code?
I used to work in different industries such as hospitality, sales, food production, telecommunications and IT, where I held various roles, however, none of them seemed that promising for my long term plans or desires.
Therefore, with a desire for knowledge and a more clear path in mind, I decided to change my career and become a Software Developer since I have always been more of a technical person and this was what I wanted.
How did you start learning to code?
The first time I was introduced to coding was back in high school, this being over 10 years ago. At that time I didn’t really had an idea of what I wanted to be doing and after a year spend studying CS, throughout the next year we had to move city and I have also been transferred to another high school, this time with no CS modules, so I ended up with a Tourism Technician Diploma.
I have always been a curious person at core, really interested in how things work at a lower level and curious enough to try it on my own at first. Recently, when I got back into coding, I have started with watching Youtube videos, then picking up courses on Skillshare and Codecademy.
What made you decide to learn more about web development with Boolean?
Despite the other online courses and tutorials which I have previously tried and could have been done at my own convenience, I found Boolean to be rather more enjoyable as I felt like I am actively part of a community where everyone is chasing the same goals, same results and through being a part of a unite, like-minded environment I felt like this will contribute to my growth more efficiently and not from a technical perspective only but rather making me a good team-player and giving the other soft skills for the job as well.
What did you learn exactly at Boolean?
One of the coolest things I built was a mock-up for a trading app that allows the users to securely log in and learn how to trade on the stock market using a demo account, that way gaining experience through practice. This was a solo project and the length of it was just under 3 weeks.
Before that, I did another group project where we were working as part of a team, using Git and Github to keep track of the changes and followed the Agile and Sprint methodologies for managing the project. The project was focused on full CRUD mostly and was a gym administration web app which allows the admin to manage new or existing classes, trainers and clients. The length of this project was 2 weeks.
How did you get your first entry level developer job?
The job hunting process was relatively smooth. I had a few 1st stage informal interviews with different companies before making it to the last stage for the one I have finally picked. The company I ended up choosing was the second one to interview me. I applied to around 250 jobs in a timeframe of just over a month.
Throughout all this time I have been receiving tailored assistance from the Boolean career admission team. I can definitely say that my job hunting process was way smoother than would have been without getting assistance from the career service people, since getting a job is a job on its own and it is also about the people skills as much as it is related to the technical role itself.
What does a typical day as a software developer at Reams look like for you?
It pretty much follows the standard pattern. Usually we start off 30 minutes before the daily morning stand up going over the backlog and making sure we’re keeping communication as proactive as possible. On a daily basis the tasks are picked up from the backlog and assigned.
For myself, as a junior, most of the time is spent individually going through the tasks, understanding the requirements, reading through the code-base, writing code and implementing new functionality, except when needing to initiate a pair-programming session if any support or further explanations are needed.
Do you have tips for people who want to learn to code?
I reckon one of the main things when it comes to learning development and yet the most important I found so far, and have been treating as more of a requirement since I have acknowledged it, it was being extremely curious and allowing your ego to not know the answers, but being humble enough to either discover it by learning something new or breaking yourself apart from the already known analogy of approaching things and just be all in, curious and alert for the purpose of learning by really trying to understand things rather than doing something mechanically.
On a side note, it is ok to not understand at first but then I would say that it is everyone's responsibility to when once explained, break things down to the first principle and build up upon their level of comprehension until really understanding the concept.
What are your career goals for the future?
In the relatively near future I am heading towards learning and understanding more about the low-level side of software development and also hardware programming as well as eventually getting into Web3 and smart contracts.
If you’re keen to start a new career in tech, head to the Boolean website and discover their courses including full-stack, front-end, and data analytics. The Boolean philosophy is based on: live & online classes, a job-focused curriculum, teachers who have industry experience in their field, and careers support until you find your first job in tech. Check out this and more at the website.