In July, we had a lovely guest at our offices - Coding Bootcamp Praha's graduate Tâm Lê from Winter Batch 2018! She joined us for a week so we took the opportunity to sit down with Tâm. We talked with her about her journey, things that have changed in her life in a year, and her career. Below you can read the result of our honest chat. Enjoy!

How did you motivate yourself to study during the Bootcamp? 

I took it as my full-time job. I invested my time, effort, energy and money into it. I took it as seriously as if I went to work for some company. It's not difficult to motivate yourself once you take it as something you've decided to do. You wake up, go to class and practice. 

Did you have any time for fun and leisure activities?

Not really. I didn’t go out because I devoted all my time to studying. I haven't explored Prague until now!

What did you do before the Bootcamp?

I started working while studying and even after 2-3 years I was still working in accounting. Later I worked as an assistant of the CEO which was exciting but exhausting at the same time. It was overwhelming. I wanted to find a job where I'd work with people but still have time to work on my own.

How did you find Coding Bootcamp Praha?

I was thinking a lot about learning to code. Working with people became so stressful to me so I just typed "learn to code" into Google and expected to find some online course. Instead, I found a real bootcamp where I could meet people and live the experience. They had very promising content and schedule and since I was living in Brno it wasn’t a big deal to move to Prague.

How was your experience at the Bootcamp?

It was very intense. By that I mean I had to absorb a lot of information in a very short period of time and also meet a lot of new people with different personalities. Three months passed like a blink of an eye to me. I have stayed close with four classmates.

What was the biggest challenge when you were studying here? 

It was when I realized that programming involves a lot of communication with people. I wanted to learn to code so I can stop working with people but instead, I had to accept that a certain part of your work will always involve others. Programming is artistic work and you have to find a way to make compromises and accept other ideas.

How long did it take you to find a job?

I gave myself some time to relax so it took me a month to find it. I spent one month just sending CVs and going to interviews. 

What was the first job that you got after the bootcamp?

I was a frontend developer in a team of 7 people. We were receiving a lot of data from the backend. It was an international project in finance. It was easy to jump in, the only thing that was a little bit difficult was that I needed to communicate in Czech.

What was your second job?

I wanted to explore other opportunities and challenge myself. I also wanted to get working experience in backend programming and I found a job in a startup. The project was very complex and it was really challenging.

What was the main difference between these jobs?

The amount of help I got. On my first job, I had a mentor and I got a lot of help. In the startup, I had to rely mostly on myself. 

Tam during her studies at Coding Bootcamp Praha

What is your plan now?

To find a team where I can fit in. In my first team, we were working in different places, 2 people in Prague, 2 in Brno, 2 in Ostrava and it was difficult to connect. In the second team, I always felt I was behind so that kept me from developing a deeper connection with the team. I was always the only girl in the team but it is not a problem if I can find the right team members with whom I can communicate and connect with. 

What do you find most important in team cooperation?

That your teammates don’t make you feel small. Some people don’t do it on purpose. But for example, if you ask a question about something they are too familiar with, they act shocked why someone would ask such a question. Then their reaction makes you feel like you’ve asked a very stupid question and that you might be fired soon. It is important not to take things personally and to ask all the “stupid” questions because that’s how you learn.

What is your advice to someone who is applying to the Bootcamp?

You should not expect that the Bootcamp will magically make you good at coding. Coding Bootcamp will help you start the journey. You should also prepare yourself on your own before the bootcamp starts. You need to take the bootcamp seriously and do your best to learn the new knowledge to become a programmer.