Jasper Verbon, a Dutch graduate of Autumn Batch 2019, applied for the bootcamp at the age of 30. He previously worked as a 2D/3D artist and also in technical support. He decided to challenge himself and become a web developer. We asked Jasper about his experience in the bootcamp as well as in his new job?

You graduated from Coding Bootcamp Praha in November 2019.  How would you describe your experience at the bootcamp?

My experience was very positive. I’d been learning Javascript for quite a while before the bootcamp, so the first few weeks were quite straightforward. After the first few weeks, however, things went from 0 to 100 real quick… I spent most of my time just mashing out code on my laptop.

Before the bootcamp, you finished a bachelor’s degree in Game Development where you were more focused on design (animation, 2D, 3D). Why did you decide to do a coding bootcamp after that?

I had reached a plateau in my career and I wanted to move forward. I randomly started coding as it was suggested to me by a colleague. Over time I took it more seriously, and I decided to put all my energy into it. I specifically searched for courses online, and quickly decided that the Coding Bootcamp Praha was the best option. 

After the bootcamp, you focused on improving your portfolio and searching for a job. How did it go?

My portfolio wasn’t ready when I finished the bootcamp. It was full of a lot of unfinished projects, tests and exercises. To make my portfolio job-application ready, I finalized my best projects and did some new personal ones, finally deploying everything to Github. It took about a month and a half until I was happy.

Now you are working as a frontend developer at Appwiki. How was your experience finding a job? Was it difficult? 

I applied to four jobs. The job as Front End Developer at Appwiki was one of them. It was also the best one, so I was really glad when I was accepted. What I would advise anyone just starting job hunting is: make sure you have 3 + good projects you can present and talk about, or just have some really good code that shows you’re a boss.

You’ve finished the company training. Can you describe what that process looked like?

The training was very structured: the first week was spent learning the ins and outs of the company as a business, and about their philosophy and workflow. The second week was focused on technical knowledge: I had to learn about Symfony, Webpack Encore, and how to use PHPStorm, which is their preferred IDE.

        Jasper during his presentation at the Demo Day

Could I ask you to tell us more about your job? How big is the team, what are your tasks etc.?

I work with six other people, who each have their own specialized role. I am one out of two people in the development team, focusing on frontend while the senior developer concentrates on the backend, including server management. 

Was it hard to switch from Laravel that you learned in the bootcamp to Symfony?

Everything backend-related is bit daunting to me, but the switch to Symfony actually went quite well - they are similar in a lot of ways.

Your final project was Pizza Builder. Do you have any ambitions to make that project a reality?

I loved doing the Pizza Builder project, but I’ve put it on the backburner for now to focus on other, smaller projects.

In the past, you have lived in Ireland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. In the end, you decided to go back home to the Netherlands. Is it your plan to stay there indefinitely or are you still considering exploring life abroad?

Having lived in so many different countries, I’ve gained a lot of understanding for other cultures, but I’ve also come to realize how much I love the Netherlands. I plan to stay here indefinitely, no doubt.

Is there something you wish someone had told you before the bootcamp?

They should have told me to do it years earlier!

How exactly has the bootcamp changed your life?

It has completely changed my life: I achieved the goals I set for myself a few years ago, and it feels terrific.

Do you have any advice for future Coding Bootcamp Praha students?

Go hard or go home. You have to be prepared to learn a lot and do the work but if you do, there will be also time to relax and have a few beers :)