Is switching to web development a good career move? For Pauline, it’s a resounding yes. With a background in business administration and insurance, she decided to study web development with CareerFoundry and make a career change to programming.
To bolster her tech skills further, she also signed up for the UI Design Program at CareerFoundry, and graduated ready to enter the world of development and design. She landed her first role as a full-stack developer intern in the healthcare industry, which led to a full-time role at the same company as a full-stack developer! At Aaron.ai, she’s fulfilling her dream of problem-solving and making a meaningful impact for peoples’ lives with her work.
We caught up with Pauline to find out all about her exciting career change to become a web developer. Here’s what she had to share.
Hi Pauline! To begin with, please can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background?
Hi Alison. I’m Pauline, I am Armenian and have been living in Germany for almost six years. I am a business graduate with six years of experience as an insurance consultant.
In 2021, I decided to make a career change to web development. I still wanted to solve problems with my work, but in a more fun and creative way. I re-trained with CareerFoundry and I’m currently working as a full-stack developer intern at Aaron GmbH, who provide an AI tool for the healthcare industry.
What led you to study with CareerFoundry and the Web Development Program?
My friend came across an ad for CareerFoundry, actually. They sent me a link to CareerFoundry’s Full-Stack Web Development Program and told me I should apply, saying “you are the smartest person I know, and I know you can do it!”
Even though I had no previous programming knowledge or any related experience, I was curious to find out, so I enrolled in the program!
What was the highlight of the program for you personally?
The highlight was definitely hearing my mentor say one of my projects was by far the best he had reviewed. As a beginner, hearing those words from an expert in the field made me really happy and proud of my career-change decision!
Wow, that’s amazing feedback! Congrats. Were there any challenges you faced while studying?
The biggest challenge was dealing with the fact that I once lost my entire database the day before a task submission. It was something to do with a different version of a tool I was using. It was very stressful but I never gave up—I worked hard and challenged myself to solve my problem.
The time constraint to finish the program made me push myself even more, because I was studying with a Bildungsgutschein and had to complete the program in a certain time period, so this led me to finish the task on time and, thankfully, with success.
Recommended reading: How To Make The Most Out Of Your Web Development Program, From A Current Student
After graduating, you then also signed up for the UI Design Program at CareerFoundry! What led you to make that decision?
Yes, that’s right. After finishing the web dev program, I still wanted to better understand the user and their behavior. I also wanted to master the art of creating visually-pleasing and highly-intuitive user experiences, so I enrolled in the UI Design Program.
Related reading: What Is User Interface (UI) Design? A Comprehensive Guide
Can you sum up your experience of the UI Design Program?
I have three important learnings to share about the experience and the world of design: beautiful doesn’t mean functional; understanding your user and their goals is the key for your product success; and ‘less is more’ is always a good idea.
Very practical and useful advice for others! Let’s move on to the job search. What was that experience like after you graduated?
I found the internship position at Aaron after two months of applying for roles, however the process is hard, and I found it a bit stressful making a career change to web developer with no experience. I got a lot of rejections but I never took them personally, I tried again and again until it worked.
Resilience is key in the job search. How did you feel when you were eventually offered a job in development?
To be honest, I didn’t know how to react at first because I landed an intern role, but I had applied for a full-time role at the company. They explained to me that the full-time position required more experience, however they saw potential in me and therefore offered me a role as a full-stack developer intern.
I’m happy to say that my internship went really well, and afterwards, I was offered a full-time role at the company! I’m now working as a full-stack developer!
Aaron provides AI-powered assistance to improve patient-practice communication in Germany. I am really grateful for all the opportunities to work there and really happy to be part of a company whose mission is to make healthcare accessible for everyone.
Hear from one of Pauline’s colleagues and learn more about how she is getting on at Aaron in this article: Life After CareerFoundry: Updates on Web Development and Data Grads in the Workplace
It sounds like you’re doing rewarding work there. In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding part of a career in web development?
The opportunity to create something that can be seen and used by millions, and somehow makes a difference in their lives, for me, is the most rewarding part of a career in web development.
What’s the main takeaway from your CareerFoundry experience having taken two different programs?
Three things come to mind, and they can all be applied to both the development and design industries, and to career change in general: the recipe to success is setting SMART goals; feedback is a tool for continued learning; and the more effectively you network, the more self-confidence you build over time.
I love that. Do you have any advice you’d offer someone making a career change to programming, or tech in general?
The road may be bumpy but you have to trust the process—stay committed, and don’t let doubts take over you.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Pauline. I wish you lots of luck in your growing career! Before we wrap up, what’s your one hope for your future career?
I would say to create my own product that helps others and my community. I know I will be able to utilize both my design and development skills doing this!
If you’ve got this far and are wondering if switching to web development is a good career move for you too, CareerFoundry is here to help.
Sign up for our free, introductory short course to get a taste of a career in web development, or check out these blog articles to learn more about making a career change to programming:
- Am I a Good Fit for a Career in Web Development?
- How to Learn to Code and Get a Job as a Web Developer in 2024
- What Are the Best Web Development Bootcamps in 2024?
You can also check out CareerFoundry’s full career-change programs from UI design to web development, and book a call with an expert program advisor to discuss your options and find out if a career in tech is a good fit for you.