Meet Jérôme 👋. A trained designer and artist, he was working in Real Estate before he decided to make the jump into tech as a Web Developer. We spoke with him about his varied career path, his reasons for choosing web development, and his time at SPICED.
So Jerry, first of all, could you tell us a little bit about your background, professional and educational?
Yes, I studied communication design and then Art. I studied for a long time – nine years actually – and then worked as a professional artist for three years before I started working in a gallery here in Berlin.
Because of what they pay you in the art world I thought to myself – okay, let’s try something new.
I started working in start-ups for one year, in different kinds of positions; in sales, as a project manager. Then I went into real estate for one year, because of my parents! They told me, “Yes, son go and earn some money, go to real estate”. But it was really unfulfilling to me, especially because you have this glass ceiling. It’s very hard to make a career in real estate if you didn’t study as a real estate manager or professional.
But coding was always something I did, also as an artist. Especially because I wanted to work with glitches and with compiling errors and I used that to create paintings, digital paintings. And so, I always had to write my own programs and I also did interactive installations, and it was always a part of me.
So I said to myself, maybe coding is the thing. I got to Spiced and did a boot camp and I’m actually very happy that I did because it’s so much fun and I really love to do it.
That’s great to hear. Going back to this moment when you were thinking about studying web development, can you remember the motivation that eventually sent you over the edge and decided this is the career I want? What is it about web development that appeals to you?
It’s not web development itself that appealed to me, it’s more the way the industry is. What I really appreciate about the industry is that it’s really about what you can do and not about having a piece of paper where it says that you can do something. You are not forced into this middle-manager situation where people block you off because you didn’t do a certificate or something.
What I also like about it is that it has a lot of artistic practice. As an artist, you also try out things and you are very engaged with complex problems and how to solve them. But it’s more frustrating as an artist because 9 of 10 times you are not able to create something new. But I really like this feeling to create something and to create real value with it. That’s what I really like about it.
So it’s more the move into tech and into this kind of space that excites you, and web development is the step that you can take to get closer?
Yes. Also, the freedom. I mean, in 2019, I got to know somebody from the USA and we were really in love. It was like, you come to San Francisco, and I was like, no, I work in real estate. I would be unemployed. I can’t do this.
I really like this freedom that the tech industry offers you. I could now go everywhere in the world and work. And the people are very nice in the tech industry, too.
What initially was it about the Spiced bootcamp that attracted you?
It’s a boot camp that’s existed for a long time and it has very good reviews on the internet. I had this feeling that they have enough experience to offer you a good education. This was the main reason why I went to Spiced and I’m very happy that I did. You can really feel at Spiced that you have a lot of experience and that you take the feedback from your students and that this influences the way you teach it.
But it was really intense too, it was the most intense thing I did in my life, actually.
Yes of course it can be very intense! I wonder what you found the most challenging part of the course?
The most challenging part of the course were APIs. When we started with APIs, especially this Twitter thing, it was really hard to understand. I see myself anyways more in the front end. I mean, you also use APIs in the front end, but I think that was the most challenging part.
So, on the flip side of that, what were your favourite aspects of the course? What did you really value?
I wanted to ask you about your graduation day. You graduated wearing a suit! Can you tell me a little about that decision?
Yeah, I came in a suit. It was a little bit planned, like as a performance, because I wanted to create a contrast between my person and what I show. The suit was also something I never needed to wear again. I mean, I like to wear suits, but I don’t need to wear it every day anymore like as a real estate agent. It was a little bit to free myself from this, to free myself from the past, and to start something new.
Tell us about your job hunt, and about your role now? How did Spiced prepare you for it?
Finding a job was very exciting. I applied to many companies, but it was only after Olga helped me revise my CV that I approached the whole thing with the necessary self-confidence. I made it to the last round at some companies, but with the company I now work for, it felt very natural right from the start, and I’m very happy to work there.
What advice do you have for students considering joining Spiced?
Cancel all your appointments for the three months! Really don’t go to a party, really focus on the Academy because otherwise, you will fall behind very easily. This I would say, cancel all your appointments, cancel everything, and just focus on the bootcamp.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
As a child, I always wanted to be a scientist in a submarine exploring the deep sea. But now I’m really looking forward to work as a programmer. To enjoy that freedom and to become a digital nomad at some point, because I would really like to see the world and travel.
The last question is Spiced in three words?
Spiced in three words: intense, lovely. And oh my god, do I really need to find a third one? Profound.
Something about Spiced that I think is very special that you really care about the quality of your education and care about that people find a job after the boot camp. And this is something I would like to advise that people really choose well when they are looking for a bootcamp and choose one like yours.