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Student Profile

Valentin Manaila

Full Stack Engineer at Zeigo

Program Taken

Web Development Bootcamp

Key Skills Learned

  • Server-Side Programming
  • Web Servers
  • Databases
View Program Details
Valentin Manaila


Where are you working currently, and what do you do there?

I’m currently working at Zeigo, now part of Schneider Electric Sustainability Solutions, as a Full Stack Engineer. I’m mostly working on front-end issues using React and Typescript and getting myself familiar with the backend stack.

Can you tell us a bit about your education and career background?

I am a fully qualified Architect with a background in high-end residential architecture. My education is typical to most other Architects: Bachelor, Master, Diploma. My background and experience revolves around solving complex technical and design problems which translate very well in programming.

What motivated you to start digital skills training with BrainStation?

I decided to move away from architecture to have more flexible working options. Before joining BrainStation I attempted to make it as a self-taught Developer. I was working on online coding platforms, followed by a large bootcamp-style video course. I did this for three months full time. Although I learned a lot, I eventually burned out and stopped coding altogether for a while and went back to architecture.

After this break I felt recharged and ready to continue with my career transition but realized that I have to try going about it in a different way, therefore I decided to start looking at bootcamps for their structure and support system. I chose BrainStation for their up-to-date curriculum which aligned perfectly with what I was doing and wanted to continue down the JavaScript -> Node path. I also contacted some previous alumni on LinkedIn and did some research on the tutors before accepting my spot. The feedback I was getting had confirmed my suspicions: it was going to be a lot of hard work but worth it in the end.

It is true — you only get out what you put in with such a course and I gave it all my time and attention for those 12 weeks.

What was the highlight of your learning experience?

So many things but I would say they revolve a lot around the group projects like the hackathons and the one week group project where we all work on the same codebase and commit to the same repository while using industry standard project management tools and Agile methodologies.

During my self-taught days, I was never exposed to this way of working. It really helped to put myself in the shoes of other people reading my code. This is so valuable as the majority of my time is now spent reading code and trying to paint a mental model of what’s going on before I write any code — and when I do I can empathize better with the people that will be reading it.

Can you describe the impact your Educator had on that experience?

Having the Educators around all the time was great for bouncing ideas off them and asking as many questions as you can come up with. The Educators are amazing and they inspire you to want to know more. They inject their personality and create a fun and comfortable environment for you to understand as much as possible during the lectures.

How has your BrainStation experience impacted your career?

BrainStation prepares you very well for front-end roles (that is where you will be able to contribute immediately in a job) and gives you a good foundation for working with Node servers and databases.

Can you tell us more about your final project?

My final project is related to architecture and obtaining planning permissions for buildings. It is called planinSight, an application that scrapes past planning applications based on your parameters and analyzes them to work out how long it actually takes for a planning application to be decided. It is one of the tools I wish I had during my time practicing architecture.

How has your bootcamp experience helped you connect with the tech industry?

We had plenty of opportunities to connect with BrainStation’s alumni network, and each other. We also started endorsing each other on LinkedIn and created professional looking profiles that reflect the new industry we want to break into.

BrainStation also organizes lots of talks throughout the year where you can meet professionals from the industry you want to break into and I would also recommend going to all your local meetups that revolve around tech. It’s a great way to extend your network as you move towards getting into this industry.

What advice would you give to professionals considering a BrainStation course or program?

I would say try to teach yourself how to code before doing a coding bootcamp. If you do end up deciding to go for a bootcamp, BrainStation’s course is superb.

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