Estelle: From Corporate to Coding

Written by Audrey Ling
Posted on 29 June 2016 in Students' Stories

It all started with a random click on MaGIC’s website. Estelle Chang was itching to start something new. After all, she had been working for 11 years in the IT service industry, jumping from one department to another: HR, admin, project management, server support… And now, she knew it was time to do something different.

That random click became quite a chance for her to get out of a routine. When she saw NEXT Academy’s web development bootcamp on MaGIC’s website, it dawned on her, “This might be it!”

However, a 2-month commitment with the bootcamp would mean quitting her job, leaving what she knew for 11 years and embarking into something new, something altogether so foreign yet so familiar to her.

She looked into her circle of friends hoping to get some good advice off them. None were software developers, in fact, many were looking to engage software developers to build their ideas!

After much contemplation and noting that there were an obvious scarcity in hand, she knew that this spelled opportunity and she decided that she will grab this chance to become a web developer herself.

Enrolling into the bootcamp was a crazy ride.

There was so much to learn in a short 9 weeks. Under the wing of Master Teng (Josh) and mentors, she proceeded from barely able to comprehend those wiggly colourful lines to making magic with them by the end of the bootcamp.

But it wasn’t as simple as that. It was not just intellectually challenging, it was equally as tough psychologically.

To put it into perspective, the motto of her and her fellow bootcampers were “Keep it going and never give up”. It was a battle cry when things got tough, when everything looked bleak. It was a battle cry that got them through to the end of tunnel and emerged as victors.

Looking back, besides emerging as a web developer who has the ability to build any apps limited only to her own imagination, she gained much more than just a skill – she gained friendship.

When I asked her what advice she would like to give to anyone who want to join NEXT Academy’s coding bootcamp, she heartily laughed and said, “Do your prepwork! It really could save your life!”

And as our little conversation came to a close, I asked her if she have regretted letting go all she knew to take this leap of faith.

And she left me with this quote.

“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try”

Estelle graduated from NEXT Academy’s October 2014 batch. Just 2 weeks after her bootcamp, Estelle saw that Malaysia had just implemented GST (Goods & Services Tax) and many merchants were trying to deceive consumers. She built a GST app where anyone can report fraudulent merchants. Within 3 days, she had easily 10,000 users. She was later featured and interviewed by the local media for her app. Today, she is both a web developer and an iOS app developer. 

At NEXT Academy, we get students from all walks of life. This is the reason why we strive as a community. We learn from one another and are all united with a common goal – the desire to do better and to grow ourselves especially in our career and personal lives.



Also published on Medium.

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