Interview with Sami Ben Ali - Full-Stack Development alumnus

by Livia Schmid

Interview former student
Could you introduce yourself? What were you doing before you joined the Full-Stack Development Bootcamp at Constructor Academy?

“Hi, I’m Sami. I originally did an apprenticeship as a janitor and have continued to work in this professional field for about 6 years. Even though I had worked in this job for so long, I knew I had to change something for my future career as I wasn’t 100% happy with the position and the job overall. I started searching for options on how to make this change.

I was very happy with my employer at that time, where I have been working since 2019. In spring 2020, I was talking to a colleague that was working in our IT department. The fact that we shared a lot of the same interests really motivated me to get into programming more, so I took a few online classes in HTML, CSS and Javascript to get started in it.

After talking to my boss about my intention to become a software developer, I was motivated to take on this path and called Laurent Meyer from Constructor Academy on the same day.”
Why did you choose Constructor Academy? Did you also look into other Bootcamps?

“A friend of mine recommended the courses of Constructor Academy to me. Afterwards, I did some research to find out more about the programs and which one of them would be the most suitable to my educational and professional background. That’s when I decided to go with the Full-Stack Development Bootcamp.”
You said that you were already into programming before you started the program at Constructor Academy. Did it help you during your studies?

“After I applied to Constructor Academy I received preparation material to complete before the course. Since my previous knowledge was not very structured, I continued with the basics that I already knew and I have to say that my thrown-together programming knowledge only helped me with some tasks there. I also didn't do the online programming courses immediately before applying to SIT Academy, but a year before that. The preparation tasks for the course were therefore a very good refresher and extension of my previous knowledge. During the course, the rough understanding of how everything is set up helped me. But, of course, there were a lot of new topics that I hadn't mastered before.”
How was your experience at Constructor Academy​​​​​​​?

“I enjoyed the time at Constructor Academy a lot, especially meeting cool people with a similar plan like me after the Bootcamp. In the first month though, I must admit: I wasn't sure if I could keep up. What really kept me going was that I saw that everybody was in the same boat and everyone else had their difficulties in the beginning. Also, the teaching assistants guided us very well during the course and took a lot of time to make sure we really understood the concepts and applications of each topic. At the end, it also really depends on how much effort you put into those three months, because I was aware before I started that it’s going to take a lot of work. Since I knew that I needed a change in my career, I stayed motivated to complete it and I have to say that it definitely was the right decision for me. Looking back at my time at SIT Academy, I would highlight the project phase at the end of the program as well as meeting cool people.”
Could you tell me more about the capstone project that you worked on in the last month of the training?

“Sure! We were a group of three students and worked together on the project called FreshGarden. The basic concept of it was that people living in the same area could sell their local, self-grown fruits and vegetables from “Schrebergärten” on a platform that we developed in order to reduce food waste, since they weren’t able to give away all of their harvests or eat them by themselves.”
How was life after the Bootcamp?

“Dormakaba offered me a six-month internship as a Software Developer. I am actually working in this position for two months now, but as I said, I have been with the company since 2019 with a short break for the Bootcamp. I can apply a lot of the things that I learned during the training, which I really like. 

In general, I am a lot happier with my current job in comparison with the one I did before joining Constructor Academy.”
Do you have any advice for people who also want to do a coding Bootcamp?

“If you want to change your career due to the promotion opportunities, fun-factor or simply because you need it - like it was in my case - you should just go for it. Sometimes you have to take a risk to be rewarded. That’s why I live by the following quote: love it, leave it or change it.”
Thank you very much, Sami. On behalf of Constructor Academy I wish you all the best, professionally and personally. 

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