A few years ago, Nicolas was convinced that becoming a web developer would forever be impossible for him. But thanks to O’clock, this former banker was able to realize his dreams and even exceed them. Today, he is proud of his new role as Technical Manager.
The health crisis has shaken up the labor market and the internal organization of companies. Between successive confinements and teleworking, many French people have decided to review their career plans. A trend still relevant in 2023, with almost one in two workers preparing or considering a professional retraining, according to the Inffo Center.
In 2020, then bank branch director, Nicolas also chose to change careers to finally make a living from his passion: IT. He seized the opportunity to become a web developer in just 6 months thanks to O’clock. A decision he never regretted. Today he looks back on his atypical and inspiring journey.
Choosing the obvious
Nicolas did not start such a career change in web development by chance. He likes to remember:
At 14, I started designing my first websites, learning the C language and compiling my first programs. They were very basic, because I was young and still discovering this discipline.
But then dropping out of school, Nicolas must refocus on the essentials and is forced to choose a more realistic path than computer science. He then decided to follow a course in accounting, and thus continued up to the BTS before joining the bank as a Reception Advisor. Over the years, he rose through the ranks until reaching the title of agency director.
At the dawn of the pandemic, this accomplished banker began to question his professional future:
I saw my son very little due to my work schedules and the time spent on public transport. That’s when everything started to germinate, and I asked myself what I could do, apart from banking and accounting.
Like a revelation, Nicolas remembered his first love: computers. He realizes that now all the barriers are lifted and that he can finally accomplish his dream:
IT careers were once reserved for people with engineering school degrees. Today, it is possible to become a developer through other training courses such as O’clock, which I decided to follow in 2020. Without these new unconventional paths, I would never have was able to work in IT.
The young father researched extensively on the internet and was able to discover O’clock and its intensive program in six months. Decided, he started by checking that he had a CPF account. The O’clock adventure could then begin.
Think about all possible financing and don’t rush anything
“ I did everything out of order”, however regrets Nicolas. Even though he has first mature the project well, so as not to act on a whim” and that he waited “the right time, the one when all the lights are green”, on the financing side. However, he could have obtained more aid.
If the CPF is the first reflex for many people in the retraining phase, the training provided by O’clock is eligible for many other sources of financing. Here are the main aids that students can claim:
- the PTP or Professional Transition Project, for employees who want to change jobs without resigning and be able to be absent from their position without losing their salary;
- AGEFIPH or Association for the Management of Funds for the Integration of Disabled Persons, which, as its name indicates, is aimed at job seekers with disabilities;
- POEI or Operational Preparation for Individual Employment for those who have already found their future position as a web developer.
Nicolas, for his part, turned exclusively to the CPF without exploring other avenues, because he feared that the training would be overloaded due to the pandemic. Today, he recommends to anyone wishing to join O’clock “to call on Pôle Emploi advisors and retraining specialists”. “We really shouldn’t act in haste”he insists.
Moreover, on this point, the O’clock Admissions service supports future students in their search for funding. These advisors do not simply draw up a list of all existing aid, but analyze the situation of each student to then advise them on the funding to which they can really qualify. And because these administrative procedures can quickly turn out to be complex, the members of this center help anyone who wishes to prepare their files.
Like at school, but at home and in slippers!
The real strength of O’clock is not so much its express training time of 6 months to become a web developer, but its operation and its organization.
Although its courses are exclusively telepresent, the establishment manages to recreate a working environment similar to that of a face-to-face school. Nicolas was surprised by the friendliness, the ease of exchanges with other students and the responsiveness of the teachers.
He remembers with a smile: “We were really classmates. We feel good in this training, the teachers are friendly and even add touches of humor”. A lightness, however, necessary for this former student who admits: “I didn’t think I needed teachers so much.”.
This enthusiast particularly appreciated O’clock’s teaching method:
We don’t make you stupidly copy code. We teach you how to learn, how to read documentation, how to do it yourself. This is what then allows you to move towards other technologies alone..
At the end of the first four months of training, Nicolas chose to specialize inback office. As planned in the course, he then devoted himself for a month to his end-of-studies project: creating an appointment booking application for barbers.
This last step was intensive. Between daily morning meetings with other team members and long development hours, “we gave our all”, he confides. “We even used frameworks that we did not initially master. So we continued to develop our skills, to learn and we came away satisfied. It was truly the apotheosis”he exclaims.
Never give up, because the “magic” always works
The daily life of an O’clock student is quite well-established, Nicolas recalls:
HAS8:50 a.m. I was making my coffee and before 9 a.m. I was behind my computer. We started the day by reviewing the concepts covered the day before. Then, the theoretical course began, with concrete examples. In the afternoon, we prepared a complete exercise which we corrected the next morning. It was quite intense.
Despite everything, Nicolas praises the organization put in place by the school and the great availability of teachers throughout the day, because according to him this is the key to avoiding school dropouts. Indeed, if everything seems to have been easy for Nicolas, in reality, like all O’clock students, it was not.
Sometimes it feels like you’re jumping without a parachute. It was very destabilizing. We were told that night brings advice, and indeed, the next day everything lit up and settled down.
Sleeping and taking breaks: this is a great lesson that Nicolas has learned and now applies in his new role as technical manager.
Support even after graduation
In just six months, O’clock students acquire the knowledge and skills essential to the profession of web developer. But in such a short time, few students leave with complete confidence in themselves and their abilities.
Nicolas remembers: “We feel like an imposter, especially when comparing ourselves to experienced developers”. This is why this future IT professional first decided to deepen the specialty he was missing, the one he had not chosen at the end of his course: the front office.
Before applying for his first job as a web developer, he also wanted to carry out several projects, including a major one that was close to his heart: “I wanted to help my wife, who is an osteopath, and relieve her in the administrative follow-up of her patients. I then developed a program on which she could write her session reports, and if necessary share them with the practitioners who replace her during her leave. She now uses it every day”.
This last initiative was a trigger for Nicolas, who was then ready to look for a position as a web developer. A pivotal stage, during which the young computer scientist did not feel alone. Nicolas specifies:
O’clock has created a Slack space where new job offers are published regularly, department by department. In addition, a trainer also gave us all the tips to effectively search for a position, to prospect and to promote yourself on LinkedIn.
Even if this support helped him greatly, Nicolas finally received an offer through another means: “One of my former clients contacted me on LinkedIn for a purely banking question and realizing that I was now a web developer, he immediately offered me a position in his company. The next day, I had my contract”.
Nicolas is now technical manager and has the privilege of using both his managerial and IT skills.
My job is fascinating. Complex, but exciting. VSit’s a beautiful reconversionnot.
If he is proud of his career and recommends doing the same to all those who wish to become web developers, it is with wisdom that he advises them:to have a real appetite for IT and, before starting out, to start delving into HTML and CSS themselves to verify their true attraction for programming”.
To conclude, Nicolas recalls how “It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before retraining, or even giving up your job”.