We use cookies. If that's ok with you, simply close this message and keep browsing. Otherwise, click here to find out more info.

A network of people
invested in each other's success

One of the most rewarding aspects of attending SPICED Academy is the students -- your fellow classmates! SPICED students come from a variety of backgrounds, each with different aspirations for how they want to use their skills in programming. This diversity makes the 12-week experience all the more enriching for our students, whether it’s working together on a difficult assignment, demoing final projects or chatting over lunch. We invite you to read more below about our alumni -- where they’re from, why they joined SPICED and what they’re up to now.

Guilherme

Dots Software | Software Developer | Berlin

What led you to SPICED?

I’m from Brazil. In 2015, I had just finished my 5-year Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering and I was struggling with my career. I was interning at a structural engineer projects office, and that year a big economic crisis hit my country. Many companies were firing old employees, there was no space for the new comers, and the predictions for the next year were not friendly. The fired experienced engineers would have been the first to be hired in case of economic stability, so I felt the need to take a new step in my career. My friends always knew I’m really good with computers. Since the age of 10 when I got my first PC, I was curious about PC components, how it all works, and troubleshooting by myself to fix minor problems on broken machines. One web developer friends that lives and works in Dublin suggested, “Why don’t you became a developer? There’s a ton of opportunities abroad.”. After more research about the profession, about the opportunities, I decided to take the shot. Having Italian citizenship made everything easier. I could choose any country in Europe to live in. Living abroad was always my dream, never accomplished. All these factors came together and on June 2016 I applied to the bootcamp in Berlin. In one word why I decided to learn to code? Opportunity!

What are you doing after graduating from SPICED?

After I finished the bootcamp, I started to look for a job. I decided to settle in Europe with my wife. Just one month after I started to look, I was hired from Dots Software in Berlin as a Software Developer.

What was your biggest challenge during the bootcamp and how did you overcome it?

I’m a really fast learner, so I didn’t haven’t any major problems during the SPICED bootcamp. I think the big issue that I had was transitioning from the Frontend to the Backend. At the beginning I didn’t understand quite how the backend server works. But after a few talks with the tutors and sharing my difficulties with my classmates everything became clear. This is great advice about learning to code. Talk with other people, one different point of view can make things clear.

What did you like about your SPICED experience?

You’re being groomed to work. The bootcamp program focus on real activities. It’s a short time, you’re not going to become an expert, but you became familiar with JavaScript. I felt prepared for interviews. It’s like a shortcut to get a job and learn how to code.

Anything else you’d like to share with our reader?

Before starting a bootcamp, know yourself. Like to spend hours in front of a computer? Like to be challenged? Are you a person that looks for answers by yourself or waits for teachers? Are you excited to discover things on your own? Besides a strong coding program, you need to find your own path, you need to keep yourself motivated. If you answer no to most of the previous questions, don’t waste your money and time! If yes, you have a good chance to succeed in a bootcamp and as a developer!

Rafael

Pivii Technologies | Front End Development Intern | Berlin

What led you to SPICED?

As an architect, I was fascinated with the incursion of the digital reality in our physical world. To make my ideas come to life, I needed a deeper knowledge of programming and the Internet. SPICED provided me with the tools I needed to take those projects from my mind and into the real world.

What are you doing after graduating from SPICED?

I recently joined Pivii Technologies, a Berlin-based startup that makes images measurable. We use image recognition and machine learning to help brands to reach their audience on social media with great and relevant visual content.

What was your biggest challenge during the bootcamp and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge for me was the change of mindset: going from planning every detail before doing something to... just doing it! Some particular projects -such as the kitty carousel- were very challenging, but the team was always very helpful and very friendly, and I never had to go back home with a question unanswered.

What did you like about your SPICED experience?

I liked everything from my experience in SPICED, from the beautiful offices to the great people I met there. I think one of the best things at SPICED is that you learn very useful skills, while really understanding how the Internet and algorithms work, so now I'm not only capable of developing my own projects, but I can keep learning more and more about tech.

Anything else you’d like to share with our reader?

Dear reader, if you're feeling at a crossroads, if you want to change your life and don't know where to start, and if you have many ideas but don't find a way to make them real, ask yourself if coding might help you. If the answer is yes, SPICED is probably the best first step.

Karen

geeny.io | Product Owner and Developer Evangelist | Berlin

What led you to SPICED?

For many years I have been surrounded by software developers building ideas that we came up with during our spare time. This became frustrating to watch them take actionable steps towards our dreams, while I just sat on the sidelines guiding waiting until I could work on marketing or other business development responsibilities after they've finished. The decision to come to SPICED was to free myself from these restrictions and start building projects for myself. I couldn't be more happy with this decision. Learning full-stack Javascript put me in the same stack as most companies and other developers, so integration with them is pretty seamless. Berlin was also a fantastic location. The development community here is working on very tough, infrastructure challenges that other cities, even Palo Alto and New York, don't seem to be addressing.

What are you doing after graduating from SPICED?

I will be working as a Product Owner and Developer Evangelist at Geeny.io, a startup-spinoff of Telefonica building a new ecosystem for the IoT. It's my job to build out the side of the business that faces developers of new IoT devices, making SDK's, documentation and communities that promote developers of all levels to build new physical items connected to the internet. I look forward to hopefully working with SPICED academy students to build out their products!

What was your biggest challenge during the bootcamp and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge for me was time management. I was working a full-time job while taking the courses, so it was quite overwhelming at times. Projects are on a weekly basis so there isn't much time to adjust schedules. Thankfully as the course progressed I learned ways to automate my job and sped things up quite a bit!

What did you like about your SPICED experience?

Many things! The staff are probably the best, always encouraging logical thought processes and personal decision making throughout every step. They valued each person's perspective when it came to solving problems, so in a group of 8 we would see 8 different ways to tackle the same issues. This diversity was invaluable in a learning setting.

Anything else you’d like to share with our reader?

My main piece of advice is to remember to Google everything and read as much documentation as you can. The teachers at SPICED offer one of the best-guided curriculums towards web development, but in a field that is ever expanding it's helpful to go above and beyond learning more about the possibilities available to you. There's only so much that can be squeezed into a day of lessons!

Mike

SoundCloud | Junior Engineering Program | Berlin

What led you to SPICED?

I was dissatisfied with my career in banking and wanted more control over where my life was leading. I wanted a creative, challenging, flexible and in-demand skill that would give me much more freedom about who I was working for and where. Coding ticks all those boxes.

What have you been up to after graduating from SPICED?

I have joined Soundcloud on their junior engineering programme in Berlin working with languages and technologies not learned explicitly on the course, but I feel prepared and confident I can use my experience and the techniques used at SPICED to learn Javascript to further develop my coding skills, this time in a professional environment.

What was your biggest challenge during the bootcamp and how did you overcome it?

Early on, each day presented new challenges and concepts that built on what came before, meaning there was no room to slack off or miss a day. Keeping my schedule clear for 3 months in order to keep pace was a real challenge, but with proper preparation, commitment and support from the staff and fellow students I managed to drag myself there on time every morning.

What did you like about your SPICED experience?

Berlin is a great international city that was easy to navigate and have a great time in. The dedicated teachers and staff were always available and willing to assist with any issues, be they related to coding or even just settling in.

Anything else you’d like to share with our reader?

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Thilo

What led you to SPICED?

I wanted to learn how to code because I think it is important in these days to understand technology well, since technology is going to affect all of us. By technology I mean mainly software. Also I tried to start a company in the blockchain field and noticed how my lack of knowledge became a real problem there. I think these days many people start out with good business ideas, bad poor knowledge about the technologies they intent to use, that in many cases is a recipe for failure. I chose SPICED mainly because it focuses only on JavaScript. I didn't really trust the promise of other camps like GA to teach you Ruby and JS and all this other stuff in such a short time frame. I rather wanted to learn one language well than a bit of everything.

What have you been up to after graduating from SPICED?

I started working on AI things, like Chatbots and that kind of things. Participated together with a friend in this hackathon from the Dubai Government on Blockchains. Also started learning additional stuff like SASS and started a bit of python. Want to learn more about AI to start building stuff with IBM Watson.

What was your biggest challenge during the bootcamp and how did you overcome it?

Keeping back-end and front-end separated and not mixing up all the stuff we just learned. I guess just trial and error helped me. I think a lot of people had problems with really wanting to understand what they are doing there, I noticed at some point that by just trying out instead of trying to understand them things eventually became clear, that helped me a lot.

What did you like about your SPICED experience?

How quickly we made progress. Before coming to SPICED I thought coding is rocket science, but being able to do the kitty carousel after only a few days gave me a lot of confidence and I slowly started to notice coding isn't actually that hard.

Anything else you’d like to share with our reader?

My website is thilo.io

Stefan

Engineering Design Center | Junior Software Engineer | Poland

Tell us about your final project.

The Plasmid Mapper is an easy-to-use online tool for scientists who want to create good-looking, customizable plasmid maps.

What led you to SPICED?

I wanted to learn to code because it is interesting, prospective, challenging and rewarding activity.

What have you been up to after graduating from SPICED?

I work as a software engineer, as a team we build an app for aviation where I am responsible for development of user interface using mainly Polymer.

What was your biggest challenge during the bootcamp and how did you overcome it?

There were few technical challenges which I overcome with help from David.

What did you like about your SPICED experience?

I liked engagement of staff and innovative atmosphere

Anything else you’d like to share with our reader?

My advice is to focus on coding and do not listen to other advices :)