Software Developers Journey Podcast

#194 Ségolène Alquier wanted to learn that coding magic


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Segolene Alquier 0:00
Don't compare yourself to the others. I've done that a lot. And it was terrible for my self confidence. Because you can only compare like your insights with the outsides of people. So what you know about yourself is a lot the way you see from other people you don't know like, when did they start? What did they do before? Maybe there are things that they understand faster than you, but it's also true for you or for other things. And it doesn't break anything to compare yourself anyway.

Tim Bourguignon 0:31
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey, the podcast, bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers. To help you on your upcoming journey. I'm your host team building your own this episode 194 I received Cygwin Alchi. Sylvain is a software engineer at Dr. Lim in Paris, where she builds useful and amazing products with React and Ruby on Rails. Whatever she has a chance she enjoys teaching, creating art on code pen with CSS, arch with CSS, and JavaScript and spending time on her yoga mat. Welcome d'etre.

Segolene Alquier 1:10
Thank you, hello.

Tim Bourguignon 1:12
But before we come to your story, I want to thank the terrific listeners who support the show every month, you are keeping the dev journey lights up, if you would like to join this fine crew and help me spend more time on finding phenomenal guests then editing audio tracks, please go to our website, Dev journey dot info and click on the Support me on Patreon button. Even the smallest contributions are giant steps toward a sustainable dev journey. journey. Thank you. And now back to today's guest. So as soon as you know, the show exists to help the listeners understand what your story looked like and imagine how to shape their own future. So as always, let's go back to your beginnings. Where would you place the start of your death or

Segolene Alquier 2:00
place it three years ago, and it was really unplanned. Like it was unexpected, because that's really not what I studied. Because after high school, I started like studying law and foreign languages. So I had a bachelor's degree in German English in law, and did a master's degree in International Business Law. So I did that for a year. And I realized like it was really not for me like it was super theoretical, I find it quite boring as well. And I did two internships also in law firms, but they really like motivated me like to stop there. So yeah. And also I really couldn't project myself into a legal career. And so I decided to finish the year get the diploma and and then when I started looking for jobs, I felt like companies always wanting to hire me for legal positions, because I think it's very French, this idea that if you study something that you've got to stick to it until retirement, basically, and that there is no in between, we don't have the concept of majors, minors. So if you study law, you just study law, and then you've got to do that for so yeah, it was quite frustrating when I realized that. And that's why I decided to go to a business school to like broaden my opportunities, I'd say. And so I did an MBA, so a master's in business of administration, I think something like that. And after that, I joined a startup that was in a very early stage in green tech. And I was deserted employees of the company. And my role was not really well defined, which I don't recommend, and which is a mistake I wouldn't do in the future now. But I quickly ended up being the product owner of the company. So I was the one to talk to the users, I was the one defining features with prioritizing the backlog working with the developers. So I would agree on mock ups with them, I would follow the developments. I would test what they did, basically. And so that was super cool. And I learned a lot because I had no idea like that this world even existed before that. And the default one was for me, that was the only there was no ticky tech savy person in the company. And the tech was outsourced. So the developers were an external agency, which is once again decision making in the future. But so yeah, so I learned a lot but I wasn't backed or helped internally on any of the technical or product decisions I would take. And so I remember feeling really stressed because I didn't really trust myself about the decisions I was making, right because, I mean, I was learning on the under field, but I was still lacking a lot of technical knowledge. So I did that for a year and a half. And then I decided I had to ID that's where I had the ID First off, starting to code. Because I was intrigued by what the developers were doing. And I was kind of growing curious of what was going on behind the scenes and how they were like doing that magic. When I left, I was not ready yet to start coding. I mean, I hadn't really looked yet at courses or formation. So whatsoever, I had the plan. And I did that for a few weeks or a few months, I worked on an app with a developer and another person that was aimed to help people with bipolar disorder to help them manage their health. And so we did that for a few weeks. And it was super interesting, because it's a topic that is really important for me. But I felt it was not the right time for me. And I was also getting kind of jealous about jealous of the developer. And like, I wanted to be able to do the same magics as he was in so that's why when I felt ready to stop that and actually enroll in a coding boot boot camp. And so I did that right away. And I chose one that is called the hacking project that still exists in France. And I spent two months and a half there. It was like, super intense I was working from I don't know what a lot and yeah, and I both I loved it. And I also kind of hated it. I really have mixed feelings when I think think about but when I think back about that period, but anyway, I finished this, I made great friends, I found out that I loved like front end because I could spend hours sometimes on projects I would work on till like 4am on this kiss, it would be like no, this sticks out. To me with my theory, that collards analogy. And so it's like, I would spend too much time on that. And yeah, so the bootcamp finished. And I think it's the really hard part of the bootcamp, actually, the momentum, it finishes, and then you're on your own, basically. And you're like, Okay, should I look for a job, but your skills, your technical skills are still very, it's could be enough for some, but for me, like, I discovered everything. during the bootcamp, I had never opened a terminal, I had never coded a single line or read a single line of code before. So my knowledge definitely for me wasn't enough. So I decided to pursue in computer science, and I applied to 42. School. So it's a school that was only in France at the time, but I think now we are they've opened a lot of campuses around the world. And it's very interesting pedagogy. Because basically, it's a school where there are no courses and no teachers. And you just learn by like pure programming, pure learning, basically. So how it works is that you've got a one month long exam, that is called La PCM. So just in for this month, you just have exercises in C language every day, and exams on Fridays. And then on the weekends, you've got a group project and a single project. And so that's how it goes for a month. So it's super intense. And I did that work my ass off like 13 hours per day without interruption for a month, and I got accepted in so then I entered the school. And I stayed there for a year and a half. And so I had to go through all of the see projects at the beginning. And I hate to see like never, ever again. But then at the end, I could specialize in web development. And I knew that's what I wanted, because I had already done that during the bootcamp. And I know I was really passionate about front end. So I did that. And in the meantime, since I had to pay for my rent in eat food. I was also freelancing, I started freelancing. And I would be making like simple websites on WordPress and then mainly on web flow, which is a no code tool as well. That's super cool. Like you can make really amazing websites with it. And I would also teach in a school for growth hackers, where I will teach them how to make landing landing pages basically. So it was kind of a mix between development and marketing. And so that was a cool mix because it was kind of a mix of things that I had studied. So yeah, so I did that. And I finished 42 And Once finished, I started applying to a few companies and I had an amazing timing because the day or studying to send my CV was the day in France where confinements started. Yeah, and where Macron was like we are at war. Oh, that's great. Boy, spent the first weeks of the confinements Well, basically me came interviews in applying for jobs. And actually, I got super lucky because I had my choice number one that was to work as a doctor leave as a software engineer. And so I got hired in now, I've been working there for a year and a half. And I'm doing well. I'm a full stack there. We all are actually, that's the philosophy of the company. Okay, so that's sorry, was long, but that's how I ended up working.

Tim Bourguignon 10:27
That is, that is very cool. And there's a whole bunch to unpack. So let's go back a little bit and see where we can unpack things. See, you said you were you enrolled in a boot camp and going out of this boot camp was really hard we would be first interesting to me is did you have the image of the person you would become after the boot camp before that? Did you have this understanding of how it would go what a developer actually does? And and did it match this image or not? How was your idolize version before and after?

Segolene Alquier 10:57
Work? I did not really because at first when I entered, I had more the idea of getting some technical knowledge but to for to in order to then get another job as a PM, or in a more tech company. So I never figured out I would end up being a developer because for me was the gap between what I knew when I started and what I needed to know. To get that job was so big. I know I'm like, even during the bootcamp if you were telling me now I'm doing this and I'm a software engineer would be like, No way.

Tim Bourguignon 11:35
Sorry, drew it with the Flipped with the okay. No, I'm not going back to the PM. Stay with us.

Tim Bourguignon 11:43
We'll be right back. Hello imposters. If you work in tech want to work in tech or are tech curious in any way you'll want to listen to this. We've launched a community of professionals who come together to share information and advice about jobs, roles, careers, and the journeys we all take throughout our lives as the designers, builders, fixers investigators, explainers and protectors of the world's technology. We call it the impostor syndrome network. And all are welcome. So find the impostor syndrome network podcast wherever you listen to find podcasts, and look for the isn community on your favorite social platform. Hashtag impostor network.

Tim Bourguignon 12:27

Segolene Alquier 12:29
I think it probably was, when I was when I was it's not actually maybe when I got hired. Because until I was hired, it was like, Okay, there's someone's gonna hire me as a software engineer. And I remember talking to companies, and my profiles, were very interesting to them the mix of product and tech. But I remember talking to Saman are like, Hey, are you sure? Like you don't want to work as more on a product side, like, where are you talking about? It would be super interesting. And I don't know, I'm kind of super stubborn. And like, for me, it was a big challenge to become actually a software engineer. And so it was like, Maybe I should go back to product. But I was because there was this big challenge. And I need to prove to myself that that I'm able to do it. But I would say yeah, until I was hired. I was like, maybe this is not going to happen.

Tim Bourguignon 13:23
Okay, did you consider starting after the boot camp at all? I was really no, I'm not ready. I need to do something else.

Segolene Alquier 13:29
Oh, no, I really I did not I did not consider it. I mean, I think I was aware that I could find maybe an internship or something. But I felt like it can be tech can be a cruel world. And I felt like your first experience would be really the top law. I don't know how you say

Tim Bourguignon 13:52
springboard. Yeah,

Segolene Alquier 13:53
yeah. Well, I mean, yeah, someone tell you exactly. So something that could like disgust you out of it and make you just want to live it forever, or propose your career to something. And so it was really important to me that I would find my first gig in a really nice company, it was a nice culture, where it would be really mentored, it's good practice and all. And for me, after the bootcamp, I knew like I wouldn't have much to bring from a technical perspective and that I would have less power to find that the good company so my idea was also to know more like feel more confident and then being more being able to be more picky.

Tim Bourguignon 14:34
I think let's talk about 42 a little bit because indeed, it was a French school for a while and then now there are campuses everywhere. The open one in Germany. Yeah.

Segolene Alquier 14:43
There is one in Hyderabad I think, or

Tim Bourguignon 14:47
something like this. So, first of all, just to scratch my itch, do you see the value in learning? See, I learned 20 years ago or more than 20 years ago, back then it was still really nowadays. I have no idea if you need See to start doing web development

Segolene Alquier 15:01
for web development? Not much. But I think it was interesting to have, it brought me a bit more like computer science knowledge that I wouldn't have gotten, you know, bootcamp, like how pointers work, how memory allocation works. So I think these kind of concepts are not per se, like, useful in my day to day, but I think they made me see more data structure or maybe concept like this, that I didn't have the chance to see in the bootcamp. But see, per se, yeah, no, I'm never going to work with See, I hope not.

Tim Bourguignon 15:38
I did some cover engineering, and I wouldn't go there for any amount of money. The

Segolene Alquier 15:43
good thing was see is that after that, everything seems like simpler result.

Tim Bourguignon 15:48
Exactly. But I'm still worried that it's the the old guy in me speaking, when I say this, saying, Well, I had to learn to you and I found that interesting. Thus, everybody has to do it nowadays. And I'm still asking this this question every now and then because maybe it's not. Maybe you don't need that? I don't know. But I found that enjoys was worth to understand what the computer is doing in the background. And, and then forget about this and something else. So this, this swimming pool, as you call this, it's one month, but you mean basically one month assessment, if you have what it takes to survive 42? That's correct.

Segolene Alquier 16:27
Yeah. Yes, it's a bit. Yeah. No, people, a lot of people actually sleep in, at the school during the hormones. So it's kind of weird. And also was interesting, because there was a lot of it was an exam, but there was a lot of solidarity, like you maybe when I'm talking about it, people do not expect this, but actually, I felt that there was a lot of emulation and really like solidarity between between between our students. Interesting.

Tim Bourguignon 16:55
What kind of profiles of people come to follow,

Segolene Alquier 16:59
I think that's the coolest part. It's like, compared to the other studies had done before, it was much more diverse hour. I mean, not in tight, not in terms of gender. But in terms of social backgrounds, or origins as well, I think. And also ages, like, we would have people that were not even that were, I think under 18 People with without putting not finished high school or we didn't go to high school, but who were you knows, like computer geniuses, basically. But you would also have people with PhDs or people who had worked in like so many different backgrounds. Are we there were also people that were over 50 or 60. I really liked it. Because yeah, the profiles were really much more diverse than what you can find, at least in French universities or like schools.

Tim Bourguignon 17:49
Yeah, that sounds awesome. Really, people with bringing experience life experience with them? And

Segolene Alquier 17:55
it's free also. That's I mean, yeah, it's totally free.

Tim Bourguignon 17:59
Wow. That is cool. Yeah. It was a private school. Okay.

Segolene Alquier 18:04
Oh, no, no, you don't pay you don't pay for the example. If you're accepted into school, you don't pay anything, either. So you can spend years there and it's free.

Tim Bourguignon 18:13
Wow. Okay, I don't have time to do that. Okay. Then you said there's no curriculum, and no teachers. It's all project based, and basically, emulation between the students. Yeah. How does that work?

Segolene Alquier 18:30
So there is a kind of curriculum because it works like so you've got the intranet. And for the projects, it works kind of like a map in video games. So you will have projects that would be blocked, that would block the others in so you've got to unlock them. So validate them to unlock the next ones. And so that's how you can start. So you've got to do the first project and the second, etc. And after a few projects, then it was like a tree that would then divide with different branches. And each branch would be a specialty. So that would be like the Unix branch, the algorithm, the web development. I don't remember which one all graphics, basically. And so that's how you move you move forward in the curses and and you can move to the end of the school, meaning that you can then you have validated enough projects so that you can go get an internship or a job.

Tim Bourguignon 19:25
Okay, so there is another curriculum per se, but there's some indication of what kind of projects you should be doing. Yeah, you take them one after the other. Exactly. Okay.

Segolene Alquier 19:37
But there isn't much guidance. So you've got the project, you just have a PDF for the project, but there is no resources whatsoever. They just tell you, you got to end up with this. And then it's on you. You've got a few videos, but they're really like, like, not the most useful and I think it's part of like, that's intentional feature are exactly, exactly. So you've got to dig, and you've got to find for you for yourself and ask us for help, etc. Like you would do actually on a real job, where we don't hand you the solution. Or that reminds

Tim Bourguignon 20:13
me of my last semester project in the engineering school, I know the teacher came in on the first day, and looked at us, and then turn around and wrote on the whiteboard of a Nokia software architecture with a variable geometry. And then left and very crazy projective projects emerged out of that. But at first, we're really gem concrete example of one of these projects, what would that look like? And the level of guidance that is given on Yeah,

Segolene Alquier 20:42
yeah, so for instance, for the web development, so there was a project we spent at least five months on, I think it was to create like, kind of Tinder up. So we would have a lot to have only a lot of criteria to met, like, you've got to be able to make a profile that can be edited, then you can have create an algorithm that will detect acquaintances between profiles, then, if two people like each other, there will be a match, then you've got to be able to create a chat, blah, blah, blah, then there will be also bonuses. So there are features that you can create, if you want, but you don't have to. And basically, that was it, then we were able to choose the languages frame, we had a few we had a lot of restrictions, actually. So there were a lot of things that we could choose not to make our life easier. So for instance, we had to we couldn't use a I think the name is in our RAM. So we had to do all of the SQL, which we don't usually do when you use a framework, a lot of things like this. So yeah, so I remember when I was with a friend, and we're like, Okay, we'll do it in React, because it looks like there are a lot of demand on the market. So we need to learn react. And we ended up spending, I don't know, weeks looking at React documentation and being like, what, do we do anything? And so yeah, so basically, there's no guidance, they just tell you, Okay, that's the project and you've got to make it work.

Tim Bourguignon 22:13
Okay, and you could spend two weeks as well, five months,

Segolene Alquier 22:17
exactly. But we wanted to do, like, do something super nice, because we were like, Okay, we don't have much experience, but we want to be able to show it to companies when we be applying. And so yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 22:30
Wow, that sounds really cool. And this is so you spent one year there? That's correct.

Segolene Alquier 22:35
Oh, yeah. A bit more. I think you're a year and a half maybe.

Tim Bourguignon 22:39
Okay. And then you could spend longer if you say, Okay, I need three years. Yeah, sure.

Segolene Alquier 22:43
I think yeah, I think there are guys out there since 2014 14.

Tim Bourguignon 22:51
Probably working on the site.

Segolene Alquier 22:53
I think they're creating projects to be able to say.

Tim Bourguignon 22:59
Okay, just for the sake of staying there and syncing the vibes and remaining students forever. I see. I see. Okay, so then, at some point, you left the company right before COVID hit or right, while COVID was hitting when lockdown was happening in France? How was it first of all, the interview posit maybe without COVID? So the idea of interviewing of going from being a student to interviewing for a job finally having to I'm not sure. Did you feel ready? did not.

Segolene Alquier 23:32
I did not feel ready. But it was like at some point, you're all you've gotta go because you can make it last for two more years if you really want to, but you just have to take the plunge. So no, I did not feel ready. And I was not. I was really scared about technical interviews. Like I was not really scared about the other interviews. Because I had done I had done some before. I mean, I felt quite at ease by you know, presenting myself and that was okay. But the technical the live coding part. I was scared. Like, it was a nightmare for me the idea of doing it. But yeah, I had to I think I went to I had processes with three or four companies. And it was a lot for Dr. Levy. I think it was at least five interviews. I mean, five different steps. Yeah, I mean, it was stressful, but so it's like, I don't have anything to lose. So let's go

Tim Bourguignon 24:30
with the doctorate the first one you did, or did you try out? No, no.

Segolene Alquier 24:34
No, it was the first even though it was my first choice. Yeah, it was kind of actually they caught me off guard because I went to an events at Dr. Levy. That was we've got this series of meetup that's called contribute where we gather people from the company and from my side to to work on an open source projects. And actually I am now leading it with this friend I was working on for you too, because you're So totally. So I went there and was like, Okay, I have no idea what they're doing. But let's pretend. And there was the Christie person working in HR, Dr. Lead, and then she saw me and then the day after she reached out to me, and so then I had no choice. I had to send my CV and all when if I was not ready. So, basically, the plan was to first do interviews for other companies I cared less about, but it went well.

Tim Bourguignon 25:29
So you wanted to sneak in obser? Yeah, exactly.

Segolene Alquier 25:35
And she was like, hey, just send it my way. I was like, Yeah, sure. Two hours, like,

Tim Bourguignon 25:43
yeah, it was some sweat on your forehead. I see. Okay, so one thing that that would be fascinating to me to explore that is you've only worked remotely then from the get go?

Segolene Alquier 25:56
Yeah, even all the interviews were remote.

Tim Bourguignon 26:00
See? Have you experienced this office work before? At all?

Segolene Alquier 26:06
Um, a little bit during I think, last summer when we thought COVID was, was so clean. Exactly. And we were like, Hey, that server coffee just went away. And so we went for it to the office a little bit, but I was only going for, I think for a few months, I was going maybe once a week, one day per week. So that's it. In the end, it was like confinement all over again. And adopted. We work well. I mean, we are working in house, right? So we, the company takes that very seriously. And of course we did. Almost everything remotes, so yeah, not much. I've been doing way more remote than working in the office. And now plus now since October, I chose the full remote option. And because I wanted to move out of Paris. And so I'm coming back to Paris just two days performance. Okay, so yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 26:56
So really leaving the remote life now.

Segolene Alquier 26:58
Yeah. I embrace it. Yeah,

Tim Bourguignon 27:01
I do as well. I love it. I just wouldn't come back for anything. I was it when you had this coming back to the office for a bit? Did it feel? How did it feel to you, working with people around you, it being in this social atmosphere the whole time, etc.

Segolene Alquier 27:18
I mean, I had kind of missed it. And I think working like starting fully remote as my first gig, it was a bit maybe harder sometimes. I mean, the onboarding was great, and everything. But sometimes when I felt suck, it was harder when you're on your own, you're stuck in your living room, right? When you're stuck in the office and your colleagues just see that you're stuck, they will just help you out. I don't really have problems asking for help. But sometimes you'll be like, Okay, I'm going to manage it, manage it, I'm going to fix it and then it takes actually hours. So I think that was the only thing that I really liked better in the office feeling that everything was quicker because someone would have the answer or whatever, when you're remote, you don't have that you've got to have more of the reflects to ask for help whenever you're stuck in Yeah, and that's I think actually we manage with my team we all arrive together at the same time. And so we really bound together we're all very close. And I think we managed to create a really good team spirits and team atmosphere even while being remote but so every time I go to the office, I'm super excited to see them and like

Tim Bourguignon 28:30
they're not remote, they're there in Paris in the office.

Segolene Alquier 28:35
There it's half of the team goes for two days per week. And there is another software engineer in the team that is also remote. Okay.

Tim Bourguignon 28:45
Okay, that's interesting, this hybrid model of some people together some not is always a hard bargain to meet either either everybody is thinking thinking remote, and then it works. But if some of our colleagues don't think remotely and then really attend to reach out synchronously, not across all channels, then this is a hidden communication channel that you don't see. This is human communication that the rest of the team doesn't see. And if this takes the overhand then as a remote worker you're you're lost Yeah.

Segolene Alquier 29:16
You can feel disconnected. Yeah, I was kind of afraid of that when we because we the full remote option was offered in October so it's brand new. And when I chose that I was a bit afraid to well if I experienced what you just said like you can feel disconnected or whatsoever but I think with COVID and everything I think the now the culture of the company is really like remote first. So whenever you create an event there is a meetup Sorry, there is a Google meet that is instantly created so we all have the reflex to meet there anyway, even if your idea and it's a little it's a lot of details like this that make it easier, but it's kind of weird. Like when I went to the office last time I saw they have like this huge screen and was like okay, so you see me on that huge screen. Every day, all the time, that is really bad. So yeah, I

Tim Bourguignon 30:06
always make a point to when I come back to Paris to see my colleagues to really tell them beforehand. I will be there during the Yeah. as well. Yeah, I

Segolene Alquier 30:16
will say same always say, Oh, I'm taking your train.

Tim Bourguignon 30:21
Exactly. Because otherwise you come in and you're remote from Paris. Yeah, everyone thought it's really cool. Before we come back to one question I had at the very beginning, you said, you have to reflect, you have to have the reflex to ask when you're stuck. How do you find the right balance? And how do you find a moment where you say, Okay, now I have to ask and not too late and not too early? What's that timeframe for you? And how do you find now is the time

Segolene Alquier 30:48
Oh, it's really hard. It's really hard. Because if it's too early, like you feel you're not independent, not autonomous, you're going to like when you bother everyone. Plus, in my team, I was really the most junior when I joined like all of my co workers that already had years of experience as developers. And for me, I did not even have a month. So I already felt like they were mentoring me a lot. But also, when you ask too late, then you've got time to fight with yourself kind of damage your self confidence in a way. And, yeah, I think for me, the balance will depend on the patients I have on a day, like there are days where I feel like I'm doing great myself with coding and Al and I'm like, okay, I can handle that challenge. And it makes fun to me today. And there are some other days, I'm just like, okay, maybe if I ask someone else, like they will know, within a few minutes, and I'm not that interested in that topic. So I'm just going to ask away. And for me depends, like, it's, I don't time box, like, I'm not like, Okay, I'm gonna take that long. And if I don't find, we'll see. It's more like to I feel like it weighs on me. And it weighs on my day and weighs on. I don't know. And if it does, then I'm just going to ask away because there is no point.

Tim Bourguignon 32:09
Okay. Okay. So I found for myself that if I feel bad, it's actually already way too late. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And I'm still searching for a good cue to say, Okay, now I've searched long enough. I don't feel bad yet. But it's long enough already. Yeah, to find this. It's really hard. So I want to come back to the by the way I read up in there, you said you enjoy teaching. And we haven't talked about the talks about teaching yet. Is there some hidden activity there?

Segolene Alquier 32:35
Yeah. So when I was at 42, I was I was I was in a, you see NGO, kind of charity. So we would go to primary school, and we would teach children how to code. So it was totally like, how do you say, benevolence? I was I would volunteer. And I would do that every week. And so we would go to primary schools and teach children how to code and was so great. So they were between seven and 10 years old, I think. And I died for a little bit more than a year. And I really loved that. And then when I was at 42, so I would be giving, teaching also in that growth hacking School, which is called a whole good school. And I did that athlete for a year as well, I think so it would be a few days for months. And yeah, it's 100 enjoyed boss, and not at Dr. Lee. But I've also done that internally. So I've done a few sessions for my colleagues. So for instance, there was I did one on site last year says okay, and not everyone does it. And so I don't know. I did a few and Flexbox CSS in general, CSS art, as well. And yeah, a few conferences outside of Dr. Leap as well. I started teaching per se but I'd say like transmitting sharing knowledge.

Tim Bourguignon 33:56
Which is actually what we're doing day in day out when we work with people. That's why I'm asking I've my experience has been formally teaching has prepared me so much for my day to day job, giving talks, trying to come up with other ways to explain something giving workshops where you see, half of people are getting it half a not. So you need to on the fly, find out the different ways to express something and then find it yet another one, and really trying to connect with some people and see lights and in their eyes light up and say, Okay, I got them. Now I need to focus on the other ones and stuff like this. And this really prepared me for afterward that HD when you're talking with your colleagues, and you see okay, I'm telling them something and I need to change the way I'm going to talk if I need to talk to this other colleague because he or she thinks differently, and maybe I can adapt the way I'm expressing something for them. And this prepared me so much for all this. And yeah, I'm ready. I'm just venting. I really like when people have fields before And then can transfer those those skills into the day to day job. So it's just me saying I feel it. Yeah.

Segolene Alquier 35:10
No, I agree with you. And when I was at rocket school, it was kind of weird because I was both studying coding at 42. And I was also teaching somehow of work at school, like how to code. So there were times where I was like, What the hell? And also students were like that. So your student there? And it was like, oh, yeah, but you know, that, I think, actually was interesting, because by teaching you understand so much more, I mean, you understand why you did not understand basically. So I would, kind of, so I was teaching them to how to make websites on web flow. But web flow is not like you need to have in order to do responsive, a nice website, you've got to understand how HTML and basic CSS work. So we teach them that. And so sometimes, like, Oh, I understand something, but then I will teach them and I was like, oh, okay, actually, I didn't know really understand it. But you know, by teaching it, we would look together some documentation, I would make demonstrations in front of all of them. And that's how myself I would like understanding way better. And I think they were not unhappy about the courses. I guess you did not too many bullshit. But I think it really reinforce what you know, and make you dig about what you don't know that you thought.

Tim Bourguignon 36:28
Absolutely. This question. Let me check. I'm 80%. Sure. But there's 20%. There. I need to double check. Very cool. Very cool. Last question about CSS. So you said you are creating art on code pen with CSS?

Segolene Alquier 36:44
Yeah, I mean, I started because I saw you. I listened to your interview of Cassidy Williams, who I'm a big fan of and actually I during confinement, I saw I watched one of her conferences about CSS art, CSS drawings. And so I watched it, I was like, Wow, that's so freakin cool. And I think I spent like three weeks, like doing nothing but CSS art. And I would be like, crazy. I would do I don't know. But I don't know how many pieces per week, but I was really crazy about it. And yeah, it was really fun. So basically, would be just drawing stuff with CSS, actually. So you've got to know the properties really well tweak them a little bit to be able to make the shapes you want, assemble them the way you want them, etc. And it's actually quite fun. And so yeah, I did a lot of that. And actually, I did the conference about CSSR, like a month ago, and it was really for me to be able to okay, go from what we just said, go from, okay, I'm doing that to how can I transmit that knowledge to someone who wants to do it? It was interesting as well. And so a lot of fun. Yeah. And I did also do time, some experimentations with JavaScript. So yeah, I'm quite interested in the intersection between code and art and how you can make tweak, tweak the code to make visuals, visually appealing stuff, let's say,

Tim Bourguignon 38:12
Okay, do you manage to to keep the art out of your day to day job? Or? Or is it sneaking in and you find yourself creating overlays and with CSS?

Segolene Alquier 38:21
Oh, no, no, no, I really love what I do, and doctorly, but I really don't have like, basically, we've got the design system. And okay, and we call it like, we can't really what, right? Yes, but I actually I joined the design system team a few months ago. And so they're like software engineers are interested in it that can join, make sure we have less and less components and that all the components that are used belong to the design system, so that in the end, we actually don't really need to write CSS. So so no, it's definitely out of my job.

Tim Bourguignon 38:57
Okay, maybe sometime in the future. Yeah, maybe. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Let's go back to the moment in time where you decided to start coding the, would you have any advice for people exactly at this moment? Would they've been doing something else? Low management, they've been doing product management, maybe they're facing this decision, should I or shouldn't I, if we just tell them?

Segolene Alquier 39:22
I'll tell them to like, I think the way I did for instance, the bootcamp was super cheap. And so there were there was not really bad consequences, though could have been I mean, worst case scenario was I would not enjoy what I would be doing but there wouldn't be any bad consequences. So if you can have a glimpse and maybe try a little bit something if you like it, I mean, go for it. It's super fun person, excellent decision that I took when I decided to, you know, switch, take the switch, make the switch and, and actually transition to Dec. As a great, you can have really cool fun jobs. You can work from anywhere you want. Aren't, you're well paid as well, which is cool because we live in a capitalistic society. So it's quite appreciated. And yeah, and my advice would be, because it's two mistakes that I did. And so maybe it's the two pieces of advice I would give, like, Don't compare yourself to the others. I've done that a lot. And it was terrible for my self confidence. Because you can only compare like, your insights with the outsides of people. So what you know about yourself is a lot the way you see from other people you don't know like, when did they start? What did they do before, maybe there are things that they understand faster than you. But it's also true for you, but for other things, and it doesn't break anything to compare yourself anyway. And the second one I would give is to surround yourself well, with people that want to that support you that want to help you grow or that share that our learning at the same time as you but that are well that have good intentions,

Tim Bourguignon 40:59
I would say very wise. Thank you. Thank you for that. So where would be the best place to to start a discussion where you will continue this discussion with you.

Segolene Alquier 41:05
Um, I'm quite active on Twitter. You can find me with my very French name. So it's Sigurd in a queue. So I don't know if I need to spell that.

Tim Bourguignon 41:15
will add it to Sonos, just to be sure.

Segolene Alquier 41:19
via a CG o l e n e ALQUI. Er. And so yeah, you can find me there on Twitter.

Tim Bourguignon 41:29
And the same.com or.fr.com i think.com. Yeah. Awesome. Anything else you would have planned for today? Nothing. That's awesome. Thank you. It's been a blast. Thank you for sharing your story. And this has been another episode of DevOps journey we see through next week. Bye. Thanks a lot for tuning in. I hope you have enjoyed this week's episode. If you like the show, please share, rate and review. It helps more listeners discover those stories. You can find the links to all the platforms to show appears on our website, Dev journey dot info, slash subscribe. Creating the show every week takes a lot of time, energy, and, of course money. Will you please help me continue bringing out those inspiring stories every week by pledging a small monthly donation, you'll find our patreon link at Dev journey dot info slash donate. And finally, don't hesitate to reach out and tell me how this week story is shaping your future. You can find me on Twitter at @timothep ti m o th e p or per email info at Dev journey dot info. Talk to you soon.