Le Wagon Coding Bootcamp is happening for the first time in Lebanon, and is taking place at BDD!
Le Wagon is a 9-week intensive program to learn to code. The program has been designed in Paris by experts in the field and has since launched in several cities around the world. The course started on September 14Th in the basement of BDD 1243 – Beirut Digital District. The program has the support of Former Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui, Beirut Digital District, Berytech, Banque Du Liban, Arabnet, MIT, Naharnet, Ihjoz, Eventing-LB, AltCity, Wamda, UK Lebanon Tech Hub, and many others.
We visited Le Wagon to check out what the students think of it after one week of intensive courses and to interview Malik El Khoury, Lebanese serial entrepreneur and General Manager of Le Wagon Beirut.
Malik took a few moments to explain in details the program and how they are organizing the courses: the program is designed for complete beginners or “half-beginners” who really want to dive into programming and, above all, change their mindset. They will learn to think as developers, consider issues with new insights and become more creative thanks to these new abilities. The unique goal of the program is to make the students reach the below objectives:
- Become outstanding entrepreneurs who are able to code their own projects and to deeply understand technical issues.
- Find a job in a tech company (as developers, product managers, growth hackers, etc)
The students graduating will not only learn to code but they will learn what cannot be learned online; how to start with a good set-up, to design their software architecture, to model their data, to apply best practices in their day-to-day work.
To sum up, they’ll learn how to start from a real-life problem and end with a technical solution.
The courses are given Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm for 9 weeks summing more than 400 hours of courses. The classes are always supervised by two teachers for a maximum of 25 students to guarantee the personalized teaching experience to everyone. This time, 14 students (all Lebanese) are participating in the program.
To get accepted in Le Wagon, the procedure is simple: a pre-requisite online test and an interview are mandatory. During the interview, candidates will be questioned on their motivation: the courses are very intensive, which means students should be very motivated and quick learners in order to get in and succeed.
The teachers of Le Wagon come from different backgrounds and nationalities: this time the students have the opportunity to learn from a teacher from the USA, 2 teachers from Belgium and 4 to 5 teachers from Lebanon. Each teacher is an expert in the scope that he/she is teaching to guarantee best results.
A typical day at Le Wagon goes as follow: 2-3 hours of theoretical classes in the morning, then practice sessions in pairs (different groups of two persons every day) with exercises, and a live code session at the end of the day, where students learn the best practices. While the first 7 weeks are dedicated to learning and practice on imposed projects, the last 2 weeks are dedicated to students’ own projects. During those last 2 weeks students or teams will develop a real application, a real project from scratch. That project is often transformed into a tech startup.
At the end of the 9 weeks, the participants will present their project in front of the entire startup ecosystem (investors, accelerators, incubators, potential employers, etc.)
Only a week has passed since the beginning of the course but till now, students are very satisfied. Ali, one of the students stated that even though he didn’t have any prior experience in coding, he was very interested and curious about it, and wanted to discover this new field which could open many horizons for him in the future. He’s always been interested in technology, so once he heard about Le Wagon coming to Lebanon, he immediately registered and is hoping that by the end of the course, he will be able to create his own mobile application.
Youssef, another student interviewed told us he registered for the same reason: he is hoping to develop his own website by the end of the 9 weeks. He too didn’t have any coding background, but said that the courses were very interesting: anyone can succeed in the courses but it requires a lot of dedication and time. According to him, the teachers are great and the power of the program is in its teaching technique: all students learn through sharing and group projects, which has great added value.
Abe considers the course “simply awesome”. He already had a Java android development experience; attending Le Wagon courses allows him to deepen his knowledge and learn things he would never learn in college.
Some of the projects realized by Le Wagon Students are:
– Roadstr: Roadstr is the AirBnB of vintage cars. It let people rent their vintage car online directly between customers and owners. (www.roadstr.fr)
– Kudoz: The iOS app to let job offers come to you. (www.getkudoz.com)
– YummyCook: provides a large choice of recipes and invite you to discover what’s hot among the gourmets on the web! (www.yummycook.fr)
– Other projects are featured on: www.lewagon.org/en/alumni
– Video of the last Demoday in France: www.demoday.lewagon.org
Full program on www.lewagon.org/program
To know more about Le Wagon, contact Malik El Khoury at +961 71 705380