Alexis’ journey: A young “gamer” turned developer!

Alexis Grenier, January 2021

Before CodeBoxx

Before CodeBoxx, I was already somewhat active in IT as I have always been passionate of electronic and techno stuff since I was very young. I had different game servers (Arma 3, Counter Strike, GTA, etc) with some of my friends. There isn’t much we haven’t done and we had a lot of fun. It was my first experience with programming. My first lines of code were in LUA, a somewhat niche language, but which is widely used in the world of video games and therefore, it seemed to be the perfect learning model for me, since it combined 2 of my passions, programming and video games.

I finished high school even if I hated school so bad, but I completed it anyway. Then my father told me about CodeBoxx, which had just announced in the previous weeks that they were launching a new campus in Montreal in the next few months, and so we went to one of the meetings. That’s when I decided to register and change my life. I went to shake hands with the CodeBoxx representative after the meeting and said: “You can be sure that I will be there for the 1st cohort”. I kept my promise and the cohort started on January 27th, 2020.

During CodeBoxx

On day 1, I arrived at CodeBoxx with virtually no programming experience as I had never done JavaScript, Python, etc. I knew how to write a simple function in LUA, how to use a Mysql database, or how to use the Linux operating system on my computer, but beyond that I knew next to nothing. My inexperience was a nasty slap in the face during Genesis, but I still managed to pull through thanks to my thirst for learning and my motivation. It is really these 2 elements and my determination that allowed me to overcome the challenges one by one. At 19 and with only a few beard hairs on my chin, I arrived from a high school where I was the oldest and suddenly I was the youngest of the cohort! It was a shock! I didn’t need a lot of time to make new friends in the cohort. I met some great people during my cohort and it was an amazing experience meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds. You have to understand that I come from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, where most of the inhabitants of my part of the country speak only French and were born and raised in Quebec. At CodeBoxx, I had the opportunity to have colleagues who spoke Spanish, Russian, English, etc, and who come from all over the world! It has been a very rewarding 4 months and I would redo the training again tomorrow without hesitation!

After CodeBoxx

Since I finished CodeBoxx, I launched myself fully into the world of programming through the Digital Solutions business unit of CodeBoxx. I was able to work on several different projects where I built a JavaScript library, video games, discord bots, websites, APIs, databases, etc., and with each passing day, I learn more and more. I love trying new technologies, learning more about how it works, the why of such language, etc. I also love to spend my free time on some personal projects and I am now always curious to examine how this or that thing was programmed or to know what technologies certain sites were built on. I still have this great thirst to learn deep inside me and that’s one of the most important things once you get into the tech industry as a developer. I love to learn new things and am constantly looking to improve my programming skills. One of the things I enjoy the most about what I do is seeing the evolution and progression of my code and my projects. Sometimes I open old code I wrote and can’t believe I wrote this! It’s a great feeling to spend hours on something and see the results afterwards.


A new challenge as a Christmas present: The incredible journey of Paul-Olivier

December 23rd, 2020

Do you remember the young Paul-Olivier who was the subject of a video clip when CodeBoxx was only a few months old? Here he is, 2 years later, telling us his story as he prepares to start an important new chapter in his young career as a developer. A new challenge as a Christmas present.

Paul-Olivier, graduate from the first cohort of CodeBoxx

My story with CodeBoxx began as far back as early 2018 as CodeBoxx was preparing to launch the first cohort in its history. A couple of friends of my father informed me of the launch of this new bootcamp in Quebec City and told me about the potential this training offered. The idea immediately piqued my interest. It must be said that at that time, I am 17 years old, I am not sure which path to take for my future, but I do know one thing: technology and computer science in general interest me a lot. However, since the field normally requires a lot of education, this was really not an option for me. This is where CodeBoxx becomes an amazing opportunity for me.

At that time there were no graduates or precedents to refer to as CodeBoxx was just starting out, it was brand new and even the website was far from where it is today. As I am naturally anxious, I decided to contact Nicolas Genest, CodeBoxx’s CEO, to tell him about my fears and my insecurity. He was very flexible and courteous, and he even took the time to meet my father and I in a Normandin restaurant to chat, reassure me following my many questions and explain more to me what CodeBoxx could do for me. I was just a young teenager who dropped out among all the other dropouts, without a very clear life plan for his future, but for Mr. Genest, I was the typical profile of the student in difficulty in the traditional system and who only needs an alternative and a little help to find his sweet spot. In June 2018, I registered for the first cohort that was going to start on August 27th, 2018.

On my first day, I had only one feeling: anxiety. During the welcome conference, we were explained how the program works, the possible methods to achieve our goal and the support resources available in addition to the presentation of the coaches. I won’t lie, during the bootcamp, I had to go through a lot of pitfalls and faced a lot of hardships with the deliverables, but the atmosphere created by the CodeBoxx approach was amazing and helped me to keep my head out of water. The energy that can be found at CodeBoxx is the same for each of the cohorts that followed and these moments when all the students help each other to complete a big project are awesome. Each candidate finds his place and even if we are all in front of our very own computer, in the end we are a beautiful and big family. Thanks to my persistence and everyone’s help, I completed my course and received my diploma.

Now that my graduation goal is accomplished, my anxiety does not go away with the new job that begins. I was hired within a month of completing the course by CodeBoxx’s Digital Solutions business unit. My first job was to make the new website for CodeBoxx. At the time, I had terrible impostor syndrome and felt completely overwhelmed with this big project now in my hands. Today, I see the magnitude of all my efforts and the results and accomplishments that have followed. With the support of colleagues and mentors, I built the site and achieved my goal. In total, I will have worked for 2 years at CodeBoxx, combining several tasks and contributing on several projects, and it has been 2 years filled with fun and continuous learning.

At this end of the year which was quite eventful for everyone, I had the best possible gift: an opportunity to advance my career. So, today, I am leaving CodeBoxx for a new company in order to continue my journey in the wonderful world of technology. I feel like a little bird that is now leaving the nest. I will never forget how CodeBoxx put me on the right path and allowed me to have a better quality of life and a future that the young dropout that I was did not have not a long time ago. I have been fortunate enough to flourish in my field for 2 years now. I will be forever grateful to CodeBoxx and a special thank you is long overdue after this beautiful journey that ends: Thank you to all those whom I have worked with near or far during my stay! Thank you CodeBoxx!


Agnes Vizvari: Finding a true passion

My Canadian adventure started 2 years ago. Imagine me as someone who enjoys discovering new countries, being challenged and learning continuously, so I am not the typical type of adventurer: neither a base-jumper nor a hundred miles hiker.

I am coming from a little country, Hungary, to a slightly bigger one: to be precise more than 100 times bigger. It took a while to process this size. What amazes me most here, is not only the quantity of snow, but also the endless flow of opportunities. Thanks to a great possibility, we landed next to Quebec City just a few months after experiencing Montreal. Our decision to move here would lead me, indirectly, to my true calling.

Despite my 2 diplomas and the effort put into developing my French, I was not able to find the right job. As I was starting to miss challenges, I decided to sit down and figure out which way I should choose. What resonates with me? What could be a challenge every day? Maybe something that can follow me, if I ever will be on the road again? Soon enough, I found my answer: a field that will give me everything I am looking for: programming. Continuous learning, lots of areas to discover, creativity, challenges, mobility and so much more. The best way to learn for me was obvious: find a great school, and attend a programming class, and CodeBoxx was the best option.

With CodeBoxx, programming has become my true passion. It gave me the opportunity to start a new, exciting chapter in my life. It was a really intense 16-week journey and I have learned a lot during that short period of time. What I really loved in this course was the business simulation approach! The bootcamp felt like a real life experience as we worked in teams and individually too, while answering for our fictitious client’s needs. CodeBoxx is focusing both on the soft skills and the technical competencies, which is a huge advantage on the job market. Of course there were hard and confusing times but luckily a wonderful team of coaches backed us up. We learned how to deal with these tough moments and the school supported us in every possible way! I learned how to answer unexpected events, as we were the “COVID cohort” and we had to finish the bootcamp remotely from the middle of the program.

Soon after graduating, I got an offer from CodeBoxx to work for their Digital Solutions business. There are many challenging and interesting projects. Based on my results and my interests, they offered me the perfect mission. I am working on Business Intelligence for a clothing company located in Los Angeles.

I would have never dreamt that programming would be that amazing. I am really happy I made this choice: it was a life changer.