INSIGHTS Career Change? Become a Developer @ABOUT YOU!



6 min read

As a company, we are open to career changers, who want to become developers. It’s important for us that people are motivated, committed and want to learn new things.

ABOUT YOU’s Experience with coding bootcamp neue fische

For this, we closely work together with Germany’s first coding bootcamp neue fische. The company was founded in 2018 by Dalia Das and is based in Hamburg. The program offers people, who would like to change their profession to become web developers or data scientists within three months.

One of the very first “fishes” to complete the program is Philipp, who now works as a Frontend Developer in the Desktop Team at ABOUT YOU. We interviewed him to hear about his experience with neue fische and to find out what brought him to ABOUT YOU.

Hi Philipp! Cool to have you here. Can you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do prior to this job?

Hi! Before I started working as a Frontend Developer at ABOUT YOU, I worked as a Project Manager for a company that builds and sells entertainment systems. I also did some consulting there. At some point, it just didn’t feel right anymore and I decided I wanted to do something else. My first idea was to go back to university and study informatics.

How did you hear about neue fische and what made you start the program?

I took part in a career counseling and the counselor recommended the boot camp program neue fische. He said the whole program was built “the American way”: In the USA, “boot camps” for digital talents have long been successfully established and are thus placing more and more specialized workers on the market. The idea sounded pretty cool, so I wrote an email to neue fische and met with Dalia Das and Jeremias Erbs. The conversation convinced me so much, that within an hour I decided to just try it out.

I originally wanted to use the course as a basis for my informatics studies. I know from experience that studying was never really fun for me. I am simply not the type for it. I always perceived it as boring. I thought, however, that I absolutely needed the studies to get into this area, perhaps to freelance a little bit afterward. Dalia already told me back then that she was convinced, I will not want to go back to university after I finished the program. We then made a bet. I am just noticing right now I still owe her ;)

And how did it happen that you started your professional career as a Frontend Developer at ABOUT YOU?

Basically, the promise of neue fische is that every participant will find a suitable job. Dalia is always very keen to keep in touch with companies, therefore, several introduced themselves during the course. One of the companies that Dalia was in contact with was ABOUT YOU. They offered four participants of the course to visit them at their headquarter and to bring their final projects. The idea was that someone from ABOUT YOU would take a closer look at the final project of everyone and give some proper feedback. That’s why I went to the ABOUT YOU headquarter where I talked to Robert, Tech Lead of the Shop Unit. The conversation was totally nice and I got some feedback for my code, too — it was quite good plus Robert also gave me some tips on the way. Besides that, he told me about the technologies ABOUT YOU uses and how the Tech Stack looks like. The conversation was really interesting from my point of view. After a second meeting with Robert, ABOUT YOU offered me an internship.

What were the decisive points that ABOUT YOU is the right employer for you?

I can’t say it 100% — it was a decision from the gut. But if I had to break it down, one big game changer was the people I met at ABOUT YOU. All of them were really relaxed and casual. Nobody seemed to be prejudiced against me — something I don’t think it’s unimportant if you come in as a career changer, from a boot camp that hadn’t yet established itself in Germany at that time.

Taking it all together, I just had a very good overall feeling from the conversation with Robert and the phone calls with HR. I am still very happy about the decision! Otherwise, I wouldn’t have signed my permanent contract as Front End Developer for the Desktop Circle in January :-)

How would you describe the working atmosphere at ABOUT YOU?

I hate to admit it, but I always like to go to work on Mondays. The working environment is simply very pleasant! For me, that’s largely due to the team. They are all super cool, helpful people. We are all on the same vibe somehow and get along great, also beyond work. After a workday, we often sit together and code some nonsense. A colleague and I are building a lunchbot that takes care of the decision where we go for lunch for example:-)

I can always and anywhere ask questions. Everyone is trying to share their knowledge. I learn a lot from especially our Lead Dev Jannick. He is very perfectionist with many things and very passionate about his job. His attitude is extremely contagious and pushes us, teammates, to make our code even better! All in all, I would say working at ABOUT YOU is: Fast working, fast learning :-)

What could not be conveyed in the short time with neue fische that you have now learned at ABOUT YOU?

Most of all I think it’s experience, or rather the feeling for how problems can be solved more easily and quickly. Also how to get an overview of a huge project, that maybe has more than 15 components.

GIT and Typescript came a little short, but I think Dalia has already adapted this in the current neue fische courses. Apart from that, I think I arrived with quite good basics, which I could expand considerably in my time here at ABOUT YOU and want to expand even further in the future.

Thank you so much for your time, Philipp! Let’s hear what Chris, Product Lead of the ABOUT YOU Shop Unit has to say about Philipps entry.

Hi Chris, how did you perceive the onboarding of Philipp?

I think many tasks and especially the complexity of our projects were not easy to get through for him in the beginning. However, from the very beginning, he put in a great deal of effort and determination. Through contact with our Senior Developers, he was able to quickly take on his own topics.

At the end of his three-month-internship, we were simply convinced of his learning curve and his motivation and therefore offered him a permanent position with us. We are very happy Philipp is part of our team and we are sure his learning curve will continue to increase in the coming months.

So, if you also notice that you want to change direction and your previous job is no longer the right one for you: We encourage you to join the next neue fische boot camp. Or if you already have some experience apply directly for a job at ABOUT YOU :-)