As demand for tech talent in the Singapore continues to rise, becoming a web developer has become an increasingly attractive career option in Singapore.

However, making a career change is never an easy option, especially when the new career requires a specific set of technical skills like programming.

At ALPHA Camp, we are fortunate to admit students from a broad range of background who have successfully done so. Sabrina Sulong, one of the latest graduates of the ALPHA Camp coding school, is a great example of such successful transition.

In today’s Graduate Spotlight, we have a lightning round with Sabrina with 10 Questions & Answers that will help you be more prepared for a career transition into a web developer.

Ready? Go!

Hi Sabrina! Please share with us a little bit about yourself.

S: Hi everyone, I am Sabrina and I am currently a web development intern at Engage Rocket (a Singapore-based workplace analytics startup that raised $450K in April 2017). Prior to this internship, I was a freelance lighting technician, a freelance photography teacher, and then a producer at a post-production company.

What made you want to make a career change?

S: I wanted to switch to an industry with better career prospect. Some of my previous jobs were not very practical nor stable, and sometimes, I would feel like I wasn’t gaining any useful or applicable skills outside of the job itself.

Were you scared of this decision to change? how did you manage the uncertainty?

S: Definitely, but I feel like the only way to find out whether something will work for you is to just dive straight in and try it.

Now that I am have started a career as a full-stack web developer at a startup, I feel really positive about what’s ahead of me. I am glad to be learning new skills and upgrading myself.

Why did you decide to join a coding school?

S: I have tried to learn coding on my own before joining ALPHA Camp’s coding programme. There are many available resources online – while that is a good thing, it can get overwhelming because you might not know which ones to follow/read up on. And even after you learn something, you may not know where or how to apply that knowledge into building a working web app.

What would be the top 3 learning tips you would share with aspiring web developers?

S: Google, Google, Google. That’s it. Just kidding – also don’t be afraid to ask questions, and ask early. Clarify any doubts as soon as they arise so you get a solid understanding of the fundamentals faster. I also really like pair programming; both parties will learn new things from each other.

What’s the most challenging part of learning programming?

S: When you’re working on something and run into an issue that Google can’t find the solution for and there is a lack of (clear) documentation.

What’s your most important learning in the role as a full-stack developer in a startup so far?

S: I’m currently assigned to mainly work on the front-end, and that works out for me since the focus back in ALPHA Camp was mostly back-end. I’m learning (Polymer.js) by doing. 

Secondly, as emphasized by the instructors at ALPHA Camp, writing clean code is extremely important. That allows other developers to work with you, or continue your work, much more effectively.

What was the most valuable experience you get out from ALPHA Camp?

I had the opportunity to collaborate with LinkedIn on my final project, I felt that the experience of working with a real world client was something quite useful and valuable.

For people who are considering joining ALPHA Camp, what would you say to them?

Be prepared for a lot of hard work, but know that the results will be rewarding if you push on.

Inspired by Sabrina’s story? Find out more about our full-stack web developer programme below or join our upcoming programme infosession to learn more.