Giovanni graduated from SPICED in July, 2017, and now works as a Full Stack Web Developer in Hamburg, Germany. Here he tells us all about his journey, and why he decided to learn to code in the first place.
I grew up in Italy in the late 80s in a town called Tieste. I was a curious kid, always wanting to know how things worked. I used to ask my dad about the washing machine, engines… whatever was lying about that I could tinker with.
I followed up on this inclination towards engineering up until university, where I decided I wanted to focus on something a bit more “human”. I opted for History. It wasn’t great for career prospects but at that point I didn’t mind.
Putting My Career Last
It was while I was at university that I met my wife. She was living in Croatia and I was studying in Italy, which meant that for the first 5 years or so of our relationship we would have to travel between two countries to see each other.
For so long we wished we could have a normal, stable relationship where we didn’t have to travel so much. It was exhausting. At some point I realized that in order to make our relationship work I would need to compromise on certain things that I expected from life at that point. I felt I couldn’t have a relationship, start a family, and find a job I was passionate about all at the same time, so something needed to give.
That turned out to be my career.
So I moved closer to my wife in Croatia and settled for a job at a real estate company that I knew didn’t suit me. I learnt a lot, but as time passed it became clear to me that this wasn’t a long-term solution – it wasn’t at all what I wanted to do, and I started to get a little frustrated.
The feeling grew and grew, and reached its peak when I found out I was going to be a father. As with anyone, this threw up a lot of questions, but for me a lot of them revolved around my career: what can I do for my boy’s future? What can I foresee myself doing for the next 50 years of my life? What job won’t frustrate me?
I didn’t want to come home grumpy every day from work and have that affect my son. I wanted not just to provide for him , but to be a positive force when I came home, and so it was time for some serious soul searching.
Finding a New Path
I stumbled upon the concept of coding bootcamps in an article I read. I thought I wouldn’t have the time to get into coding, so to be able to learn in 3 months was ideal. I looked for some in Italy but there was nothing, and so I searched the rest of Europe and came across SPICED, as well as a few more established bootcamps.
Of course it was tempting to go for a big name, since you have the confidence of knowing that hundreds of people have already passed through their doors. But many of the bootcamps were teaching Ruby on Rails, and I felt they weren’t future proof. Companies were interested in that for now, but how long would that last?
Of course, for the final part of my journey I would have to leave my family behind (again). It was tough of course, but I guess it was even tougher for them. In a way I just had a single commitment: give 100 percent to SPICED. I could focus on that because I knew in the long run it would be the best thing for the family. But it was hard for my son. We would speak every day, and he would always be asking about his “tata” (which is Croatian for dad).
Home at Last
Now after a challenging 3 months I’ve finished SPICED. My family and I have moved to Hamburg to pursue a job I was offered as a Full-Stack Web Developer shortly after finishing the bootcamp. It’s great to be employed in a career I find fulfilling and, at last, be back with my family again.
It’s been a long time coming.