Originally from Zimbabwe, Daniel Chifamba or Dan is a former Dentist who sought to shift his career to becoming a Web Developer. He recently finished his Web Development training with Zuitt Coding Bootcamp last October 2021. Today, he works as a Software Engineer at Lexagle, a start-up in Singapore.
Dan’s story shows that you can succeed and reach your goals if you put your heart and mind into it. Just imagine all the opportunities that opened up for him as an overseas student and a career shifter!
What challenges did he face in his job hunting as an overseas student in the Philippines? And why did he decide to choose Zuitt, a coding Bootcamp from the Philippines, as his career partner? Let’s take a look at his journey.
(Interviewed by Adrianne Saldua)
A Foreigner’s Job Hunting Experience
An opportunity came knocking on his door in the middle of his Bootcamp training with Zuitt.
——What made you consider getting a job in the Philippines?
I have been here in the Philippines for 10 years. This country is a lovely place. You’ll love it here. My daughter loves it here.
The standard of Tech in the Philippines is more of what should be expected out of IT. I was hoping to experience a lot because the IT environment here is more conducive.
—— Tell us about the IT Industry in your home country?
The IT Industry in my home country needs to catch up.
There is a lack of developers. There are times when one developer will be doing all the developer tasks needed for the whole company.
—— Tell us about the job opportunity you got right before your commencement in Zuitt.
A recruiter from Lexagle sent me a message on Linkedin. I checked if the company was legit, then I completed the application form and the technical tests leading to a job offer. I found the job offer appealing. I mentioned to them that I was still committing and tied up with the Bootcamp. I was then asked if I was willing to start working for them right after my Bootcamp. I said YES to that.
I also tried to apply to a few other companies. Others did not call me back. Others required documents that I had to process, but no guide or assistance on how to get them. On the other hand, the HR team at Lexagle was helpful, they sent me a comprehensive list of requirements and steps on how I could get each one from the respective government office.
—— How was your application process in Lexagle?
In my experience with Lexagle, they gave me a battery of tests. The tests were challenging but I enjoyed it. It was fun. I also had to go through a series of interviews. I had an interview with the Principal Software Engineer, the HR, the Manager, and even the CEO of the company.
—— Tell us about the nature of your work.
I am only a small piece of a big machine. There are so many developers in my company.
—— Any advice for overseas students who are looking for jobs as a web developer in the Philippines?
Always keep an open mind to learn. In tech, you will be left behind if you don’t do continuous learning.
In the case of some people I know, they hesitate whenever they encounter some tech that is not familiar to them. In Tech you will get left behind if you think like that. Tech is changing too fast.
You should not lie that you know a particular language. You can learn it but you have to be open to try it. I think that’s the key. When you try, you surprise yourself and it’s how it works out.
Be open to trying and learning new things. It’s okay to fail. If you fail, then at least you know what does not work.
—— Do you have any suggestions on how Zuitt can help its boot campers like you with job hunting?
The approach you have for helping build a good LinkedIn profile is key. Just based on my experience, the fact that recruiters really reach out to me on Linkedin, I get messages in my inbox every now and then.
A Coding Bootcamp is the best fit for his learning needs
Dan is currently studying in the University for his degree in Information Technology. He found Zuitt where he could study Web Development intensively.
—— What were your expectations for taking up a degree in Information Technology?
In the University, what is taught to us is just the background – a springboard, and it’s up to us if we want to dive in on a particular programming language. It might take 10 years if we will deep dive into everything.
I always try to look for opportunities to learn new things. When you really love something, you look at every opportunity you can get to be better at it. I decided to enroll in Zuitt to learn more about coding.
If I would have known Zuitt earlier while I was studying Dentistry, I could have taken a detour and took Zuitt’s course during my summer.
—— Why did you decide to join a Bootcamp?
I came across a Zuitt ad on Facebook while I was scrolling through my feed. It looks promising because of the part-time schedule and the Study Now Pay Later plan. And that Zuitt is the #1 featured coding bootcamp in the Philippines.
Zuitt was a good opportunity for me to really focus in Software Engineering. Learning Full-Stack was also very exciting because I am not just limited to thinking in the Front-End or Back-End.
I think that it is definitely a nice thing to have. I grabbed the opportunity and committed for the next 3 months.
—— What are the benefits of learning in a Bootcamp?
Getting a “Professional Mentorship” from people who are really focused in coding. When there are things that I needed clarification on or if there are some blockers getting in the way of my progress, the live instruction was helpful.
It’s for upskilling. I would really like to be a Full Stack Engineer, not just a Front-End Developer, or just an Angular Developer. I really prefer to not be like a “jack of all trades” but just to really enjoy everything about Software Engineering.
—— What was your main motivation while you were learning with Zuitt?
I just love Tech so much. When I do things, I just do it with my heart.
Mentorship is important to me. My instructor, Sir Tee Jae, was very approachable and open. Whenever I get stuck, I can approach him. I can even feel free to question his methods. I can always reach out to Sir Tee Jae whenever I need him.
It really removes all the blockers out of the way. Sky’s the limit if there’s nothing blocking you.
A message from his Batch Instructor, Sir Tee Jae:
“Sir Daniel (Dan) is a driven, motivated, yet humble student. He strives to learn and seek knowledge about programming and web development as much as he can. Sir Daniel was able to show his creativity and passion for the craft by finishing and completing tasks at the given amount of time, and at times, even quicker than expected to apply other solutions. And despite this, he still and always looks out for his batchmates when they’re in a jiffy – always ready to give a helping hand or share his knowledge.”
—— What is the best thing about Zuitt?
The best thing about Zuitt’s online classes is the live instruction. That is priceless, you don’t get that on some other platforms. With pre-recorded videos, you don’t get to ask questions right away, and get to explore or understand certain things. However with Zuitt, you get to discuss, explore, even test different things with the help of your instructor.
Words of Wisdom: Learn something new every day
Dan taught us to keep on learning new things habitually. Most especially, he encourages us to have an open mind and to always be up for a challenge.
For someone who lives and breathes coding like Dan, he also had his moments during the training where he had a lot of questions or things that he could not understand. But that didn’t stop him! He was all the more eager to learn, to ask, and to gain experience which strongly mirrors an attitude of perseverance telling us to “take heart and keep going.”
—— What is your message to all aspiring web developers?
Learning is a process. We all start somewhere, but it never ends. Everyday we learn something new, if we keep our minds open.
Never be shy to ask, or “look stupid” while learning. It is better to make as many mistakes as you can and then learn the right way of doing things during the Bootcamp, than to make mistakes later on the job, because you were too shy to ask.
Wherever you are, wherever you’re from, no coding goals are too far to reach with Zuitt.
Dan shared these good points about Zuitt that looked very promising to him as an overseas student and a career shifter:
- Convenience. Zuitt offers a part-time schedule. (5:30 PM – 9:30 PM PHT)
- Financially relieving. Zuitt offers a Study Now Pay Later option – a financially friendly payment plan.
- Legit. Zuitt is the #1 featured coding bootcamp in the Philippines.
- Interactive Guided Learning. Zuitt offers online-live instruction.
- Up-to-date Curriculum. Zuitt’s Developer Career Program includes MERN, a tech stack that is in high demand.
Do you want to start learning how to code with professional mentorship and job landing assistance? Just like how Zuitt provided Dan a bootcamp experience that’s fit for his learning needs, we want you to also have your own success story with us!
Join our bootcamp and enroll in our Developer Career Program today. To learn more about our curriculum, schedules, and fees, visit our website (zuitt.co) for more information. You can also book an online Info Session to talk to one of our Career Advisors. See you soon!