Latin American Students Come to South Florida to Learn to Code
Written by Administrator on 20th January 2016, 9:33 AM
South Florida is known as the gateway to Latin America. Due to its strong links to many countries in Central and South America, the area offers a plethora of opportunity with its affordable cost of living, the international culture and an emerging tech scene. Plus, the beautiful backdrop of ocean, palm trees and great weather makes it easy to get up and out of bed in the mornings.
The combination of an amazing life-changing experience and the top notch education that Wyncode Academy offers has convinced at least three students from different countries in Latin America to come to Miami to learn to code. Although arriving in South Florida from different places, Hector Garcia-Alcala, Carlos Quiroga and Carolina Hernandez were all drawn to Wyncode for similar reasons, including the Academy’s 90% job placement rate, access to excellent opportunities in the vibrant and collaborative Miami tech scene and the job support Wyncoders receive upon graduation.
– Hector Garcia-Alcala, from Maracaibo, Venezuela, attended Wyncode for Cohort 1 before he headed back home to start a development shop. He has since returned to Miami to work as a web engineer for different development companies.
– Carlos Quiroga, from Bogotá, Colombia, attended Wyncode for Cohort 6 before he returned home to work as a freelancer in various roles. He is planning to move to Chile and wants to land a job within the startup culture there.
– Carolina Hernandez, from Bucaramanga, Colombia, attended Wyncode for Cohort 7 before she returned home. She now splits her time in Colombia between Bogota and Bucaramanga.
We recently caught up with Hector, Carlos and Carolina and asked them to share their thoughts on what their time spent at Wyncode was like and how attending the academy has prepared them for
(l-r: Hector Garcia-Alcala, Carlos Quiroga, Carolina Hernandez)
What are you currently doing for work?
Hector I am a Web Engineer at Deep Blue Dev.
Carlos I was freelancing as a web developer. Now I am starting to look for jobs in Chile, hopefully at a startup. My programming skills fit a lot of job posts I have found online. Also, I am continuing to study programming subjects online and I just bought a couple of Arduino boards and a Raspberry Pi so I can learn a little bit about the Internet of Things, which I find very interesting.
Carolina I’m currently working on some projects of my own and applying to work at different companies.
How did you initially learn about Wyncode?
Hector I was looking for South Florida coding bootcamps online just before Wyncode started.
Carlos At the time, I had the opportunity to rethink my lifestyle and I was looking for something I would really enjoy doing. Coding seemed like a great fit for me so I took a MOOC course on Java. Around that time my mother heard on the radio about Wyncode and she told me about it, since she knew I was trying to learn to code. After that, I looked it up on Google and contacted them to learn more about the program.
Carolina I was actually researching other bootcamps and found Wyncode at Course Report. Their reviews were great so I decided to do more research and apply to join them instead.
What were you doing and did you have any coding experience at the time you first heard about Wyncode?
Hector I was working at a CPA firm as a bookkeeper and was on track to become a CPA. I decided to pursue a career in the tech industry and began experimenting a little with HTML, CSS and WordPress. But, not for long since Wyncode was about to start and I did not want to miss such opportunity to learn the art of code.
Carlos About ten years ago, I had taken a couple of C++ classes at my university. And I had begun the Java MOOC around the time I first learned about Wyncode. So, I basically had no useful experience. What I was doing at the time was looking for a career change. I am an Electronics Engineer and my last job was as a Field Engineer for an O&G Service Provider.
Carolina I was working with a start-up based in Colombia and San Francisco as Head of People Operations. I had very little coding experience with HTML and CSS. I was trying to self-teach myself how to code with Codecademy but that didn’t work for me, even though I’m very self-disciplined. Not having a properly structured curriculum to follow made it difficult for me to learn.
When did you finally make the decision to come to Miami to learn to code?
Hector The minute I got my acceptance letter.
Carlos About a month before the course started. I was not sure about it because it was something very new (and not a traditional education program) and it required a significant investment in time and money. But, after thinking about it very thoroughly, I knew that it was the right move for me.
Carolina I applied to see if I would pass the initial test and I did. As soon as I got the response back from Wyncode, I started to plan my trip.
Did you enjoy the nine weeks you spent as a student at Wyncode in Miami?
Hector My time at Wyncode was one of the best experiences of my life. Those 9 weeks were spent not only learning how to code, but also learning how to become a better team player, founder and thinker. Wyncode taught us a lot about how to think. The teachers are 100% devoted to helping you through the coding journey.
Carlos The experience was amazing. I met awesome people, including members of the Wyncode staff, classmates and people from the tech community of Miami. And I liked spending time in Wynwood. Also, I had the chance to listen to several successful entrepreneurs, which was very inspiring. The workload was heavy, but very rewarding. I enjoyed those nine weeks very much.
Carolina I did! It was amazing. The instructors speak with such passion about coding which makes it really easy to be fully focused at all times. Also, Wyncode has a good student/teacher ratio, which makes the whole learning experience easier. The lessons are simply great.
Did your time at Wyncode result in any cool opportunities back home?
Hector Yes, Wyncode taught us a set of skills that would help you either to start working on a new opportunity for others or to be able to add value to other organizations that are in need of tech-savvy team-players.
Carlos I got to work as a freelancer, which allowed me to manage my time so I could do things I could not do before. Also, I now have the confidence to move to a different country knowing that I have valuable skills to get a job there. On the other hand, I attended the first Rubyconf that took place in Colombia, in Medellín, and I’ve gotten to meet some interesting people at Ruby meetups in Bogotá as well. It has been nice to see this other face of my country.
Carolina Not yet, but hopefully it will.
Would you consider returning to the US for permanent work?
Carlos I would definitely consider it. It was a great experience to be exposed to Miami tech and I love the entrepreneurial spirit of the country.
Carolina Yes, I would. I want to join a really passionate team from which I can continue to learn a lot. It doesn’t really matter where they are based.
Why is Miami the place to be?
Hector Miami, being the capital of Latin America, has become a tech hub that continues to grow more and more each year. It is really exciting to see what’s going on here -from the tech events going on every week, which are really good to meet cool new people and share thoughts of the future. Wyncode alumni are also building startups and serving Miami tech, meaning the community is growing with each startup founded by Wyncoders.
Carlos The business opportunities are huge. It is a natural hub where Latin America and the rest of the US come together for business. Also, the tech scene is growing, which means a lot of job opportunities, space for innovation and a chance to be a part of new tech success stories.
Carolina Miami is a great city. There are so many things happening there both in the tech scene and in other industries. There were many events for us to participate in while I was taking the course. Also, the people from Miami are great. I think the mix of so many cultures makes Miamians really open-minded and friendly. I also really loved Wynwood. The neighborhood has everything, including great places to eat, party and network!
Hector, Carlos and Carolina, three students from Latin America, dramatically changed their lives when they decided to come to Miami to learn to code.
Are you interested in joining the vibrant tech movement in South Florida? Learning to code in Miami will open new doors for you no matter if you live in the U.S. or are from abroad. Technology is disrupting every industry..Now is the time to code!