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A look back at my previous life

As a metro driver, I spent most of my days in a small cabin, making one repetitive journey after another across the city of Brussels. Working conditions were difficult, with shifting hours and an intense work pace. Over the years, I felt trapped in this monotonous and stressful routine. Now it's 2018. I know I need a change, but I don't know what to do with my professional life.

That's when I discovered my passion for technology and computers. At the beginning of 2019 I signed up for Openclassrooms, a website offering free, open-access online courses. I took a course in web development and began to spend all my free time studying and practising. I wake up at 4am, leave for work at 5am, and make the most of my hour-long train journey to learn to code, before starting my eight-hour shift at the STIB.

It was a tough start, but I was determined to succeed. So I worked hard to develop my skills. 6 months later I passed my final exams with success, and got married just after that. It's been a particularly busy year! But I was resolved to change direction and started sending out dozens of CVs.

Covid's debut

The first feedbacks were received at the same time as the arrival of Covid and the first lockdown. The job interviews were held by video conference. Nothing really interesting, so I decided to call the companies directly. Direct contact might make it easier for me to find a new job. One Saturday, I stumbled across the WebstanZ website. So I called Nicolas, one of the two co-founders (yes, I called him on a Saturday).

The first contact was very positive. It wasn't long before I had a second interview, this time more practical, with the other founder, Benoît. He was well aware that I was just starting out and that I still had a lot to learn, but he decided to give me a chance as a junior web developer! So I left my job as a metro driver and started a career in the web.

A fresh Start

My first day at work falls exactly on the first day of the lockdown. So it was a far from easy start, as I had to learn new tools and processes remotely. I have to switch back and forth between meetings and calls to colleagues I've never seen before to ask them questions.  Despite the difficulties, everyone is very caring and takes the time to help me. And I've got plenty of time to spare because I'm so isolated, so I put in a lot of effort and spend many hours learning Drupal.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams and have the courage to pursue them (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Three years later, I'm involved in large-scale projects such as Soco, Carmeuse or Leonidas. These are all interesting and innovative projects, and I'm delighted to be working with creative and passionate people. I've been able to develop my skills and I'm now the one helping others. I've been able to train several new colleagues and I'm very proud of that. Despite everything, I'm still learning every day and I'm constantly stimulated by the professional challenges I encounter.

The team has grown to over 25 people. The atmosphere is still as good as when I arrived. I have a lot of happy memories and events in my head. Like the DrupalCon in Durbuy, the Drupal Dev Days in Ghent, the restaurants, the Christmas party, the Doudou, the Team Building events and the Friday drinks.

A final word

Even though it's been a long and bumpy road, I'm happier and more fulfilled today than I've ever been. My job finally allows me to make a living from my passion for technology and computers. Every morning I get up and I'm happy to come to work to meet my colleagues and the very special atmosphere that prevails at WebstanZ.

Of course, there are always more difficult times, times when I still doubt myself. But I know now that I made the right choice and took the right decisions. I'm proud of my career change and grateful for the chance to pursue my dreams.


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