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Gigi School of Coding: An Inside Story

13.03.2018

Gigi School of Coding: An Inside Story

Written by Gigi School of Coding members Fatima S. & Šejla Š.

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What would 20 people, different in age and educational background, be doing in the same room, 8 hours a day, for more than 2 months now?

The answer: striving towards becoming outstanding IT professionals.

Well, at least taking a big step towards this ambitious goal! Having 20 people in great teamwork sync and with a shared aspiration to learn is probably the result of Mistral's strong selection criteria, but it’s definitely one of the reasons why Gigi School of Coding is a place we love to go to every morning.

Having daily rituals (coffee, food, meetings, games) with your new teammates and exchanging ideas and jokes with Mistral employees, amongst other things, makes you feel like you belong. Like you’ve found your people, your professional community with whom you want to grow and create amazing things.

Besides having the best time with Gigi teammates, we do a lot of challenging and fascinating work with the guidance of Mistral mentors. We have everything but classical programming courses here. So far we were introduced to Agile project management, backend (C#), database management, software testing, UI/UX design and DevOps.

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We go through and learn about all stages of a single product (from the idea to delivery). We learn how each stage is relevant, important and necessary if we want to deliver a product that is characterized by premium and outstanding quality. We learn to ask the right questions and how & where to look for the most optimal solution in every situation.

The most valuable experience we get here is from dealing with the real challenges of an actual project. The group projects we got to work on in order to implement all the knowledge we’ve gained straight away, started in the second week of Gigi School of Coding. The pressure was real and it all felt a little daunting.

On the one hand, we were eager to learn, but on the other, we have to admit we were doubtful and skeptic about being able to handle all of the stages of project development. But, as the days went by, something we thought would be too much to take on, turned out being easier than expected with the help of our excellent mentors.

Every two weeks we jump in developers’ and project managers’ shoes during the demo, where we have to present what has been done in the last sprint. For many of us this means ‘stepping way out of our comfort zone’, but we understand that’s what it takes to grow as professionals, and we’re slowly getting used to that.

Our English language skills continue improving throughout the whole program which adds to our confidence. Situations such as conference calls, real meetings, client presentations, negotiating and expressing our opinion within the team in a proper way, are addressed during the English lessons that are essential to this program.

Having the opportunity to learn from some of the finest experts in the country, in a working environment that is par to the best companies in the world, makes us grateful and absolutely motivated to make the most of it and make our future employers proud to have us on the team.