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The TechLadies Bootcamp is a 10-week part-time accelerated learning program designed to help women with some basic programming background become professional programmers. Participants are guided by industry experts, creating products for non-profit organizations. 9 ladies were chosen for the first batch of the TechLadies Bootcamp. In this blog series, we will be sharing more about the background and learning journey of these ladies. Hopefully that'll inspire you to start learning how to code too!

If you could tell a story about yourself in one sentence, what would it be?
A 22-year-old believing in the possibilities and beauty of life.

What are you currently working as? 
I’m a final year student at SMU (Bachelor of Business Management) graduating this May. I’m also working on my own startup called Protégé that provides mentoring software for organization to better manage learning & development. Protégé helps organisations better develop the potential of their people and connect with their employees (especially the Gen Y millennials) through internal mentoring. It is a B2B mentoring software that matches mentors with mentees, track the relationship & mentoring sessions, as well as collect real-time feedback on learning value. This comes as a native mobile app for mentors and mentees and web portal for the mentoring programme administrators.

​As a student and an entrepreneur, I tried to stack more modules in the earlier years of university so I’d have increasingly more time for my start-up as I approach graduation. On the day-to-day basis, I focus most of my time on my start-up but just make sure my time is planned out so that I complete school deadlines in time.

(Psst, a note from the TechLadies team: Sharon didn’t want to brag, but we wanted to. For her work at Protégé, Sharon was awarded the Youth Entrepreneur Award 2015 by Small Medium Business Association (SMBA).)

What made you interested in coding?
I first encountered coding when we had to develop the MVP for our startup. That’s when I started exploring different courses and online tutorials, such as Codecademy. My first coding lessons were on Codecademy! Coming from a business background, going into the tech start-up space was a really steep learning curve. However, it was always fascinating and intriguing to see the infinite possibilities that coding could create. Having the ability to build what I could only previously imagine is a skill so powerful and life-changing!

What was your thought or reaction when you first heard of TechLadies?
“OMG This is so cool!”
*checks to see how much it is*
“OMG IT’S FREE! :O”
*immediately signs up*

Why did you want to apply to the TechLadies Coding Programme?
I’ve been wanting to attend an in-person coding course for the longest time ever. But all the courses I’ve come across so far have been way beyond my budget as a student. Hence, the substitute is online courses that I’ve done on Codecademy, Udemy and individual websites. However, I’ve always felt that I’d reach a certain point where I hit a wall and can’t continue forward without consulting a fellow coder who is more experienced. The learning always stagnates there. TechLadies is honestly a dream-come-true programme that offers the wonderful value proposition of the following core benefits:

  • In-person lessons with a high teacher-to-student ratio (2 coaches to 3 students on my project)
  • Actual practice by building something for a real-world “client”
  • A community of both coaches and fellow students you can learn from and together with — the help they extend throughout the week on Slack is mind-glowingly amazing. It’s like they are always “online” and will answer any questions you have almost immediately.
  • It’s FREE – what more can I ask for 🙂

What do you hope to gain out of the TechLadies Coding Programme?
​To be able to be sufficiently proficient in Ruby and Ruby on Rails to code something from scratch. I’d love to try building something just for fun to practice developing in Rub, maybe something useful that I can use — like a to-do list, or journalling tool of some sort? Otherwise, I’ll also love to contribute to coding the administrator portal of my startup as it is web-based (rather than the native mobile app).

Describe the TechLadies project you’re working on!
Our team is building new features and functions for the Engineers.sg website. Currently, I’m working on building a Mailchimp integration with the existing website to for the purposes of a providing a newsletter subscription service where readers can leave their name and email addresses to receive updates.

What do you see yourself using your coding skills for in the future?
Definitely in my start-up or any other projects I’ll be working on in the future!