Aibat: The piscine at QWANT is like a pizza, you eat by small pieces regularly to complete it.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO PROGRAMMING?

First experience was, although not programming, was during bioinformatics. I really got to know what programming can do. The amount of data that is processed and various algorithmic tricks that lead to close answers was astonishing. Next thing I did was that I learned python 2.7. I could write simple programs to copy files or parse contents of the files. Although I knew little, I felt like the best programmer in the world. However, that was it. Few years later I started to use Linux as operating system. This was the time I fell in love with programming and with community of programmers. When I thought about career change, for sure it was programming, however I felt like I do not know enough to become one. So I started to learn web programming related languages like php, javascript and golang. I could make a website but did not understand subtleties. For instance, sometimes list past to python function changed original list, sometimes it did not — no understanding of pointers and references. Data structures I used were those from language itself, so programs I wrote had lots of limitations. Do not even ask about code quality and organization 🙂 So, my path to programming was hard and exciting, however without right guidance it is useless.

HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT QWANT?

My friends used to send me links to various schools. I was always skeptical about those, but I decided to give it a try.

WHAT WAS MAIN GOAL WHEN YOU APPLIED TO QWANT?

When I had thoughts about becoming a programmer, I doubting whether can do it. Although I had written couple of simple programs, I wanted to be involved in bigger projects and more complicated programs. The problem was that studying on your own is very hard, and even keeping yourself motivated is harder when you are alone.

WHAT WAS YOUR SEASON 1 and SEASON 2 LIKE?

The season 1 was full of joy and excitement. In my opinion, learning to code in C language, is the best choice made ever. First of all, C is the simplest language I know of, and it is ‘pure’ from any libraries made for you. As you have to do it yourself, you have to define all procedures the computer has to do. Thus, you get to know every single detail of the program. The whole first season, it was very exciting to learn new things about C and solving problems with C. Still, every program I write, I think about how it would be written in C, and how it affects the performance. The season 2 also brought its surprises. In season 2, you start from simple javascript and ruby programs and ascend to perform search engine optimizations. The more important thing is that you learn how to find solutions to your problems and have a great support from the community.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT QWANT?

Tutors and peers. I learned quite a lot from meetings we had. As every person is unique, you get to know unique stories and unique advices from each of them.

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR PISCINE STUDENTS?

The piscine at QWANT is like a pizza, you eat by small pieces regularly to complete it. Do not try to complete it fast, but try to plan and perform it as beautifully as you can. It is the time to experiment and try different methods. C is incredible language and understanding it can open up your mind to different solutions.

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR FUTURE STUDENTS?

Do not fear anything. Anything can be achieved if you are consistent and open-minded. There is no panacea for all problems. There is no program that will teach you everything you need. However, there are some that can guide you to right path. Qwant is good at what it offers, but you are also required to do your homework, prepare yourself to problems with the help of more experienced people (tutors and peers). Frameworks and libraries come and go. But basic knowledge and tools are to be here forever. As one of the mentors said: ‘If you learn to drive in manual, driving the automatic is not going to be hard’. Do not get distracted by the fact that C might not seem to be related to what you want, but probably the whole path you take might be good choice you made.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR QWANT STUDENTS WHEN IT COMES TO LOOKING FOR A JOB AND THE INTERVIEW PROCESS?

Do not be frightened by requirements in the job. Sometimes they do not matter

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