What started as an interest in R led to a junior developer role in the social rental sector


‘I am really happy to be working here now.’

Hey, I’m Chantal. I studied animal science and then started my career in research. During my work I came into contact with programming, in the programming language R. It immediately peaked my interest, and when I later saw an advertisement of Young_Coders I immediately responded. I thought ‘who knows, it might become something’, I’ll just have a talk with them.

I then got in touch with Ellen and first started following the Challengership track: an e-learning program from Young_Coders to further expand my programming knowledge.

That was very pleasant. The educational level wasn’t too high, you were really taken into the world of programming from the beginning. It is an e-learning program of about 3 months, including extensive training in Python. I enjoyed learning a new programming language in addition to R, which I already had quite a bit of experience with. Although programming languages are not an end in themselves for me. What I really like is the logic and thought process you go through to arrive at a solution. Programming languages are only a means to that end.

At the time, I was still hesitating whether to pursue a PhD or do the Challengership at Young_Coders, when I received a call that there might be a spot for me in the Challengership. I then went through the selection process at Young_Coders and it showed a match with the client WoningNet, where there was still a spot available. I then went for an interview at WoningNet, where it clicked really well with the people there, and the work seemed fun, so I decided to go for it!

I didn’t expect it all to happen so quickly. After the selection process, I had an interview with WoningNet within a week and was able to start within a month.

In the field

So I got in touch with WoningNet because “on paper” there was a match. Now I am actually experiencing this in the field. I think it is a very nice organization and the team is also very nice to work with. We were given a very warm welcome and colleagues are always willing to help you with anything.

WoningNet is an organization that develops software for the social rental sector. Housing supply and demand come together on WoningNet’s platform, with which the organization has a major social impact. I am now working as a junior software developer on WoningNet’s housing mediation system. We work with a scrum team that includes developers, a tester, a business analyst, a product owner and a scrum master. I really like that, you really do it together with your team.

So I myself am mostly involved in software development. I’m still learning so much, but the Young_Coders bootcamp I had did provide a good foundation. We also received another training from an external party in OutSystems, the low coding platform WoningNet uses to develop software. The bootcamp from Young_Coders was especially helpful for the general context of IT, and the OutSystems training gave real in-depth knowledge of the platform I’m working with now. That combination was very informative.

All in all, I am very glad I made the career switch, but it was not an easy choice. I was quite excited about doing something in a completely different direction than what I had studied for 5.5 years. Also, because I really enjoyed my work in research, it was quite difficult to change course.

But fortunately I’m also very comfortable here, I’m glad I made the switch. I thought about it carefully beforehand, and making the switch is ultimately the only way to find out if it’s what you want!