From Vegan Chef to Frontend Developer…

Hola! I’m Vanessa. 34 years old. Original from Panamá; I have lived in The Netherlands, Belgium and I currently reside in beautiful Sweden. I’ve been working as a Chef and Kitchen Manager for the last 11 years and I’m now studying to become a Frontend Developer.

Photo by Jantine Doornbos on Unsplash

I’m happy to admit that when I tell people about my current career-changing journey, instead of the (potentially) expected: “But why?”, what I get is an excited: “Congratulations, I’m so happy for you… You’ll do great!”. (Fortunately, I seem to be surrounded by the right people).

I’ve loved working as a Chef, especially during the last ~4 years when I have cooked at 100% vegan restaurants, so I could help spread the good and conscious food word. I’ve also learned incredibly much! If there’s an industry that will teach you: planning skills, time and goals management, team building, communication and leadership, is the restaurant business. Its people is hard working, strong and the most loyal.

But the last year or so I felt that something was missing…

Ever since little I’ve loved painting and drawing. This interest led me to study Graphic Design at University and complete my Bachelor right before me and my family moved to Europe.

Once in Europe priorities shifted, I needed to find my way around in this new continent: learn a new language (or several), fix my papers and find a job to show that I can sustain myself (and fast!).

I never imagined that I woud enjoy working in kitchens so much, but now, when I’m in a much more stable situation, I’ve decided to let my creative self go at it again.

It was actually my brother who pointed me in the direction of Frontend Development, while mentioning to him my desire to go back to something design-related. After doing some research, I found it to be an ideal balance between the visual aspect of design, but also the logical thinking of programming (I never say no to a problem-solving challenge!).

With this clear new goal in mind, it was last December that I decided to start learning by myself and study everyday for a couple of hours after work. Until this August when I started the Technigo Coding Bootcamp (a 24-week remote coding bootcamp organized here in Stockholm).

From vegetables and aprons, to my laptop and JavaScript: my background comes with me! I might not have experience in the tech sector, but I can organize tasks, plan ahead and communicate in teams like there’s no tomorrow.

I’m proud to bring those skills along because they’ve proven super useful. Anyone wanting to learn to code in 6 months is my hero: intense but oh-so-rewarding!

With its ups and downs, I’m truly having a blast! I see my and my teammates’ incredibly fast progress that I just can’t wait to see what it will all look like in a couple of months and where this will take us.

Stay tuned! I’ve got a crush on JavaScript and I shall report back! ~~

Former Vegan Chef, now coding my way to become a Fullstack Developer~

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store