How learning to code with Le Wagon transformed my career

This time two years ago, my life was completely different. I was working in an Amazon warehouse, managing a team of 100 pickers and packers.

It was a very hands-on, fast-paced, operational role - and one as far away from tech as you can imagine. There were aspects of the job that I loved, but I wasn’t passionate about my career, and I was more or less just going through the motions.

I came up with the idea for my startup in early 2018, when I was training for my first Ironman and realised there was limited support out there for people at the start of their fitness journey. A year later, I quit my job to work on my startup full-time, and now, nearly two years on, I’ve just launched My Finish Line - a fitness platform which is empowering budding athletes to achieve more, by providing them with real athlete training plans and workouts.

Quitting my job and making the leap into tech was quite daunting. At the beginning I knew next to nothing about tech or building a business, but I was determined to turn my idea into a reality. I started researching ways I could make My Finish Line happen, and ended up at a Le Wagon demo day.

Le Wagon provides coding bootcamps for budding entrepreneurs. They don’t just teach coding for coding’s sake, but instead teach you everything you need to know in order to design, develop and launch your own product. It was pretty clear that this was exactly where I needed to be if I wanted to make My Finish Line happen. I also figured learning to code would be a bit like training for an Ironman, and to an extent, I was right: if you put the work in, you will reap the rewards.

The 9-week programme was intensive to say the least - and I was also training for a marathon at the same time, so it was a lot to take on. I mastered Ruby on Rails and picked up a breadth and depth of technical knowledge about all aspects of UX, UI, engineering and design. Most importantly, I learned the importance of translating technical know-how into practical application. As part of the bootcamp, students are encouraged to design their own product from scratch, so I pitched the idea for My Finish Line to the rest of the students as a final project proposal. I was lucky enough to have my idea chosen, and during the final two weeks of the course I worked with three of my fellow students to build an early iteration of the product.

Since then, I’ve been developing My Finish Line, which is now officially up and running and has had amazing feedback so far. I feel really lucky to have had the Le Wagon alumni network just a message away whenever I’ve got stuck on a problem during these early stages. Tech is a super fast-changing industry, and even though my time on the bootcamp is over, it has equipped me with all the continuous learning skills I need to keep up, and the amazing alumni network ensures that no one gets left behind.

Learning to code has given me so much freedom from both a career and lifestyle perspective. I have the flexibility and control to do my job from anywhere with internet access - I live in the Welsh countryside with my dairy farmer fiancé, Ed, and his 200 cows. If I get stuck on a business problem, there’s no better remedy than the fresh country air and a chat with Goldie, my favourite Jersey cow.

Making the leap into the tech world was both terrifying and exhilarating - and the best decision I ever made. I couldn’t write a line of code before, and I now cannot imagine my life outside of this awesome industry. Learning to code really has changed my life and given me the best possible foundation to launch my first business.

I would encourage anyone who is considering switching up their career and moving into tech to just go for it. You never know what you might achieve, and there’s an amazing community here ready to cheer you on every step of the way.

Sahar KhanAbout Sahar Khan

Sahar Khan is the founder and developer of an online platform for runners and triathletes to share training plans for events. After graduating from the London School of Economics in 2016 with a BSc in Management, Sahar spent 3 years working in operations for Amazon before taking the leap into the tech world to pursue building an online community for runners and triathletes. As part of this transition, Sahar attended the Le Wagon full time 9 week bootcamp in London to learn how to code and become the technical founder of her company.