From a BA in history to retraining in data engineering: a look back at Alan's career

Published on 17 May 2022

Reading time 3 minutes

After a career as an educational manager in the French National Education system, Alan chose to transition to data. From data analyst to data engineer, discover his journey at Wild Code School!

The transition to data engineering

Hi, Alan! Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

Hi there! Alan, 30, video-game enthusiast and guitarist in my spare time. I completed Wild Code School’s data analyst training last year at the Paris campus. Having finished my internship in early February, I began the data engineer training and my internship at mon-marché.fr on May 9.

What was your background before coming to Wild Code School?

I wasn’t originally in the tech sector. I earned a major in history in 2016 and then worked in the French Ministry of Education as a curriculum officer. I decided to return to my studies later with a master’s in literature, but the pandemic didn’t allow me to finish. The first two confinements provided an opportunity for me to step back and take stock of my professional career and what I wanted for the future. I decided to retrain, and I chose Wild Code School. I hesitated quite a bit between the offerings. Fortunately, the numerous events allowed me to discover beforehand the different professions, and I decided to pursue data.

Before joining the Data engineer work-study program, you completed a five-month Data analyst training program at Wild Code School in Paris. What made you want to specialize in data engineering?

First of all, I wanted to continue my studies at Wild Code School in order to continue to improve my skills and explore the spectrum of data-related professions. I chose the course in data engineering to learn more about cloud-computing technologies and platforms, especially AWS and GCP, which are both widely used today.

Did you know the role of data engineering before applying?

Yes! The data-analyst training at Wild Code School is very broad. It allows you to discover the different data-related professions, such as data science with machine learning, data engineering via SQL, web scraping, and even the creation and request of APIs.

Why did you choose to continue your training at Wild Code School rather than at another school?

I was already a Wilder. I know this school and I trust its pedagogy, philosophy, and community. I didn't see the point in looking for another school when Wild Code School's methods vibed with me perfectly.

The particular role of data engineering

What interests you most with the dual role of IT development and data?

The opportunity to work throughout the company and be the link between the business and the tech side. Simply put, coding is cool!

According to you, why is data engineering essential for companies?

Data engineering is essential for one simple reason: the company’s data. Data engineers develop, automate, and optimize the data flow and prepare it for analysis. Data analysts and data scientists follow up.

Final words

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow your career path?

First off, go for it. Choosing to retrain, especially in tech, is sometimes a bit scary. It's easy to think that you don't have the right skills or background. While that might be natural, it’s not necessarily true. No matter what you did before (my major was in history, remember), it’s always a strength—not a weakness.

Also, don't panic. The first days of training can be destabilizing. The concepts can seem out of reach. Not to worry. You’re not alone: while this "impostor syndrome" is something everyone experiences, it quickly falls off the radar thanks to the instructors’ kindness and the cohesion among Wilders.

Finally, make the most of the adventure. It’s a very enriching experience—both from a pedagogical and human point of view—and it goes by too quickly.

Thank you for all your answers! Any final words for future Wilders reading today?

As they say in the gaming world: GLHF! (Good Luck and Have Fun).

Learn more

If, like Alan, you’re thinking about transitioning into data engineering, discover our training courses here: