Young mum, former saleswoman, Solène is now thriving in her new life as a web developer

Published on 15 November 2019

Reading time 5 minutes

Solène Mahaut has always worked in sales. When she became a mother, she took a leave and returned to the job market in search of a job that would allow her to thrive professionally. This is why she joined the Wild Code School in Paris. She now works as a web developer and does not regret her complete career change.
Here’s her story…

My background?

I have done a lot of small jobs with a total of 10 years in sales. I started as a waitress, then as a baker, then as a saleswoman, then as an electrical appliance saleswoman at Darty and my last mission was to represent Dyson as an expert saleswoman.

What prompted my professional transition was....

I became a mum and spent the first year with my baby at home. When I had to go back to work, it seemed impossible to get back into these strenuous jobs, which were not very fulfilling (for me) and after 10 years I had seen everything about them. I was hoping to make a complete career change, it was risky, but the desire to accomplish myself professionally was what motivated me to go forward. I wanted to be proud of my job.

Why did I choose to reorient myself in the digital field?

I chose this field because I always had a natural attraction to computers. My father was a computer engineer and so I was always surrounded by computers. To play, write, create, learn... The only thing I couldn't do was code. I was curious to know how things work behind the scenes. I have always had this need to create, solve problems, and help. As a web developer you can clearly combine these 3 aspects in each mission and I find it very rewarding.

I joined the web and mobile developer training program from February to July 2019 at the Wild Code School campus in Paris (spoiler: the best class of all time <3)

Hybrid learning was really what got me hooked. I have a history of academic failure, with attention disorders, you have to face the facts: long hours of theory lessons would have never kept my attention. I needed a school where I could experiment. Learning by doing as it is the best way to understand what you are doing, why and how. The rhythm of the 3 Wild Code School projects was also an asset, with my background I knew that the projects carried out at the school would be real assets to create a link with my future recruiters. It justifies a certain experience and expertise that reassures.

And the values promoted by the school had meaning for me. It was essential to find a caring and at the same time demanding place that would allow me to be myself without putting the students in competition with one another. I wanted to be free to come and learn without having to comply with the norm, without pressure etc...

What about after the Wild Code School?

I am currently working at Monsieur Guiz, a consulting agency specialised in Product Management. For the Frontend side, I am developing a platform in connection with the WeLoveProduct! community which will be a knowledge base on Product Management. I sometimes do maintenance on the agency's website or blog. I set up some automation tasks on the HR or communication side. And for the Backend side, I'm creating a database to develop an online Quizz app.

The ultimate goal? To pass the PSM (Professional Scrum Master) / PSPO (Professional Scrum Product Owner) certification

My “Dream job”?

For the time being, I would like to complete these two beautiful projects, which I am very passionate about. For the future, I don't have a longterm vision yet. My interest in the jobs of Product Owner/Manager may lead me to try different things. For the moment I am still considering developing some useful solutions and it is unthinkable to me to find a position for a company whose values and ambition do not correspond to me, so I think that the future will be built along the way.

If I could talk to my pre-training "me", I would tell her:

I would advise her to have solid (personal) foundations before embarking on an intensive and exciting adventure of 5 months where you sleep less, making you reevaluate your priorities. I would say "forget about your doubts on your abilities, try and see" because I have wasted a lot of time doubting, going down and back up the emotional ladder over the last few months. 

My last piece of advice would still be emotional: Enjoy it every day, even the hardest ones. It's an opportunity to experience a crazy, human and eventful adventure in a setting so unique that you'll never find it anywhere else.

Last but not least

Thank you for welcoming all these atypical profiles who sometimes do not have the chance to find a place where they can fulfil themselves while remaining who they are. This program changed my life in every way, it was the challenge I had come for and I didn't expect such change!

I would also like to thank Abdou and Thomas who were both brilliant and considerate instructors. Both for their teachings in programming and their support in my career change. The human part of the adventure is significant and it was important to have trainers invested in our success. Without them, I would have lost confidence dozens of times. By being very involved in our journeys they have helped to create a real sense of belonging and even after the end of my training we have stayed in touch.

Discover Solène’s LinkedIn profile