Norbert Takács (Taki) was a taxi driver and had just bought his new car when the pandemic hit. Norbi, then 29, made a difficult decision: he sold his new car and decided to pursue another dream instead. Today, he says, he is happy working as a programmer.
What did you do before Codecool?
In my twenties, I wanted to do a little bit of everything. Even though I went to a prestigious university to study computer science for a while, I decided after the umpteenth analysis exam that it wasn’t the career for me.
I felt that the kind of mathematics they were asking me to do was not for me. Analysis and the like are not my things.
I had many adventures during my university years, I liked to try new things, so I worked as a cook and later as a taxi driver. I got up at 4 am and by noon I was often fighting to fall asleep in the car. Then, after years of saving, I finally bought a brand-new taxi. But my joy didn’t last long, because then the pandemic hit. Rides became scarce, I had no income.
Why did you decide to get into programming?
I’ve always been interested in programming; at the time, I had a strong urge to do something meaningful. Initially, I applied to Codecool almost as a “joke” and was surprised to be accepted. Of course, afterward, it was really time to change careers. I split my money, sold my new car, as there was no point in driving a taxi anymore, and started the full-stack training.
What were your experiences with the Full-Stack Development course?
I started the training at the Budapest campus, but because of the pandemic, we moved to the online space very quickly. By the time we could’ve gone back to school, I was hired by the company where I work now.
I loved my Codecool team. We did the training in a group of four, supporting each other and competing with each other. We always tried to go above and beyond. After the first 3 months, we were developing a rogue-like game that consisted of several levels in which the character of one of our mentors, András Terray, played a fun role.
What do you do and where do you work now?
At the end of my training, I chose the DevOps specialization, as I knew there was a massive lack of DevOps professionals in the job market. Practically before my last exam, I could start applying for jobs offered by Codecool. I quickly found my current job, where my expertise and sense of humor are appreciated.
I’m a Cloud Engineer at AGCO, working on cloud solutions together with a former Codecool teammate, Peter. On top of that, under the guidance of a mentor, also a former Codecooler, Tamás.
What do you like about your job? Do you think it was worth selling your car and making the switch?
I am improving every day, and I am proud to be a valuable member of my team from the first weeks. Together with Peter, we’ve already come up with some solutions that make the work go much faster. It feels terrific to have my skills, and myself appreciated.
What advice would you give to someone considering starting the full-stack course?
Don’t hesitate to apply; don’t be afraid because you have nothing to lose. If accepted, there is no obligation because the first 10 weeks are a trial period without massive tuition fees. That’s plenty of time to determine if programming is right for you and if the school is how you imagined it.
It certainly changed my life completely. The 60-70 hours a week I spent in taxis for 5 years took a toll on me physically and mentally. But now it’s like I’ve been replaced. With 20 hours less work a week, I earn one and a half times what I used to. I enjoy having a predictable life and weekends off. So if you’re interested in programming, go for it. I wouldn’t advise otherwise!
What are your plans for the future?
When I was looking for a job, I enjoyed finally being able to have some expectations that would’ve counted as a luxury in my previous life. I worked in a kitchen, now I’m an important member of the development team of an international company. It’s good for my self-confidence to see how far I’ve come. I can improve all the time, and that feels really good.
For the future, all I can say now is that in 10 years I want to be what I am now: a happy programmer.