“Our jobs, which we spend most of our time doing, it's what defines you because it helps you bring value to something. It helps you build something, and helps you make a difference.” - Denis Lafontant
Microverse students work incredibly hard to become international software developers and we’re so proud of all our students. Our alum have landed jobs around the world, earning an average of 3x what they made before — without paying Microverse anything until they’re employed.
We are delighted to highlight another alum, who was inspired to make a difference in his community. Denis Lafontant currently works at BairesDev as a remote software developer. He decided to change careers after a 15-year tenure working in the national police force in Haiti. We spoke with Denis about what prompted him to change careers and how he inspired others through his leadership.
Denis entered the police force in Haiti when he was 21 and still in college. For 15 years, he built his career, rising to the senior civil servant level in the police force. At that level, most of his work was administrative and leadership focused but there was a part of his work that involved software development.
He fell in love with working on software development because it felt fulfilling to him. Denis expressed how passionate he was about making a change through software development. “I'm going to build software for people all around the world and I'm going to make a difference at a larger scale.”
Software development was only a small part of his career at the national police force but Denis wanted more. Upon discovering Microverse, he was presented with a tough decision between pursuing what he loved and staying in a career he built most of his life around. He chose to pursue his passions.
His brother initially questioned his decision to change careers but Denis was firm in his decision. “This is what I want to do, it defines me,” he said. Denis joined Microverse in late 2020 and finished the program in mid-2021.
With minimal experience in coding, Denis decided to study before applying to jobs. Learning from YouTube wasn’t enough to learn both the soft and hard skills needed to become a software developer, Denis shared.
“Finding a place where I can build myself in hard skills is different. I know that at Microverse, I will have the opportunity to do both.”
Learning at Microverse helped Denis not only learn how to code but also, helped him gain skills in communication and leadership which are important for building a career. Frequent interaction with his peers at Microverse helped create a bond between them.
Denis noticed that it’s more productive to work with people that you trust.
“By knowing your teammate it will be easier for you to fit in and to get along with that person.”
Denis’ hardest moment in Microverse was when he had to repeat the second week, which impacted him emotionally. He reached out to his mentor who advised him to take his time rather than pressuring himself to accomplish it immediately.
“It's best to finish on time but what’s more important is to learn, to grow, and to transform yourself.”
From this experience, Denis learned that the most important thing is to learn. “You can also transfer it to others because the purpose of knowledge is to share,” he added.
Because of his mentor, Denis was inspired to become a mentor himself. His methods in mentoring others were not only helping other students in their work, but also being emotionally supportive.
“I just want to make a difference. My philosophy was to always be there for the person that I am connected with even though I’ve finished the project.”
While job searching, Denis continued honing his soft and hard skills. He built his portfolio and became active on social media to promote himself to other developers.
He was especially active on Twitter, which helped him land his first job as a community developer. After a month and a half, he received an offer from BairesDev which he accepted. He now works there as a full-stack web developer, specifically for Ruby on Rails.
When job searching, Denis looks at the core values of a company to determine if they align with his. The company should not only aim to create profits but also make a difference in the community. Denis added that it is also important that it adds value to his life. “It's important when the company makes a big difference in your life.”
The most important things for Denis in a job are; the salary and the environment. A decent salary is important to provide for your needs, and the environment should be ideal for career growth.
“You need a place to grow, an environment that pushes you to do better.”
Changing careers to become a software developer significantly improved Denis’ life. He left Haiti to move to Dominican Republic with his family. He was able to support his family better financially with his new career.
For Denis, the most important thing he learned in Microverse was the soft skills he gained through working with his peers. It taught him how to become a great collaborator and helped him learn more about himself.
“Knowing more about myself also helped me to fit better into a team. I'm still using it in my career now.”
According to Denis, Microverse provided an ecosystem for him to hone his soft skills and apply them to his programmer training. ”It’s how it is in the real world. You will need that training, you will need that spirit to become a software developer.”.
Denis assures that it is not too late to make a difference. “If you think it will add more value to you, and will help you to do better, it's not too late,” he said.
“You'll need commitment and be fully committed to what you're doing.”
Denis sees that the pros of applying when you’re young are the energy and passion that you have. “You can show the world what you can do,” he asserts. However, you need to have self-control because things are not what you always expect.
Through a lot of hard work, focus and dedication, Denis was able to change his career to become a software developer. To date, Microverse has enrolled full-time students from 100+ countries in its full-time online program, and helped students from around the world land life-changing jobs. If you’re ready to change your life by becoming an international software developer, get started below!
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