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How Juno’s Web Development Immersive Bootcamp Changed This Designer’s Career

October 22, 2020

2 min read

Written by Sennah Yee

This is the story of designer Hamsa Ganesh's change of heart - and scenery - which led her to learn to code at Juno’s Web Development Immersive Bootcamp across the world from her home in Pune, India.

Right after college, Hamsa ran a successful graphic design studio out of Pune, India. Over 5 years, Hamsa and her team completed over 100 projects for clients, from startups to big corporate houses.

“Heading a studio means you do everything, from managing accounts to business development, creating artworks to supervising print production,” Hamsa says. “No two days were the same!”

Slowly but surely, Hamsa’s interest in learning to code grew:

I would open the Chrome Web Inspector on every decent-looking website to understand how typography, images, and grids were defined on the web – that was probably the first clue that I might actually enjoy code!

However, Hamsa felt her skills were limited. “While I would still design screens, I was very cognizant of the fact that there was a huge implementation/dev aspect that I had no clue about, which was very frustrating to me as a designer who wanted control over her output. I had to rely on developers to tell me what’s possible every step of the way.”

In 2015, after the studio’s most successful year, Hamsa and her partner decided to happily close the studio to explore their interests independently. “At the time of that decision, I had no clue what I was going to do next,” she says.

Hamsa stumbled upon Juno, then known as HackerYou, in what she calls a “serendipitous” way:

“I used to follow the work of a Canadian Studio called Teehan + Lax, and I stumbled on one of the founder’s interviews. At the end, he mentions that he loves hiring grads from Juno and Bitmaker - so, of course, I had to Google those names. Before reading his interview, I had never heard of the programming Bootcamp format!”

Overnight, Hamsa decided to use her work savings to travel to Canada for Juno’s Bootcamp. "I just felt it in my veins that it’s going to be worth it. To put this decision in context: I had never left the Indian Subcontinent before that night!”

Student Stories

About Hamsa’s Journey

  • Previous Education

    Graduate Diploma in Communication Design, Graphic Design - Symbiosis International University

  • Before Juno

    Co-Founder - Obsessive Compulsive Designers

  • Currently

    Founder

    Thoughtput

Hamsa also got the chance to chat about her decision with a fellow Juno alumnus, Emilia Dallman, who was introduced to Hamsa through a mutual friend. Emilia shared her Bootcamp experience and cheered Hamsa on!

"Apart from these amazing connections, I chose Juno because they stood out from everyone else," says Hamsa. "I found their website to be the most exhaustive in terms of information, syllabus, fee, and culture. The founder, Heather Payne, was also behind the non-profit Ladies Learning Code (now Canada Learning Code)."

Hamsa applied to Juno's Bootcamp and was accepted into Juno’s Cohort 8. She got her travel visa approved in the knick of time and arrived in Canada one day before it all began!

Each student in my class kicked butt! Everyone had paused their lives for 9 weeks to do this bootcamp, and it showed in everyone's progress week after week!

To her surprise, Hamsa didn't only learn how to code: "I learned a lot more than just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Lessons that were invaluable to me were those revolving around best practices in UX, keeping a check on accessibility, bettering my workflow, collaboration over Github, gulp task automation and command line tools - I didn't even know I needed some of these skills!"

Coming from a print background, Hamsa also learned how important it was to be conscious of the various possibilities and limitations of different browsers, screen sizes, and devices that she was designing for.

Life After Bootcamp

Shortly after Bootcamp, Hamsa moved back to India and began taking on projects where she could apply her design background, as well as her new web development knowledge.

“I observed a gap in Indian web companies. Most of the agencies creating websites in India were advertising agencies,” she says. “These agencies would often take a ‘function follows form’ approach to the web. I strongly felt that the practice needed more design folks like me, bringing information architecture, design principles, and intentionality to the web.”

Today, Hamsa still runs her own practice as the founder of Thoughtput, a boutique web design shop.

“My tasks still run the gamut from operations to accounts," says Hamsa. "However, there's much more focus on strategic partnerships with clients to understand their goals. I'm also trying to make time regularly for more skill development and learning, which is something you need to do in this domain to stay relevant."

Hamsa tends to learn on the job, and loves bringing in different kinds of collaborators onto projects who can share their expertise and teach her new things:

“I regularly collaborate with fellow designers, developers, project mentors, workshop facilitators, and data scientists. Despite the challenging time zones, Jessica Duarte (my Bootcamp buddy at Juno!) and I have ended up collaborating on over 5 projects in the last 5 years! We have built a great working relationship and we try to plug into each other’s work as much as we can.”

Recent launches include a website for a legal policy think-tank in India called Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. Hamsa has also built features for an open-source platform called StoryWeaver, a digital repository of multilingual stories for children.

"I wanted to learn to code so that it could inform and impact my design better," says Hamsa. "Juno’s Bootcamp has been one of the most significant decisions I’ve made for my own design process."

What's next? Hamsa's excited about encouraging more knowledge-sharing in the community and bridging the gap between developers and designers. “I’d like to be driving strategy and roadmaps in tech projects, and sharing what I learn.”

Thanks to the Bootcamp, I understand how to work alongside developers without isolating them, how to help clients navigate tech decisions, and how to mentor other designers like me on their coding journey.

Since opening our doors in 2012, we've learned one thing for certain: every Bootcamp student's journey into tech is unique - but they all share the same passion for building knowledge, careers, and community like Hamsa.


Thinking About Diving Into Tech?

When you learn to code, you aren't just gaining a future-proof skill - you're getting empowered with more control and knowledge in the work you do, while also unlocking new career opportunities in web development, UX design, project management, and more.

Now that our courses are Live Online, you can learn with us from home, no matter where you are in the world! Check out our free guide to Kickstarting Your Tech Career for more info:

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At Juno, we craft custom learning journeys that accelerate careers. We’ll tailor a learning path for you based on your interests, talents, resources and goals – and that training continues until you land a job making $50K a year or more. It doesn’t matter whether that takes weeks, months or years, we’re with you until you’re employed. And until we make good on our promise, you’ll pay us as little as $1 upfront. We know, we know – finally, a school that gets it. How it works

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