Before attending wcoding, Tiffany Pang was a Customer Service Specialist. She is now a proud graduate of wcoding’s Dev Bootcamp 16th batch, and recently she has successfully pivoted her career as a Technical Product Manager at a B2B catering platform startup in Korea!

  • What did you do before wcoding and what led you to wcoding campus? 

Originally I studied hospitality and tourism and worked in a hotel in New York. Then I came to Korea and worked as a Global Operation & Customer Service Specialist at a Korean gaming company for the past 2 years. 

In my last job, I felt a bit lost in my career because it’s nothing related to hospitality anymore and I found myself not interested in the job anymore so I wanted to look for other options that can be beneficial to my future career. 

I was in between doing a Master Degree in Hospitality or doing a Bootcamp to learn web development and coding. Finally, I decided to do the Bootcamp because I thought coding could open more doors for me. Plus, I feel coding can be a useful skill to me, even if I didn’t become a great developer in the end, I can still use it for something else or find other roles in the Tech industry.

  • What made you choose wcoding campus as a way to change your career, rather than going back to college, or teaching yourself?

First of all, like many people, I’m not a really good self-learner. 😂  I prefer an environment where I am learning and collaborating with peers, with interactions and encouragement from the teacher. Also, I feel it’s important to have an instructor who understands how to guide and keep students on the right path, instead of us finding many online resources that we don’t know what to do with. 

Timewise, it’s also cost-effective and makes more sense to do a bootcamp rather than a whole Bachelor’s degree.

  • I heard that you are also active as a content creator on Youtube. Can you share with us a day of a Content Creator while Learning at wcoding Dev Bootcamp?

I haven’t really been doing Youtube consistently, Youtube is just a hobby to record my life in Korea. During the bootcamp, since the course itself is already quite intensive (Weekdays, 10 am to 5 pm), I didn’t have that much time to think about it. 

Most of the days when in the class, at night, I was either studying or resting. During the weekend, I went to study with my friends. Usually I studied coding, reviewed or did the projects, but sometimes, I spared some time to edit videos and took it as my break time from coding. 😂

Tiffany’s Daily Schedule: 

8:45 am: Wake up

9:50 am: Arrive at wcoding and start the class

12:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm: Afternoon session

5:00 pm: Review session with Teaching Assistant or go home 

6:00 pm: Dinner

7:00 pm~: Homework time – Work on projects or reading materials for the next day

  • What were some of your favorite projects that you built where you were in the program?

My favorite project is a secret chat messenger that we made together in class. Originally, we only did a ‘log-in function’ practice, and then we developed it as a messenger program, and finally we combined them together. I felt this project was more useful compared to other projects like mini games because chatting and log-in functions are in all websites and apps nowadays. So I actually felt these features are something that I can contribute to future projects if I work in web or app development companies.

  • What would you say was the biggest challenge in your journey of learning to code?

Before, I enjoyed making websites prettier (in design aspects) when I created a new project. However, even though I enjoy doing it, I’ve learned that’s not all there is to making an actually functional website. So, if I think back now, I think the ‘problem solving mindset’ and the ‘logic parts’ of the code has been the biggest challenge for me.

I remember that it was the first week of learning JavaScript where all the complicated coding logics came in, and as a first-time learner, it was quite confusing. But I got familiar with it once I practiced more and it actually became easier to pick up other programming languages as I already had an idea of how the syntax and logic parts of the codes work.

  • Many people said that the tech industry lacks diversity, how do you think about it? As a female programmer, what advice do you have for other women thinking about making a career change and attending a bootcamp?

I know lots of my female friends and acquaintances that are actually doing great as a software developer and I see other friends who finish the bootcamp are doing great, even the teacher I had at wcoding was a female as well!

However, I’m sure there are issues like this and that’s why there are organizations like Women Who Code that are advocating for the change up for the field. But I saw so many great examples that don’t let the lack of diversity stand in their way if they’re a woman, I would say if you see a problem with something, that’s even more of a reason to do something about it and show others that they can do it too!

At wcoding, we understand that switching careers into tech is definitely not an easy thing, and that’s why we are here to help. For students who completed our 12-week or 30-week Fullstack bootcamps, we provide an additional 4-week career support to help them navigate the industry, optimize the career search journey and maximize the chances of getting hired. 

Personal Career Strategy Consultation

Our students come from different backgrounds. Some have English teaching experiences or speak different languages fluently, while some have years of working or research experience in diverse fields. Our approach is to guide each student to find the best strategy to land their first job in IT and start building a career where they can place their skills in the right company and right position. 

Normally, we start with a few 1:1 meetings to know your personality, career interests, and industry preferences. Based on your situation, we can provide resources and tips to help you meet professional goals and land your first tech job as soon as possible. 

Resume Review

A good resume will require at least 2~4 times of editing. Our HR consultants will check your grammar, structure, and contents based on their years of experience in tech consulting, HR and business operation. So you can get the insight and know-how to write an appealing resume to attract your future employers. 

Job Search and Match 

When your resume is ready, we can start applying for some potential hiring companies! Our employment partners include domestic headhunting companies, job platforms for IT specialists, international startups and SMEs. You will also work with your career consultant in the job searching and application process. When internship opportunities and developer positions from our network emerge, you will be the first to know and have priority to get interview chances.   

Read more: How to get non-teaching jobs in Korea?

Portfolio Building 

To become a web developer, it’s better to have a portfolio to showcase your potential employers and clients your tech skills and achievements. Other than your tech degree and bootcamp certificates, a portfolio of your past development works is the best way to demonstrate your programming abilities. 

A good portfolio should include:

1. A short paragraph to express yourself, your personality and motivation 

2. Projects that show relevant skills and experiences related to the position you are applying

3. Professional social network profiles such as LinkedIn, Github and Stack Overflow that can speak for your specialities and coding skills. 

Although providing a portfolio is not a requirement for most of the development job applications, it is never bad to let your employer know more about you and your skills. Nevertheless, to organize your works in a portfolio is always better than a few lines of bullet points on a resume. 

Mock Interviews and Technical Support 

wcoding will also provide different resources such as interview tips and negotiation strategies as you go through the job application process. If you need our assistance on coding tests and technical interviews preparation, we have experienced developers and specialists to help you practice and get ready! 

Continuous Support After the Graduation

The greatest advantage of learning at wcoding is to really put yourself in the real atmosphere of working at a tech company. At wcoding, you can get chances to meet real clients and work as a team to accomplish a task assigned by our partner companies. 

After the bootcamp, you can have an individual work space in wcoding, and receive direct guidance from our developers on either personal or group projects for maximum 4 weeks. Also, as an alumni, you get to connect with 300+ alumni from coding networks that are now working in different fields and leaders in various organizations both in and out of Korea. 

We understand that your next step after the bootcamp isn’t always your final destination. So, always feel free to utilize our network, resources, and events to maintain your competitiveness even after your graduation from wcoding!

Things you must know to work in Korea as a foreigner!

One of the most frequently asked questions from our students and alumni is “how can foreigners find non-teaching jobs in Korea, and is that even possible for people who don’t speak Korean?” If you are planning to come to Korea and build your career, here are some tips you don’t want to miss! 

Foreigner-Friendly Job Seeking Websites & Services

If you ask any Korean about job seeking websites, 90% of the chance you will receive answers like JobKorea and Saramin, which are the two most famous and largest platforms for Korean job seekers. However, as a foreigner, you may feel frustrated browsing these websites if you don’t understand Korean that well, and it is definitely a pain to complete all the application process in Korean. Also, you may find most of the job listings are asking for ‘Koreans only’ or they don’t sponsor working visas. 

Even though these websites have many job opportunities, they are designed for Koreans or Korean-speaking people who don’t need a visa sponsorship, so it can be difficult for a foreigner to find and get help from these websites.    

Fortunately, there are more and more international talents in Korea nowadays and many Korean companies or younger startups are willing to hire English-speaking talents. For example, JobBridge and JobpassKorea are both Korea-based English Job matching platforms for international job seekers, and they also provide many job training courses and visa consultation for foreigners. Also, Rocket Punch and Wanted are useful platforms where most of the companies are more international or actively looking for global talents. 

Choose the Right Ones

Many international job seekers have sent 100+ applications for jobs in Korea but receive no replies. What’s the issue? Have you thought that maybe you are aiming for the wrong industry or companies? 

Although it’s generally a good idea to send out your resume and to knock on all doors possible, sometimes, you have to filter out the jobs that don’t fit you. As a foreigner who speaks limited Korean, a good way to go about this issue is to ‘transform your weakness into your strength’. For example, if you keep finding the companies that only develop their business in the Korean Market, you probably won’t be able to compete head-to-head with Koreans. However, if you find the companies that are growing and expanding their business to overseas markets, your international background will actually become a big plus. 

It is important to combine your working skills with your international background, and choose the companies that need your specific talents. By doing some research on the hiring companies, you can save a lot of time in the job seeking process and increase your success rate as well. 

Build Your Portfolio for the ‘Right’ Visa

Visas are another important factor for foreigners when trying to get a non-teaching job in Korea. The most common visa type is an E7 specialist working visa. In most cases, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree + 1 year of working experience to apply for it. Also, there are requirements for the hosting companies as well. For example, the salary needs to be at least 80% of Korean GNI and the ratio of Korean nationals and foreign nationals in the company needs to be at least 5:1. 

Depending on your situation, you may get exempted from certain criterias.

Preferential Requirements:

ConditionEducation RequirementWorking Experience Requirement
Worked in Fortune Global 500 companyxx
Bachelor’s degree from QS world university ranking 200ox
Graduate from local community collegesox
Bachelor’s degree or higher from local universitiesThe occupation you are applying for should relate to your major studyx
Advanced science and tech sector & get recommendation from relevant ministriesxx

Once you find the right company that can sponsor your visa, you can start preparing for your E7 visa application. In this step, your sponsor (the hiring company) should help you with the applications since there are piles of documents required from the company to the immigration office. Also, the process can take up to weeks or even months, so it is recommended to apply for it as early as possible. 

If you have any questions about the visa, you can always call the Korean Immigration Contact Center (1345) for details.  

Korean Language Abilities 

Although Korean language abilities are not an absolute necessity when landing a job in Korea, knowing some Korean will definitely broaden your options of company and job positions. Even if you can’t speak fluent Korean, just by showing your employer your motivation in learning Korean can also be a good sign during the interview. 

One of the easiest ways to learn Korean is to sign up for a Korean Language Program in Korea. Most of the Korean universities provide language programs for foreigners, and they have a good teaching system for different levels of Korean learners. The tuition is around 1.2~2 million KRW per semester. Although they are slightly more expensive than other private Korean schools, the Korean universities can provide a student visa for you and most of them allow students to do part-time jobs after the second semester. Also, you can apply for a campus dormitory so you don’t have to worry about where to stay when you first arrive in Korea. 

At wcoding, we also provide Career Plus Package for people who want to learn IT and Korean at the same time.

Join Communities

If you find it difficult to get clear answers you need on the internet by yourself, why not join a community where people share their experiences and useful information together? Online communities such as Reddit (r/korea) and Facebook (Every Expat in Korea, Non-Teaching Job Seekers Korea) are good resources for any expats in Korea. 

At wcoding, we are also dedicated to building a community for foreigners, international students, and tech lovers in Korea. We also host free seminars, open classes and social events for international people in Korea, and you can find us on Meetup.

For people who are serious about launching careers in Korea, getting a non-teaching job in Korea, or interested in changing jobs into the IT industry, please feel free to contact us! We are more than happy to have a talk and give you some advice! 

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