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“I didn’t know what I was looking for. A Data Science bootcamp showed me”

Enrico Anedda was already part of the tech world, but he wasn't sure where he belonged
copyright Enrico Anedda
Andrea Tallarita
Andrea Tallarita

Enrico Anedda landed in Berlin on a day of inauspicious summer rain determined to follow a dream he did not yet know how to describe, not even to himself. It was the year of 2018. A graduate in the field of finance and business, he’d long been fascinated by the world of startups, and had spent the early days of his career in Italy, networking with high schools and small companies to foster entrepreneurship and innovation.

Looking for opportunities to spread his wings, when a close friend praised the German capital as a vibrant hub for startups he decided it was time to take the leap. But he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do there yet.

“I’d been involved peripherally with a lot of different startups, so I decided to try my hand working for just one,” he says today. “I landed a role as Project Manager for a very small startup, working closely with the CEO and the CTO, and I held on to that for 3 years. I had a job, and I was learning a lot, and yet… I wanted something else. I did not know precisely what it was, but I knew that it was out there somewhere. Back then I was still piecing together the puzzle of finding it.”

One thing that Enrico realised he wanted but did not have was technical know-how. “The years since graduation had made it clear to me that nowadays, companies can’t go anywhere without software. I realized that in a startup, you’re either the tech expert in the room, or you’re the one talking to the tech expert. And I felt like I didn’t even know enough about tech to even speak the same language as our developers. I needed to fix that.”

copyright Enrico Anedda

For many, entering the world of programming from a different background is a long process full of hesitation and self-reflection. But Enrico had been around tech wizards long enough to know that the fastest way to become one was through a coding bootcamp, and with that knowledge in place it was a relatively short step for him to sign up to the WBS CODING SCHOOL Data Science program.

“Although I still had some open questions about my future, Data Science felt in line with my vision and my interests,” he says. “And I did my research. That bootcamp lasted longer than most others, with a syllabus that really went in depth.”

Yet even with Enrico’s familiarity with the world of tech, the challenges of actually learning to code himself were formidable. “The introductory primer took me triple the time it was meant to! I had never written a line of code in my life, but even so, in all honesty, those first 3 weeks felt like magic. When I first caught myself thinking in SQL, that feeling was incredible.”

Once the initial shock was out of the way, it did not take long for Enrico’s talents to emerge. But these were not technical – instead, they were organizational. He quickly found himself planning projects with the others, coordinating on tasks, checking on deliverables, and adapting to challenges as they emerged. When his teams needed to get something done together, the first person they turned to was him.

Adobe Stock / whyframeshot

“People who have taken a bootcamp always speak about the hard skills they have learned, like mastering the Python libraries,” says Enrico. “But when I was there, I noticed something else. There were a lot of significant soft skills that I was picking up. Open and active listening, knowing how to request and receive help, teamwork, project-based work, recognising and celebrating your collective accomplishments – these are all things that people so often take for granted, but they are really precious.”

It was precisely this experience that led him to finally – albeit gradually – identify the role that he had been looking for. “After the bootcamp, I had a conversation with a friend of mine, and he suggested I look into the certifications for the position of Scrum Master. I’d toyed around with that role when I was working as Project Manager, and knew that it was at the intersection of positions like Product Owner and Data Lead.

“But as I read more deeply into the matter, I realized what a close fit it was for my ambitions. A Scrum Master would have to be a person who was essential to make tech teams work, who had technical knowledge yet was something different than a technician. And I thought to myself, yes, this is exactly what I want to do!”

Today Enrico is not only a certified Scrum Master but the founder of Time To Do, a business which provides agile coaching and consulting to startups. It was not what he wanted to do when he started the bootcamp – it was what he discovered that he wanted to do.

“Nowadays Data Science is basically a master key to all sorts of careers, and this is something that is worth leveraging. In my case, it opened a door that I didn’t know was there.

“But speaking more broadly, a bootcamp should fit your vision, not the other way around. You don’t have to know exactly what you will be doing with the bootcamp (or after it), but you should have a strong sense of why you’re doing it. It is, after all, not an end in itself, but always a new beginning.”

And the beginning, as Mary Shelley famously said, is always today.

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