Weaving his way to web development through digital marketing, writing and financial planning, General Assembly Hong Kong’s WDI graduate, Aero Wong, is determined to make a difference. Now an analyst programmer at South China Morning Post, he hopes sharing his can-do attitude can help others realize their dreams, too.
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As a writer, Aero Wong spent hours at night honing his prose and publishing in the wee hours of the morning. Mastery is a long journey regardless of the craft. But it always begins with small starting steps. “It took a lot of practice and mistakes to get right,” he says. “Not unlike coding.” Even before enrolling in Web Development Immersive (WDI), Aero had started teaching himself basic HTML through free online resources. “I found it empowering,” he recalls. “I could create whole new interactive projects with this new skill.”
Prior to joining WDI, Aero had considerable experience in the Hong Kong digital landscape. He was working in a project management role at a digital marketing firm working with Fortune 500 clients. “It was great exposure to the digital world,” he says. But his urge to create was too strong to ignore. That’s how he found his way to General Assembly.
From the very first day of WDI, constant and incremental improvements are encouraged. While not the strongest performer at first, Aero credits the instructors with inspiring him to fulfill his coding potential. “They were amazing, I really love how they worked with us,” he gushes. “Before the class, a GA alumni told me the instructors here had a very strong background in coding, including both academic knowledge and real-world experience. After the class, I could tell it’s true. They kept pushing my limit and increasing my comfort zone. ”
Learning coding is a constant and relentless process. “During the course, the ups and downs of really learning, through trying and failing and doing it over, was an amazingly valuable experience,” he details. “Make no mistake, there were struggles to overcome, but with the virtue of hindsight, I realize the necessary rigor of the programme, which has taken me so far and I am enjoying my new career.”
Upon graduating from WDI, Aero was hired onto the digital team at the prominent publishing group South China Morning Post. “I jumped right in and though there was a lot to train on, was in love from the first day of work,” he says. He is now coding on the MEAN stack, which he taught himself through work and mentorship.
One of his personal projects is called The Game, a writing project that encapsulates his past working experience at a digital marketing firm, and will make use of both his writing and web development skills.
The most valuable lesson Aero describes is the confidence and ability to embark on his own learning. “The foundations from the course mean I can teach myself any new coding skill and have the confidence to find the right resources and learn what is needed to succeed,” he says. One needs to make the most of their talents, and through hard work and practice, Aero has definitely found his way to a career that matches both of his greatest passions.
“Web development is a very long journey,” says Aero, “WDI is just a starting point—one that is good enough for you to get your first job and kick start your career.”