Long before the start of Maarten’s adventure at BeCode, game development stimulated his interest in programming. After having explored the domain for five years, Maarten started looking for a new challenge and stumbled upon artificial intelligence. But after a few unsuccessful attempts to educate himself in this field, he decided to change track. And BeCode’s training program came to him just at the right moment!
Curious about his BeCode journey? Then make sure to read the interview below!
What did you do before joining BeCode?
“Long before BeCode, I’ve always had a deep interest in programming. This interest came from game development, which got me more and more involved in different languages like abstract coding and stuff like that. So, I’ve been doing that for 5 years approximately. And over the years, my interest in artificial intelligence also grew. Everyday I was reading about AI and getting more and more interested, but trying to figure out on your own how to get started can be a real headache. So I kind of put it to the side and now and then I would revisit the theory. You know, Youtube is full of it. But every time I was trying to really get to it, it was a real headache… “
“I actually came across BeCode through a friend and I was actually, originally, going to do the web development training. But then, I visited the BeCode website and I read about AI and I thought I’d rather wait half a year to have a chance to do that. Then, obviously, the crisis hit us so… You know, before BeCode, I was coding at home, eagerly waiting for this training to start. And now it’s started and it’s living up to its hype. I’m very excited that it meets my expectations and that it actually goes above them. It was also amazing to feel the progress from week to week. We started with the basic Python because our training is Python-based. Python was newish to me. I used to code in C#, so Python was different. But we progressed really fast. The tempo was kind of perfect. And then we got into the machine learning stuff and it was very exciting. Everyday, I wake up and I’m like “What am I gonna learn today?” Everyday, I do learn new stuff. We started doing client projects now. We have projects of two weeks for a client. Honestly, I feel like a data scientist already and I’m only halfway through the training. So that’s really exciting.”
What convinced you to follow the BeCode training and not another one ?
“Mostly the fact that it’s recognized by VDAB because, obviously, if you don’t have a lot of reserves, then you cannot take the time to really acquire education. Also, I heard from a friend, – his father came to a couple of job days here -, that it looked very professional and that BeCode had nice partnerships, like with Microsoft. That really
spoke to me.”
“I came to the selections and I was completely sold. At the selections, we were placed in groups and we had to invent an intelligence company, talking with like-minded people… I was already convinced, but the introduction, the fact that everyone was kind of geeky and talking about SpaceX and stuff like that, so I was like “Yeah, this is the place to be!”
What kind of projects have you been working on so far ?
“With machine learning, you can build models to do predictions. Currently, we are working with a company and we’re doing predictions for them. The data is classified, so I can’t really say what we’re doing. But we’re doing real-life data. And it’s very exciting to work with a big data set that you know is real, knowing it also has an impact… As I said, it’s very exciting because normally you would go to a professional to do this kind of work, and we’re already capable of doing it and getting quite good results… We already have 4 more projects lined up.”
What’s your dream job after this training?
“I just want to get some experience in the field. But my all-time dream goal is to have a gaming company. AI can help me keep the teams low. I really enjoy making tools that make game development easier and faster because obviously, for big games you need a big team. But if I can figure out a way to incorporate machine intelligence in the creative process, that cuts costs and time.”
“I have a very good feeling about my progress and my capabilities so far, so if in 2-3-5 years, I might work as a freelancer, in a startup or with a sub-contract. I don’t know yet.”
Do you want to add something about your experience here ?
“The atmosphere is very good. Like I said, like-minded people. Obviously, we’ve got Covid measures but normally, we have a ping pong table and coffee. It’s really enjoyable here, I love coming here. Even the stuff on Discord. Currently, we have 3 days at home on Discord and everyone is very social and trying to help each other. It’s generally a good atmosphere.”
Are you interested in following the AI Bootcamp?
Amazing! – We have a new class starting in Brussels on the 13th of April.