Marina was born in Požega, but most of her life she lived in Ližnjan, a small village on the shores of Istria, Croatia, opposite of Venice. She’s a web designer, but wanted to learn more technical skills. After a summer course at Harvard University in the US she joined the iOS app development bootcamp at The App Academy in the fall of 2015.
What did you study?
“After high school I studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, an art school in Amsterdam, and finished the Basic year, where I was taught how to think out of the box. After that I went to Architecture and Visual Communication University in Zagreb which was a technical education. Back in Croatia I started working as freelance graphic designer for several agencies.”
“My family has been living in the Netherlands since the sixties. I spent many holidays here and know the country quite well. I eventually ended up as an intern in the gaming industry and later I started freelancing. I soon realised that I didn't have much technical knowledge and decided to do something about it.”
And then you ended up at The App Academy?
“After going to the United States to follow a Dynamic Web Applications course at Harvard to upgrade my skills and prospects on the job market, I found the bootcamp of The App Academy online. And since I was already in a learning modus I continued learning app development for Apple’s mobile platform.”
Is it a switch from web design towards mobile app development?
“Yes, mobile is absolutely another field of expertise. Mobile is very broad, that attracts me, but it really works different than working on the web. A lot of web stuff can be learned by doing online HTML tutorials. Programming a mobile native app is more difficult and can’t just be learnt by doing a couple of tutorials. You have to learn how to code in Objective-C and Swift and the best way to do this is in a classroom with an experienced teacher.”
Did you think the teachers of The App Academy were good and inspiring to work with?
“Yes, absolutely! The App Academy has great teachers with lots of patience and expertise. They’re all app developers themselves and have a lot of practical experience. The first few weeks of the bootcamp were very hard, but little by little I started to connect the dots. It is really important to focus, work hard and stay motivated throughout the course, that will get you there in the end. The weekly guest lectures and keynotes from industry professionals were really inspiring as well. That gives you a better understanding how varied the app industry is. I’d definitely recommend the course if you want to become an app developer!”
What are your plans now?
“I will continue to work on my new project which I started with two other colleagues here. And next to that I want to dive into Security. It’s important to gain experience so I can to find a job soon. I’ll probably stay in Holland, because in Croatia there’s not a lot of work for iOS developers. Amsterdam though is the right place for app developers with lots of digital agencies and developer communities. The App Academy can help me also through their broad network and large knowledge base.”