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The dental technician who risked it all and won


He studied to be a lawyer and became a dental technician. Then he realized that due to the incredible advancements in technology, there would be an ever-decreasing demand for human work. Richárd Szabó completed the Green Fox course and has been working as a junior developer for the past one year. He managed to fully realize his plan to start working in his new career before he turns 30.

He considers himself lucky as they had a 386 computer at home when he was 3 years old and when he turned 5, thanks to the TFX fighter simulator, he was already interested in how the machine itself functions. Thus as a young first-grader, Richárd Szabó was already enrolled in an extracurricular IT course. It wasn’t the parents’ fault that the training wasn’t suited to the child’s age. Ricsi was more interested in humanities and studied to become a lawyer. 

“I remained interested in IT, but only as a hobby. We installed Windows on our own and I always read the hardware section of gamer magazines. Yet in the age of the dial-up modem, my parents were aware of the threat the internet posed to them, as we would have ran up huge bills. I feel IT education was awful in high school. I was admitted to law school and I studied for 1 year in Pécs before transferring to Pázmány while working at an attorney’s office in the hope that I would grow to love the profession. Yet that never happened and I knew by then that I wouldn’t become a lawyer. So I came up with the idea of becoming a dental technician."

Wait, wait... Big changes usually take place when Green Fox comes into the picture... Directors, architects, nursery school teachers, ornithologists have all decided to make a change and become programmers. Yet we haven’t reached that part of the story yet.

“After all the dry subjects, I wanted to create something. Particularly the kind of creation that is lucrative. I attended a few trial days and since I had a lot of fun, I enrolled in dental technology training. I completed the 3-year long course at the top of the class. I came from the bottom and worked my way up. Finally, 7 years later, I abandoned the trade as a micro-composite specialist."

We’ve now reached the point of the big change, which in your case, was yet another change. If you felt at home as a dental technician, what made you head in a different direction? You could have retired from that profession...

”That was no longer certain with the advancement of the IT industry. On an industrial level, the dental structures were produced with lasers and it’s amazing how many people’s work it can replace. I realized that IT is the future. The final push came when I attended a CAD/CAM course related to my profession and realized there would be an ever-decreasing demand for human work in the trade. Actually, according to the latest technology, they carve teeth out of ceramic blocks. Not to mention 3D printing... So I made up my mind and enrolled in a vocational C# course. Naturally, I attended the course while I was still working, yet I planned to make a shift soon. I read somewhere that there is age discrimination in the IT sector and it’s hard to get a job over 30 years of age. So I decided that I would do it, no matter what, and that I would find a job in my new profession before I turn 30. I enrolled in an online course and spent more of my free time in front of a computer."

You can't attend the Green Fox training while working, since it requires full attention. Was it easy for you to go back to school?

”It was a tough decision whether I should get started with Green Fox, because I knew it was a huge responsibility. I wouldn’t have been able to go back to school for 4 months without working. Fortunately, with the support of my parents and girlfriend, I managed to enroll in the training course without giving up on my dreams. Then I focused on the exhausting, multi-round admission tests and much to my delight, I ended up in a Javascript, frontend department. I was in at the deep end and found out right away that my previous programming knowledge would only get me through a single day. Yet I was compensated by the amazing community and friendly environment. I think I wouldn’t characterize Green Fox with the word “progressiveness”, as we advanced at a speedy tempo. This entailed 12-14 hours of studying a day. I didn’t pass my first exam, so I was crushed wondering how I would cope later on…”

Didn’t you study hard enough?

”I didn’t fail the exam because what I made didn’t work, but rather because the training is fairly strict and the mentors try to ensure we don’t just learn the material, but become good at what we’re doing. I have to admit I felt crestfallen, but Green Fox took care of me and helped me out so I wouldn’t focus on my failed exam but instead on the opportunities for development, so second time around I passed the exam with 95 percent. After that, I passed all my exams. You might wonder how that was possible. I studied every weekday until 10-11 at night with one extra day on the weekend. However, I always spent the other day resting. It felt incredible to be in such a bubbly environment and the others inspired me and helped me move on and we always made sure no one would be left behind.”

I know that you’ve been working as a junior programmer since you graduated. Did Green Fox help you land the job?

”No, things turned out differently. A friend of mine told me they were looking for a junior programmer at their firm. Although I knew I could ask Green Fox for placement assistance, since I heard good things about the company, I decided it’s worth a try. They hired me. I still had one month left of the Green Fox training which I wanted to complete at all costs. I didn’t want to give up on my companions because of the project work, yet I didn’t take part in the selection week. I knew Zip 2000 Kft. would be a good decision and I’ve been working there ever since. In fact, the cooperation was so smooth that it has since become a partner firm of Green Fox. I am currently a frontend developer and I referred to ourselves as junior material after completing Green Fox, because we still have a long way to go, including lots of studying. After 4 months of training, I started working at once, but I must admit that it took about 6 months after Green Fox to get back to my hobby projects again. It was an intensive and highly exhausting 4 months, but every minute of it was worth the effort.”

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