Spotlight on Our Graduates

Derrick Hughes

Name: Derrick Hughes
Title: Web Developer
Company: MASA Bold Agency
Study Program: Computer Sciences
Degree obtained in: Winter term 2020


Derrick Hughes didn’t hesitate when he moved to Canada to begin studying Computer Sciences at LaSalle College. Three years later with his degree in hand, Derrick was recruited by a digital agency in Montréal, where he works as a Web Developer.

His journey has inspired many and was the subject of an article in the daily newspaper France-Antilles. His time at the College didn’t go unnoticed either. His teachers and peers noted his great desire to succeed and his outstanding work ethic.

“At first, Derrick was quiet and reserved, but he was always smiling. Behind this front was an extremely talented artist. Through his projects, I discovered a responsible, creative, intelligent and above all, respectful student. He often earned the respect of his classmates, who were amazed by his excellent presentations in class projects,” says his former teacher, Fodé Touré.


1. What position do you hold and what are your main responsibilities?

“I am a Web Developer at MASA Bold Agency. My main responsibilities are analyzing, creating websites from scratch or redesigning them, or even adding additional features to our clients’ websites.

I also take care of the agency’s website—I make sure that everything is working properly and that there are no bugs. And I’m in charge of reaching out to potential new clients on social media.”


2. Could you describe your career path?

“I’m a young Martinican, so I did most of my training in Martinique, a French island. I got my college diploma there, as well as my baccalaureate (equivalent to a high school diploma in Canada). I was in a vocational course, so that allowed me to do a lot of internships. I also did some summer jobs in computer science from time to time.

Then, I wanted to go to Canada, because the country has always interested me, especially for its bilingualism and its many opportunities. After obtaining my DEC from LaSalle College, and after a lot of online training, I knew that I wanted to become a Web Developer.

So, I built my own personal website with a portfolio that included some projects I had done for myself or for my friends, and I put the finishing touches to my LinkedIn account. I soon received a lot of messages on LinkedIn about new opportunities, but for most of them I needed to gain experience first.

That’s when I was contacted by the MASA Agency and told that it was a start-up recruiting new graduates and that they would be delighted to have me on board. So, I accepted, and I have now been working for them since November 2020, shortly after I graduated.”


3. What is your fondest memory of your days at LaSalle College?

“My best memory at LaSalle College is the teachers sharing their knowledge, which made me want to start my professional career and finally make a living from my passion.

Especially when I met my Web Development teacher, Mr. Fodé Touré. Before I met him, I didn’t know what part of IT I wanted to specialize in. But when I heard him talk about this job, I was won over right away, and I started to learn more and more on my own alongside his courses.

I also really enjoyed all the activities available at the College, and of course the gym classes which were great for relaxing as sometimes our class was outside the College.”


4. What was your favorite subject in the curriculum? Do you use what you learned now in your career?

“I would say that my favorite subject was the Web Development courses, followed closely by English. Both subjects are obviously very useful to me in my career.”


5. Could you describe the general impression you had when you started at LaSalle College?

“At first, I was intimidated by LaSalle College because it was the first institution I was going to study at in Canada. But I thought it looked like a very diverse College, with very clean rooms, responsive teachers, and good administration.”


6. What surprised you the most when you entered the job market?

“What amazed me the most was how easy it was to do what was asked of me, because my classes at LaSalle College were more difficult, and taught me a lot of things that gave me a lot of knowledge.”


7. What advice would you give to a student currently enrolled in the same program that you completed?

“I would tell them to pursue the program. There may be times when it will be more difficult and they will want to give up, or they might wonder if this is what they really want to do. But ultimately, after graduating, there are a lot of opportunities in the job market, and they can specialize in what they prefer. Even if they don’t like one particular programming language, they might like another.”


8. What are the essential qualities required to succeed in your field?

“A lot of patience and being a good listener, as well as being able to explain yourself in a manner. If you’re talking to customers who don’t know anything about the subject, you have to be able to find the words to explain what you’re doing, or to understand exactly what the customer wants. Also, you have to be able to analyze well and be logical to be able to fix most of the bugs or little problems you come across.”


9. Who are the role models that inspire you and why?

“Bill Gates and Elon Musk because they were both ambitious with their ideas, they never gave up despite the obstacles and they got the success they deserved after their hard work. On top of that, they have greatly advanced technology, and I love everything about technology and computers.”


10. Something to add that could inspire the next generation?

“Set goals for yourself and follow through with them, and above all don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today by saying ‘I don’t have time now,’ because you never have time, you make time.”


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Derrick Hughes 

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