Startup Adventures: Code Division, Startup Weekend, and a bunch of awesome new friends

A few months back, I made the decision to quit my job in investments. Many might not know this, but my motivation for doing this was that I wanted to “go startup”. And I meant it in every sense.

I wanted to build things. Make an impact. Be kick-ass. Save the world. Do a Sheryl Sandberg. And I’ve wanted to do it for a very long time but never had the guts to do so. Then one day, I just did. I told myself, if I’m going to go anywhere, I need to JUST. DO. IT. Suck it up, make the leap and DO IT. Because if you never ever tried, you would never ever know where your limits lie.

And I’m so glad that I did. This is my one month post-corporate life so far:

It all started with Code Division

The Code Division web development bootcamp at MaGIC came at such an opportune time. I wanted to start a business but I didn’t know how. I knew that tech was where I wanted to go – Marc Andreesen said that software is eating the world, and I agreed completely. But I knew shit about coding. Wilson would make fun at me because I couldn’t even navigate around my Mac. It was sad.

But I was lucky to get a scholarship with Code Division. One month into Code Division, and I feel like I’m kicking-ass. We’re doing Ruby (and soon Rails) and it is such a beautiful language. Coding is not easy, but it’s not difficult with Ruby if you put in the effort to learn it. I didn’t think I could do it, but in one short month, my fellow comrades and I have built basic versions of Craigslist, WordPress, Flickr, Hacker News, Bitly, a Sudoku Solver, some fun games and so much more. We’ve built web apps that I’d never thought I could have built in one month. Not in monstillian years. I admit there’s still lots to learn (jQuery is my kryptonite), but I’m learning, and building, and it’s so awesome.

Startup Weekend KL 2014

Coding gave me the confidence to build. And hacking gave me the ability to think and solve. So with that, I  mustered up the courage to ask a few of my coding buddies to join Startup Weekend. And what an amazing experience we had:

The Dream Team that made it all happen
We won we won! The Dream Team that made it all happen

Startup Weekend challenged us to build a startup in 54 hours. I didn’t think we’d be able to pull it off , but what started with a 60 seconds fire pitch on Friday night turned into a validated MVP 54 hours later on Sunday afternoon! I was ecstatic!

Our idea, ThirdExit - up on the big screen.
ThirdExit – up on the big screen, designed by the very talented Azlan.

Startup Weekend was a taster of how to get out of the building, validate, work as a team, and put your fear aside to just do it. What is exciting now is how to bring it to the next level.

Bottom line is. I have no regrets.

It has been an amazing one month so far and I’ve learn a tonne coding, thinking like a startup (trust me, it’s different), and the best part, has probably been the people that I’ve met through coding class and MaGIC. Kick-ass giler.

It’s only the beginning and there is so much more to go, but I’m excited to see what happens next.


8 thoughts on “Startup Adventures: Code Division, Startup Weekend, and a bunch of awesome new friends

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