KUALA LUMPUR: “Do you know how to code?” seems to be one of the first few questions that I would ask whenever I come across just about anyone from the tech community.
In recent years, coding has become one of the defining skill-set for individuals that wish to advance in the technology startup industry.
One’s lack of knowledge in coding may not stop a person from launching a technology startup, but an appreciation of the art of coding would most certainly help to connect and to build strong relationship with those who do understand the language of coding.
Over the weekend of 5-7 July 2013, I had the privilege to witness the seemingly impossible feat: to pick up basic coding skills within three days. There were close to 500 participants registered for the D-Code Bootcamp, organized by StartupMalaysia.org.
Thanks to specifically Dhakshinamoorthy ‘Dash’ Balakrishnan (Co-founder of StartupMalaysia.org) and Anthony David (Director of Programs for StartupMalaysia.org) - a few seasoned software engineers flew in to Kuala Lumpur, all the way from Perth and Silicon Valley, interacted with the D-Code Bootcamp participants and experienced first-hand that Malaysia holds house to an avid, eager to learn and talented developer community.
“Learn from the experts”, they say – I did just that. I reached out to the four main facilitators, all of whom with considerable programming experience, including Jonathan Baudanza, Amelia Arbisser, Jon Hayward and Marcus Holmes, and inquired the following:
- What the key takeaways were for them as a part of the three-day coding bootcamp
- What do they look for while choosing the top sixty projects
- What their personal philosophy as a software engineer is
- How they deal with failure
- How they deal with the emotional side of involving in a startup, and more.
Recorded via a mobile device, the following interview clip encompasses the essence of how they perceive the business of startups.
1. Jon Hayward
Jon is currently building a new startup to teach game development from a slightly different perspective with the aim of creating a better scene for indie game developers.
2. Amelia Arbisser
Amelia is a software engineer at Twitter. She works on the infrastructure for the machine learning that goes into many of Twitter's content discovery products such as Who to Follow and the Discover tab.
3. Marcus Holmes
Founder of Perth Startup School, Marcus describes himself as a Gentleman Technologist, as he espouses the values of a gentleman craftsman with a passion for technology that drives the creation of great software products.
4. Jonathan Baudanza
Jonathan currently runs beatlab.com, a web based community for music composition and collaboration. Jonathan’s professional career began in 2001 as an engineer at Napster. In 2006, he and Shawn Fanning founded Rupture, a web based social network for video gamers. Rupture was successfully acquired in 2008 by Electronic Arts.
Were you one of the participants at D-Code Bootcamp? What are your key takeaways and how do you see yourself move forward in strengthening your programming skill?