Started July 2023
When I first came to Aotearoa (New Zealand) 10 years ago, I was 18 years old, fresh out of school and fairly unsure of what I should be doing with my life.
As is often the case, I quickly ended up working in hospitality; more specifically, as an under-water ceramics engineer—I washed dishes at a sports betting bar.
After a couple of years of doing so, now selling vodka red bulls at a run-down student night club, I realized something quite important; my dreams of entrepreneurship and success would only come to fruition if I started taking action towards them.
Put differently, my ambitions weren’t going to find me—the onus was on me to make it happen.
Thanks to a misspent youth hidden behind computer screens playing World of Warcraft and being a script kiddie, I had some skills in web design and photoshop, the former from hosting MyBB forums and private servers, the latter from making forum signatures for people for the meager sum of one reputation point on the message board in question.
As such, armed with just enough skills to be dangerous, I set out to offer my services as a web designer.
Truthfully, my journey was anything but linear; rather, it was erratic and tumultuous, and at times, very troubled.
Looking back, I think a younger me would be happy with where I am now, 10 years later, but I can’t help but wish there had been a better way for me to reach this point, especially after struggling so much when an adult ADHD diagnosis was thrown into the mix.
That’s why, when the opportunity presented itself (out of nowhere, as often opportunity does), I took the chance to open up a study space so that folks in a similar situation wouldn’t have to experience the hard mode that I endured, but instead could hopefully navigate a journey into tech in a much more pleasant way.
The idea is simple, and comes from the success (and failures) I’ve experienced over the last decade:
- The space will provide the necessary equipment, such that those who don’t have any can begin regardless
- The space itself will be an environment conducive to learning—it can be challenging to do so in your bedroom/kitchen, but in a dedicated space without a barrage of constant distractions and behavioral triggers, self learners have a much better chance at succeeding
- Perhaps most importantly, the space will also provide a community of peers who can assist and encourage one an other, helping to defeat the ultimate boss, in my experience, of self directed development learning—imposter syndrome
In many ways, these three things are exactly the fundamentals that a university/college would provide, but that can otherwise be difficult to find. Naturally, the other missing part is a curriculum, but we’re living in a golden age of tech education, with the ubiquity of excellent quality free material (freeCodeCamp, Scrimba etc.) and AI assistance (ChatGPT is insanely powerful for helping beginners grok coding concepts and syntax).
In all honesty, I have no idea how this experiment will pan out, but I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor that will hopefully have a significant and positive impact on, at the very least, a few peoples lives.
With a bit of luck, it could go much, much further 🤞
You can check out the site for the project here. ↗