Startup Weekend Kuwait 2015 was a very awesome experience. I learned a lot. Learned how to work as a team, collaborate on ideas to work better with the team and end up with a better product. I got a lot of perspective on what kind of things I could make when I saw the other teams’ products and ideas. Coded really prepared me for the development part of building the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) (aka: prototype). I also gained a lot of business perspective by seeing how the professionals were doing it.
My team lost. I didn’t go there to win, my team wasn’t even gonna form, they were all going home. We all met on our way to leave, except for me. I was looking for a team to develop for. I participated to learn, experience, gain perspective, network, and have fun. I’m really glad to say that I did all that successfully.
During Summer, around Ramadan, I was really worried that my summer was gonna be boring and mundane. Nothing makes me lose my mind than having absolutely nothing to do. So I started looking for any job in technology, any internship in technology, anything. I even considered going to Dubai or UAE in general for a course or something.
The Computer Science Club at Kuwait University emailed me letting me know about Coded. I applied to them, but had little to no expectations at all. I ended up finding a part-time job opportunity at KOC. I had to make a choice whether to settle for a job and some money that I desperately needed, or take a shot at the bootcamp to learn coding, aim higher, and invest more in myself. I made the choice to take my chances at Coded, thinking I had none. But a part of me felt that that was the right choice, I just couldn’t validate it. One thing about that time period that I’ll never forget, is the unshakeable feeling that I was part of history being written.
From that point, my mind was racing. All I kept thinking was “Did I make the right choice?”, “Did I lose both my opportunities to make use of my time?”, “What if I made the wrong decision?”. When they called me letting me know I’m in the bootcamp, I felt so much relief and excitement at the same time. Other than select moments in my personal life, I’ve never felt so much relief. It was a moment to remember.
Because of that experience, I feel that Coded was a very crucial step in my career. It might be the kickstarter I needed to get me to a point where I can be creative. I never expected them to have such a big impact on me. They exceeded my expectations by a fair margin. The students also surprised me. I wasn’t expecting them to turn out to be such good developers. I never expected to meet such great people in a learning place.
So you wanted to know my experience at the bootcamp? Well here it is. It’s something you wouldn’t see in Kuwait because there’s nothing like it. It’s like a machine that is custom-built to give birth to a batch of developers periodically, and we’re “The First Born”. Every single day I spent there feels like a vacation, especially because I looooooove to code and learn. Also because they provided an amazing atmosphere, very convenient snacks, an awesome coffee machine, and anything else we asked for. If they provided a room to sleep in, and a bathroom to shower in, I think I would’ve lived there and called it home. Only to go downstairs and get lunch and coffee for a change. It was a really great experience. I would love to have it again!