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Vietnam, CoderSchool, and bringing Silicon Valley to SE Asia

I’m a big fan of Austen Allred and the work Lambda School is doing in America, training new software developers and giving them life changing career opportunities. I especially think the income share agreement (ISA) model is a great idea – where new students don’t need to pay for Lambda School’s class costs until after they’re hired into their new (and hopefully much better paying) developer jobs.

This setting prevents you from using the sweet Message effects in iOS 10
Wednesday July 24, 2019

Life’s challenges force us to harden up. Relationships, work, children, family and finances all combine to put us under a lot of pressure and the way we are expected to deal with these is to develop resilience and to some extent indifference. We are required to be tough. To teach our kids to be tough […]

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I began to think, what would a Lambda School look like in Asia? Particularly in SE Asia, where economies are still emerging, where the demographic is young and hungry; A region which seems primed to experience tremendous growth opportunities in the next few decades.

French Guyana 2018. Hyundai soars (+37.3%) while market hit a new All Time record
Saturday April 27, 2019

French Guyana vehicles market in the 2018 hit the third consecutive all-time record, with sales at 6.643, soaring to 19.3%. Peugeot led the market, but just a few units ahead of Renault, while Hyundai held the 5th position with an impressive performance.The post French Guyana 2018. Hyundai soars (+37.3%) while market hit a new All […]

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A friend suggested I meet Charles Lee, who started and runs CoderSchool in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City is also known as Saigon – in fact most locals prefer the name Saigon.

I was immediately drawn to Charles’s story – a Korean American software developer who grew up in Salt Lake City and spent nearly a decade as a software developer in the Bay Area. Charles came to Vietnam on more or less a lark, and was immediately attracted to the vibrant culture and lifestyle. 

He offered to teach an iOS development class for free, and more than 200 people signed up for the class. It was an early sign of just how ambitious and hungry the Vietnamese people are to level up their technical skills and to create economic opportunity.

4 mẹo để chọn thiết bị định vị xe máy chất lượng
Thursday May 09, 2019

Với những doanh nghiệp kinh doanh vận tải xe máy thì việc lắp đặt các thiết bị định vị là điều vô cùng cần thiết khi không chỉ giúp cho bạn quản lý hành trình một cách hiệu quả mà còn giảm thiểu tối đa những rủi ro về trộm cắp cho doanh nghiệp. Tuy […]

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On my two trips to meet Charles last month, I felt the same thing – the opportunity is palpable. Everyone is more or less an entrepreneur, balancing multiple jobs, creative ways to make money, and a mindset of risk taking and urgency and self-improvement is woven into the daily fabric.

That first class Charles taught happened four years ago. Today, CoderSchool is arguably Vietnam’s largest Silicon Valley style technical school, with over 800 alumni, 40 courses completed, and a soon-to-launch full time, 12-week Machine Learning and AI course. 

Graduates of CoderSchool’s full-time web development and mobile development programs are being hired at a nearly 100% rate by local tech companies.

An early alum cofounded and is the CTO of Logivan, today one of Vietnam’s fastest growing startups which has raised more than $8M in VC funding.

Oh, and did I mention that Facebook made CoderSchool its exclusive partner for its training program called Developer Circles, which will teach nearly 1,000 Vietnamese students in the coming two years in web development, UI/UX, and product management?

So I’ve decided to become a meaningful angel investor in CoderSchool, and spend the next few months – and maybe much longer – helping Charles and his team as they continue on their path to grow into SE Asia’s largest technical school, bringing Silicon Valley technologies, opportunities, and skills to the region and adapting it to local cultures and needs. In the process, I hope we can be like Lambda School in continually pushing to widen access, improve the way education works, and truly help our students and alumni develop long lasting and lucrative careers.

I’m excited to be part of their adventure, and to grow roots in the Vietnam startup and technology ecosystem. 

Thanks to Charles for allowing me to be a part of CoderSchool’s journey, and to Austen and Lambda School for the inspiration.

I’ll try to share more of the journey here on the blog and on Twitter, and have tentative plans to start a podcast as well. 

For more on CoderSchool:

CoderSchool.vn for classes, schedule, and costsCoderSchool’s Facebook page for events and photos

If you find yourself in the SE Asia neck of the woods, specifically Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon, please let me know. Cafe sua da on me!

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.