The story so far
My friend and I used to draw a comicbook character in elementary school. He's a little chicken and goes by the name of Kip. He gets involved in some serious trouble with the infamous Chicken Nuggets gang. Our friends and classmates loved how we portrayed him in hilarious settings – which made us start a comic magazine in the style of a newspaper: Chicken Daily (Kip Krant). After a lot of fun with the drawing our tiny home printers went on overdrive to publish it for our classmates, friends and family. This creative entrepreneurship was a foresight for more to come.
I got into a bilingual high school education, lessons were taught primarily in English and Dutch. At the same time, I started digging into the internals of websites and computers. I hacked my way through a foreign place, learning about it along the way. I loved to study all I could find online. Bit by bit the pieces came together on how this most magical medium worked. Ever since my first encounter, I was sold by the notion of creating and bringing to life my own designs.
Big dreams require big teams
I could only learn so much by myself, I needed people around with similar interests to teach and mentor me. My dad told me to go with him see some company — nothing fancy since it was a tour only, or so I thought
When Marvin (manager at Aan Zee) walked us through the company, it was a real eye opener for me. For the first time I saw tech people like me. And it was next to the beach. On that moment I knew this was the place for me.
After a casual chat I showed some of my work to Marvin and shared some of my knowledge. It takes one to know one, and Marvin saw potential and both of us got really excited. Not long after he asked me to quit my job at an Apple Premium Reseller, and join the team. I arranged with my school that I could work once a week. In my vacations and during the evenings I worked on some projects as well.
How Drop It! was born
Since I couldn't drive yet I often drove along with a colleague of mine – Rick Groenewegen, lead back-end developer. He let me know he was working on some back-end technology for multiplayer games like WordFeud in his spare time. He showed me some pre-alpha build of his connect-four game he was building on top of this platform. Since I often played the game with my dad when I was young, I loved the idea from the start. I offered him to help him out with the design and not much later Drop It! was born.
Not much later Aan Zee got involved and we decided to have a PR stunt for the launch. When we launched the app got a lot of buzz for a short while and taught us a lot of valuable lessons. It featured on AppEvent multiple times and got us a couple of interviews.
No more school, no more limitations
Ever since I finished high school I started to work full time at Aan Zee. At first I was assigned to a project at AllUnited, a company partly owned by Aan Zee.
This project allowed me to work out my vision for responsive website templates for a huge amount of (sport) clubs. With the nimble team at AllUnited I led a series of huge overhauls of a very outdated system. For half a year I did a lot of back-end development, UI design and set in motion a myriad of improvements for the company.
Back to the mothership
After I finished setting up the new groundwork at AllUnited I worked on some of the most significant projects at Aan Zee. Here I learned how to work according the Scrum methodology and made a huge leap forward in my design and development skills.
Silicon Valley here I come
After quitting my job I attended Make School Summer Academy in San Fransisco. A two month program in which people from all over the learn how to code and ship their own iPhone game or app. You learn the latest programming language from Apple called Swift. Besides the skills you gain, it's a fantastic way to build your network and meet founders and startups.
My DJ app 1FX
During the Summer Academy, I have build a DJ app 1FX. Here are some of it's features:
- Combine 6 powerful music effects that DJs use
- All effects can be triggered at the same time!
- See live music visualisation
- Play songs from your music library
- Even your little sister can use it
After completing the Summer Academy, I got invited to the 2 year Make School program! Ever since I have been doing the Make School program in San Francisco with really talented people. If you are interested in learning more about my experience please reach out to me at email@example.com.