HOW I BECAME A 17 YEAR OLD INTERN AT A SUCCESSFUL TECH STARTUP

I spent my whole young life loathing math and writing. I’ve always been tech savvy, and have spent the majority of my childhood fixing computers and selling them on eBay. I started playing with code at the age of 13; I would write small programs and then get angry and throw them aside every time I would get stuck. The one thing I wanted more than anything was to be a great programmer. But I did not think that I was capable of doing something so intricate and complicated.

In 11th grade my life changed because I tried something new. My school’s dean convinced me to join the wrestling team. Through wrestling I found my inner self; the rough sport taught me to be mentally tough and not to back down no matter how painful a situation is. Wrestling taught me not to accept failure and to keep working until I find success. When the wrestling season ended, I had more wins than any other wrestler on the team. I had a small yet powerful taste of success that year, and now I’ve made success my only option. See some of my wins below:


After wrestling season ended I decided to use my new mindset and really give programming a shot. I somehow convinced my mom to lend me two thousand dollars so I could enroll myself in a programming course at The New York Code & Design Academy. Before attending the open house, I started teaching myself Apple’s brand new language, “Swift”. I motivated myself and produced 60 pages of handwritten Swift code; it took me 10 days to finish it. I enrolled myself in iOS Development, and attended the open house. My eyes were pinned on the Co-Founder, and when the event ended I walked over to him and asked if I could show him what I was working on. He answered, “yes”, and then I showed him my work. His eyes widened as he said, “WOW”. He was so surprised to see the stack of code that he called over the CEO and the rest of the team to take a look. That was how I caught their attention and made myself stand out.

After two months at the academy I graduated with a 99% average and had a small app built. Zach, the Co-Founder at the New York Code + Design Academy asked me if I wanted to be an intern. I excitedly said yes. This was the moment when my career in technology ignited. I received the greatest opportunity: as long as I was their intern I was allowed to take any of the courses for free. During the summer I took the Web Development Front End course and learned HTML/CSS/JS/jQuery. I excelled in my summer class and built a beautiful project that I am proud to share. My new mindset and my passion for learning continued to flourish.

I set a few goals over the summer of 2015: to build a strong, reliable reputation and to make powerful connections with various programmers and CEOs who could mentor me. I spent the weekdays working at the academy and the weekends at hackathons. I worked numerous intern jobs, one of which was to write articles about tech startups, programming, and tutorials. My posts were approved and published on NYCDA’s main website’s blog page — another successful accomplishment.

Presenting my project at The New York York Code & Design Academy
Presenting at a hackathon with the other devs at AlleyNYC

As of November 12, 2015, I’m an intern, Teaching Assistant for the iOS class, and an iOS developer at Autonomous Manifested Inc. I work on the curriculum for the iOS course and write tech tutorials, and am currently working on a big app for AMI that will get released on cross platforms. Through my passion for programming, I found an interest in Math and Writing, and now I can say that I love both. I have a vast net of powerful connections of leaders in the tech startup world, many of whom offered me jobs and internships. Through all of my experiences I became a leader, and I’m currently the captain of the wrestling team.


[Update: February 2016]

It’s been a few months since the creation of this post. So much has happened since then, my programming skills have gotten a lot better and I’ve been offered more job opportunities. There have been many philosophical factors that have helped me be where I am today. One of them is that “I am the product of who I’m surrounded by”, I’ve been living this philosophy for nine months now and it’s been really effective. Being at the The New York Code & Design Academy, surrounded by various like minded individuals and successful people has given me the chance to prove and show them my commitment for programming and success.


[LinkedIn] linkedin.com/in/kennybatista

[Recent Project] Mubimoji.com

[My Front-End project] kennybatista.github.io/iphone-emulator

[My GitHub] https://github.com/kennybatista

[Feedback welcomed] kennybatista7@gmail.com

Liked this article? Click here to Tweet it: http://ctt.ec/af_Uc+

or follow me on Snapchat:

username: kbatista70