From Coding Bootcamp to CTO

Graduate Interview with Masataka Shintoku

Mary Sedarous
May 8 · 5 min read

This is a translation of an interview done in Japanese by Takuya Arakaki. See the original here. Interested in meeting Masataka? Enroll in our July 8, 2019 Foundations class!

Today I had the opportunity to talk with Masataka Shintoku, a graduate of our Immersive Bootcamp’s 3rd cohort. Previously an engineer at NTT Data, Masataka is now the CTO of yui.

In this interview, he talks about his experience at Code Chrysalis and gives advice to future students.

What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m the CTO of yui, an online gift catalog for weddings. Usually, in Japan, you have to pick up a physical catalog when choosing a gift for a friend’s wedding. But these have a lot of content, and are heavy and inconvenient to carry around.

So our service is an alternative to that.

We digitize catalogs and transform them into individual, elegant cards with a QR code that can be read using our application.

Although I’m the “CTO”, yui is still a small company and we’re currently working on our first app. Thankfully, our customer-base is starting to increase, and we’ve become quite busy. I hope our app can make things even a bit easier for everyone.

What did you do before entering Code Chrysalis?

I used to work at NTT Data as a system developer for public agencies. But my responsibilities didn’t actually include coding.

I was more involved as a consultant. I would work with clients to gain a deep understanding of their goals, create detailed documentation of their ideas, then put things into action to actually create the app. Essentially, I worked as a partner for our clients.

How did you hear about Code Chrysalis?

I heard about it from Horiemon’s online salon. At the time, there was information about a scholarship for Code Chrysalis posted there.

Although I didn’t end up attending Code Chrysalis on scholarship, that was how I learned about it and started thinking of applying.

What ultimately decided it for me was the fact that it was a 3 month immersive class. I thought it would be best to place myself in a situation that I can’t back out of.

What was the Immersive like?

It was really challenging. I’d be at school from 9:00am to about 9:00pm 5 days a week, then I’d go home to do even more homework. Even on weekends I did about 15 hours worth of homework (laughs).

But I never thought about quitting.

Every two weeks there was something called “tap out”. During that time, we could talk with Kani (Code Chrysalis’ CEO) about absolutely anything. These conversations were really helpful, and made me feel re-energized and ready to keep studying.

Having said that, even though the course was difficult at times, it was also an incredibly fun experience to learn and create with all of my classmates.

What was the best part of the course?

I can place what I learned at Code Chrysalis into 3 main categories. The first is, of course, technical. The second is mindset. And the third is public speaking.

As for the second , mindset, I specifically mean “humility” and “open-mindedness”.

Engineers — and even just people who can write code — still make up only a small portion of the population. As a result, it can be easy for engineers to become a bit arrogant. Kani once told me:

“Humility is the key difference between those who can become good engineers, and those who can’t.”

I hadn’t heard anything like this before, and it really stuck in my mind.

Alongside that, being able to handle anything that comes up without losing your focus, and having an open mind to study things even if you don’t immediately see value in them.

This has all connected so well with what I’ve been doing since graduation, and has had value in everything from work to networking.

How did things change for you after graduation? How did you grow during the course?

In regard to technology, I became able to create things I could only dream of before the course. As a result, when I encounter complex problems now, I know that no matter how difficult it is I’ll be able to figure it out. The impact this has had on my personal growth cannot be overstated, and I’m so excited to see where I go next.

As for mindset, I’ve become so much more open-minded. I take a lot of care to listen to input from people regardless of industry or background.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

I don’t really have anything to say from a technical viewpoint, because future students are going to experience 3 months of intense instruction from Code Chrysalis.

If you’re enrolling in Code Chrysalis, then of course you’re looking for that kind of technical knowledge, and I can assure you that you’re in the right place to learn it.

So what I want to focus on is the importance of an open mindset. Sometimes during the Immersive you might do activities that seem totally irrelevant to engineering. But after graduating, you’ll realize that everything you do in the course has a purpose.

Developing humility, and a willingness to learn anything and everything that comes your way — even if you don’t see the purpose at first — will become a major asset. So make sure to keep honing that skill.

Code Chrysalis is a fullstack coding school located in the heart of Tokyo🗼. Our programs include a 12-week advanced software engineering bootcamp, a beginner coding course, a blockchain class for developers, and an English communication course for engineers.

See why we are an industry leader in tech education in Japan.

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Code Chrysalis

Code Chrysalis is a 12-week advanced software engineering immersive with a rigorous industry-aligned curriculum designed to transform students into autonomous full-stack engineers.

Mary Sedarous

Written by

Digital Marketing at Code Chrysalis. Undergrad at UW-Madison and Master’s from University of Tokyo. I tweet about random stuff @MarySedJP on Twitter :)

Code Chrysalis

Code Chrysalis is a 12-week advanced software engineering immersive with a rigorous industry-aligned curriculum designed to transform students into autonomous full-stack engineers.

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