I found out about Leo when his code school, Code4 Startup was posted on Product Hunt here. I saw that he was also a dad building this in his spare time and I knew he’s be a perfect fit.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Leo Trieu, just a random guy to this world but a big dad to my 1 year old boy. Most of you might know me as a founder of Code4Startup.com, an online education platform, code school, where you can learn modern tech stacks like AngularJS, Firebase, NodeJS, Ruby and Rails and more by cloning real life startup projects, like building something like AirBnB, TaskRabbit, or how to make a bootstrap landing page. I even show you how to make your own code school website like mine! Apart from that, I’m still a full time employee working as software developer in a Melbourne based company from 9am-5pm.

Leo with his family.

Leo being goofy with his wife and son.

How did you get started this industry?
Originally, I wanted to create a community platform for startups to share their ideas, tools, prototypes, etc and then I talked to a number of founders in Lean Startup meetups. It was quite interesting that about 65% of them have non-technical background and 40% of that figure wanted to learn how to code. The challenges they faced were having enough time and having the right direction. They claimed that they had to almost start over from basic HTML, CSS and learn one of the web application frameworks but ended up with not much except simple TODO, chatting or shopping cart apps. I’ve sort of “been there, done that”, so I felt the same way and understood their problem. That was when I got the idea for my online code school, Code4Startup where I teach people how to code using modern technologies in a practical way with real life startups as the motivation. My methodology is simple: You just need to learn what you need to build your app. You don’t have to learn everything about HTML, CSS, Javascript, Angular or Ruby and Rails as it’s going to take long time to get through the process. Instead, just pick some features that will do the job for you and combine everything you learn into an app. That’s it. Doing it this way won’t make you a super star developer but it will get you a REAL thing that you can start with in the REAL world.

How did you juggle your time in the beginning?
It was tough during the first few months since everything was completely new to me. I didn’t create a business plan or roadmap or anything like that. I just got an idea about the courses and just wanted to make it happen so I started practicing. Completely focus on my day job, and then got rid of it once I got home. Normally, after dinner, I was constantly training myself about 2-3 hours every night to improve my pronunciation. But the good news was I felt a bit more confident of what I was doing so I kept doing that till the day I published Code4Startup.

Code 4 Startup Free code school course

Leo’s free bootstrap landing page course for beginners, with almost 5,000 registered students.

How do you manage your time now?
Things are getting much better now as everything is on the right track. I usually spend 2-3 hours during the nights to code and record videos.

Does being a founder help you be a better parent and why?
It’s hard to just answer YES or NO. Obviously, working extra hours like this means I don’t have much time for my baby. Now I’m trying to avoid any work on Sunday to play football with the little man ☺. At the same time, I believe one thing: You still need to do this. You have to sacrifice something (time in this case) now to live the rest of life like a champion. To be able to provide a better life for your family.

What changed from how you worked before you had kids to after?
So many things! Let’s imagine this funny way (Ruby syntax).

BEFORE: Around you are :code, :macbook, :music => “Beautiful”
AFTER: Around you are still :code, :macbook, no :music plus :crying, :nappies, :feeding => “OMG”

Can someone imagine that picture??? ☺

Is there anything you would like to promote?
Just come to my code school, Code4Startup and make your dream come true. If you need help, just tweet @LeoTrieu or @Code4Startup.