Two years after completing her transition from Big 4 accountant to UX designer, GA alumni Anindita Saha is fully immersed in the wide world of UX and the Hong Kong tech and startup community.
Anson working at GA’s Hong Kong Campus.
By moving beyond analysis into prediction through data science, General Assembly Hong Kong’s DAT graduate Anson Au has brought unparalleled performance and efficiency to traditional practices in the construction industry.
Before coming to GA, Anson was already an avid learner, having completed both an MSc and MBA at HKUST. In his current role as head of IT projects at Alliance Construction Materials, he sought to use data and technology to improve the performance in the traditional construction materials industry.
Karena Belin is a recent GA grad, and co-founder of W Hub, a profile-driven platform that showcases the entrepreneur and team behind the startup. Karena took the Business Fundamentals & Tactics course to build a foundation for her startup’s business plan.
Problem solving and the fast-paced nature of the field. These were strong pulls for me to jump into the development world, but the force that convinced me to stay was of a different angle. From open source projects on Github to community help support via Stack Overflow, the willingness of developers to grow and learn together represents the culture of constant learning and sharing.
Hackathon@HKUST is an annual hackathon in Hong Kong where teams are given the opportunity to propose an idea for a software application of their choice and build a prototype, all within 24 hours. A team of three Web Development Immersive graduates (Leo Tumwattana, Julie Ng, and Mark Cheng) developed “Rock, Paper, Scissors / Textical,” an event organizer app that combines free-flow messaging, calendar structure, and gamification. We were thrilled to hear to that they took home the “Best Innovator Award,” so we sat down to hear more about their experience.
Learn About Our Web Development Immersive Here
Meet Robyn Steinberg. Robyn started her career as a recruiter in New York City, but made a major life change when she decided to move across the world and learn to code. Robyn recently graduated of our first Web Development Immersive course in Hong Kong, and she is now combining her two professional passions in her new role as a GA Instructor Evangelist. Here’s her story.
Tell us about the path you took to WDI.
Life pre-WDI was spent recruiting web developers and designers for a large marketing agency in NYC. Upon getting a promotion, the lead recruiter provided me with a list of coding key words to use in the interview process. Puzzled and intrigued, I started researching the terminology. The more I learned, the more I wanted to understand. I was hooked!
I spent the weeks following the discovery of my new-found interest applying to a handful of full-time programs in a variety of locations. The idea of quitting my job seemed scary and foreign, but I felt a strong connection to code. I wanted to be forced to learn code in a way I couldn’t do if I had a full-time role. After receiving three acceptances, GA won my vote. My goal was to be pushed out of my comfort zone and challenged to drive my own success, and I was certain GA would deliver just that.
Meet Jessica Stephens and Stephanie Holland, founders of Hong Kong based fashion startup, AURZA. Recently completing one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns in Hong Kong history through indiegogo, these women have caught the attention of many, including Forbes. We had the chance to sit down with Stephanie, a graduate of our 10 week Digital Marketing Business Course for a quick catch-up on how things are going post GA and where AURZA is headed next.
What is AURZA?
AURZA is an online fashion brand that allows women to design their perfect dress, which we then make for them in standard, mix and match or custom sizing.
Our aim is simply to help women like us look and feel fabulous, without compromise.
How did it start?
Jess and I founded the business at the end of last year. We were best friends from 4-18, lost touch after school and met randomly at a bus stop in Discovery Bay 2 years ago. We both had children, loved clothes but were so frustrated that we couldn’t find things that made our post baby bodies look great. Everything on the high street was never quite right and had clearly been designed with younger, different shaped ladies in mind!
We decided to use the resources that were at our door and started working with local tailors to develop our concept as we figured they had the skills and operation set up to do bespoke pieces quickly. We were wrong. The results were terrible, our friends laughed and many in the industry told us what we wanted to do couldn’t be done (at least not to a high standard that competes with the likes of Reiss and Club Monaco). So we went back to the drawing board and researched fit, pattern making and design and found 3D scanning and went through contact on contact to find a manufacturer that would work with us to create our vision. We decided to do a beta test using Indiegogo in November to generate enough orders to pressure test our manufacturing and overall concept.
Meet Denis Tsoi, a graduate of General Assembly’s 10-week Front-End Web Development course in Hong Kong. In a previous life, Denis worked as a dealer for a precious metals brokerage. He realized that “working in finance is not what it’s cracked up to be,” and since learning to code at GA, he’s embarked on a new career as a web developer at the creative agency Imagination HK.
What inspired you to learn to code?
It all started a year ago when I first joined Dim Sum Labs, a hacker space in Hong Kong. At the time, I didn’t know anything about programming or how to make a website.
One of Dim Sum Labs’ co-founders, William Liang, mentioned an upcoming Startup Weekend event that he’d be mentoring at. I had just finished reading The Lean Startup and The Four Hour Work Week, and thought I’d give it a try. At the event, I noticed a surplus of “business” types, but not many designers or coders. I was frustrated when I realized that I wasn’t one either.
A few months passed. I was applying for jobs, and emailed someone at a startup that I was interested in. While I was bummed that they weren’t hiring, I thought it’d be best to keep in touch since he was so nice over email. I later found out he was teaching GA’s Front-End Web Development course, which I had heard about through somewhere else. It was a sign!
Current Role: President/CEO at Kaizor Innovation, Instructor for User Experience Design at GA
Personal website: www.kaizor.com
1. When did you first get into UX design?
I’ve been a designer for 18 years. I first started learning about “UX” when I was still studying at Carnegie Mellon in the early 90’s. The term UX actually did not even exist back then. It was called GUI (Graphical User Interface) or just Interface Design. Those were the days when Photoshop only had one layer and the first websites were gray background with a huge jpeg on Mosaic browsers. (Post 80’s and 90’s won’t know what I’m talking about!)
2. What is “UX”?
User Experience means many things to many people even among industry practitioners. Some people understand User Experience as web interfaces, however UX is really much wider than that. The scope of UX can be every single interaction the user has with a company. In my view, UX is actually a work process and cultural change in organizations that focuses on the end-user.