Today, we are excited to share our interview with Adrien Fernandez Baca, who is the CEO of the up and coming company Vialgo! He traveled many miles from France to the United States to learn how to code and join the Coding Dojo Bootcamp—pretty awesome, huh?
He is definitely one of the most driven people that we have had the opportunity to meet and are very thankful that he covered all of our questions.
Introducing Mr. Fernandez Baca—
1.) Why don’t you tell us a bit about why you chose Coding Dojo for a coding bootcamp and what has your experience been like so far?
I needed to learn how to code to start my company urgently and there aren’t many coding bootcamps in France, after some research, I decided that the Silicon Valley was the best place to learn for this kind of industry. When I searched for coding bootcamps in this area, Coding Dojo had the best SEO in comparison to the rest and I immediately began to look into the company as well as reaching out to the alumni students for input on the program—I quickly made my decision, went through the interview process, and was in the United States within two days for the September class.
What I love most about Coding Dojo is the overall environment and how the classes are taught. The course is taught from a less passive perspective than I am used to and I am able to receive all of the support I need from the instructors. I am quite impressed with my personal learning curve and how much I’ve been able to learn here without much prior coding experience.
2.) What is Vialgo? What inspired you to start this company?
Vialgo is an internet platform allowing you to discover, compare, and book the best trip-activities in South America. Within this platform, tourist can find their on-site and ideal activity of choice. The activities are chosen via their customer ratings, customer comments, and prices. For each on-site location, we will provide not only many different types of activity choices but also a variety of vendors to choose from. I plan to begin building my supplier base via crowd-referencing, which is a great tool that allows the interested crowd to reference suppliers in exchange for limited-time royalty. Plus, it will make Vialgo much more social.
I traveled to South America earlier this year for four months and was actively searching for this kind of industry. I wanted to make my trip as fun and active as possible and ran into a problem—it simply didn’t exist to its full potential, and this is what inspired Vialgo.
I’ve gone as far as I can with the business side of a startup and what it takes for a structure to exist, I have much experience in this. However, my developer experience was lacking and that is why I’m here at Coding Dojo. In November, I will hopefully be accepted into an incubator program that will assist with the foundation of Vialgo.
Fun fact: Vialgo means “I saw something…” in Spanish!
3.) Fantastic! Would you mind giving us a bit more information about your educational and professional background? We noticed that you’ve studied and been employed in a few different countries which are quite intriguing.
I traveled often with my parents when I was younger and it became an interest of mine. I chose to attend educational institutions in a variety of countries and the experiences were all great. In France, there isn’t a “Bachelor’s Degree” but rather a License that students acquire, I acquired mine in Economics and Management at Université de Nantes. I then proceeded to acquire both a Masters degree in Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Management at HEC School of Management and a Masters degree in Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Via international programs at my universities, I landed an internship as a Social Impact Analyst at Ibeka in Indonesia and a Business Developer at Rocket Internet in Egypt. Having been an important part of these startups allowed me to learn the ins and outs of starting a business, which was exciting.
4.) Let’s get personal. What do you primarily do to unwind? What keeps you happy outside of the business world? We can’t help but notice you staying late often to code!
SPORTS. I love to play as many sports as I possibly can. I played ice hockey in France for 15 years (and received an Ice-Hockey Champion award!) and now if I don’t play sports often, I begin to feel off. Playing sports not only helps me unwind but it also helps me find a balance in life.
5.) You appear to know what you want in life. Where do you see yourself in about 10 years, ideally?
I tend to plan things only a couple of years in advance, and even then you never know what will happen at any given time—-look at where I am now, in America enrolled in a coding bootcamp. However, ideally, I will be running a successful company that I have started, and be married with a few children.
We hope that you enjoyed this interview! It’s not often that you meet an amazingly motivated individual who knows what they want in life, both professionally and personally. Being an entrepreneur and simply making the decision to start your own business is not easy, let alone actually taking all necessary steps to make it happen—including putting your life on hold for 9 weeks to move across the country to learn how to code. We are very lucky to have Adrien on board with us and best of luck to Vialgo!
If anyone would like more information about Adrien or his company, please feel free to connect with him via his LinkedIn.