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Our first 2021 WRAP-UP of the day is from the International Office at CODE!

The International Office at CODE is the first central point for all matters related to international exchange programs for students, faculty members and university staff.

Our team Adelina Pohlers & Dunja Darmer  supports and advises international and national partner universities with regard to cooperations and exchange agreements. You can learn more about our services and activities in the International Focus section.

Our greatest success…
One year ago, on 27. 12. 2020 we have been awarded a Charter for the new Erasmus+ program (2021- 2027). The Charter permits us to participate in the Erasmus+ programs including student and staff mobility and to continue to grow our already successful exchanges and teaching partnerships.
Since then we not only welcomed to our campus in Berlin our first exchange students from our partner university NTNU but also supported our CODE students to go abroad for an exchange semester.

Our biggest challenge this year…
The pandemic itself did not significantly affect our internationalisation efforts but rather has opened up the door for new opportunities, formats and ways of its implementation in practice, especially through and the recognition and usage of digital tools.

Proud of ourselves because we…
Received both PROMOS and Erasmus+ grants to fund international mobility. and thus made it possible despite the ongoing pandemic to support students to study abroad as well as go on a study trip.

Along with many other people at CODE, so many great opportunities are made possible thanks to,

 Adelina Pohlers International Office & Student Services Lead

Dunja Darmer Academic Cooperations Lead

Dunja Maria Darmer

– we cannot wait to see what the International Office has in store for 2022!

 

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Today, we’re wrapping up with Jonathan Caspari! Jonathan is a Thirdparty Interaction Design student in his final semesters at CODE. Jonathan, also an extremely talented photographer, shares his 2021 WRAP-UP with us;

My biggest challenge this year…

At CODE, I have the opportunity to explore as many different areas in a semester as I want. This opportunity is a good thing, but I worked on many overlapping areas that didn’t fit each other this semester, such as filmmaking and 3D work. Switching from one topic to another and back again in a short amount of time can be pretty challenging.

My biggest success…

Learning so much about 3D and filmmaking from so many perspectives and even putting it into practice was a lot of fun. Even though I am still a beginner, I can use these skills in future projects, which is my biggest success.

If it weren’t for CODE…

I wouldn’t have the freedom to manage my studies the way I want to with the areas I want to explore more.

Be sure to check out more of his work on Unplash!

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Today we are honored to share the 2021 WRAP-UP of NextGeneration, Software Engineering student Luis Coelho, who has recently handed in his Bachelor Thesis! 

Luis has worked chiefly at Porsche A.G. (2 years) as an intern (6 months) and then Working Student/Research Engineer in Emerging Technologies Research. And more specifically, was involved in research projects related to Computer Vision – Mixed Reality and Affective Computing. 

My greatest success…

Graduating from CODE with a Bachelor’s Thesis that I am really proud of, which got me the highest grade (1.0). Topic: In-car emotion sensing. 

Proud of myself because…

I have developed my skills in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible four years ago. 

If it weren’t for CODE… 

I wouldn’t have had access to such an invaluable pool of connections who I could do a bunch of cool stuff with. 

People that really helped me this year…

Ulrich von Zadow (SE Professor) supervised my capstone project and bachelor thesis and was an excellent mentor, managing to find the right balance between requiring conceptual precision and offering kindness. Moreover, he believed in my potential as a researcher, which was really encouraging. 

Currently Doing:

I am still working part-time at Porsche where we are making my Bachelor Thesis into a conference paper to be submitted in the following year. I also have another part-time position at EOMAP where I work as a cloud engineer for satellite imagery applications. 

Next steps:

I can see myself going further in research (Masters and Ph.D., perhaps?). But first, some industry experience would make sense.

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Today we’re wrapping up with our CODE Community Empowerment Team. This team works very hard to ensure our CODE Community is connected and able to enjoy not only an academic CODE experience – but one that develops us personally, too.  Hana Grgic, our Community Event Manager, share the 2021 WRAP-UP for the team.

It was the first more giant in-person get-together since winter 2019. The music was loud; people were dancing. Jonathan approaches me and tells me: we should organize a first CODE Olympiad for the upcoming Community Day (aka CODE’s birthday); promise me we won’t forget about it. I said yes. We had a first CODE Olympiad within a month, a massive logistic and organizational beast (like the real Olympiad). Still, when we went home that night with scratched throats from screaming and rooting, I think I’m not the only one saying: we were happy.

The Community Empowerment team was bringing together various operations at CODE: it was about campus, it was about admissions, it was about events, it was about communication, it was about student life in general, and Jonathan Rüth  working with us side by side.

Our biggest challenge this year/semester…

Erm, probably still pandemic. We were juggling between online, onsite, and hybrid student life, trying to satisfy so many sides simultaneously. On the one hand, it was great to have the community back on campus, but we were sad knowing that there were still members of the community that couldn’t be with us. Having a hybrid setup, it’s not an easy one, but hey, we’re still learning and doing our best.

Our greatest success…

It’s always a memorable experience to welcome the new generation in the fall semester. And while we were still running the academic aspect in an online-first setup, we did use that brief period of an optimistic time in September and October. We managed to meet the community in person. It was great to see again all five generations mingling together, and although we knew this wouldn’t last forever, it was nice, at least for a while.

Proud of ourselves because…

Tamas Fulop and Wanda Dominguez held the campus polished and organized, always ready for way too many last-minute improvements. Also, there is a lot of work in the background that is hard to see, but it’s still there, and we value you for that, Tamas and Wanda!

Marleen von der Heiden, the Admission Queen, managed to bring in 97 #high5 students. While the whole bunch of Admissions Days might be the most visible part of her role, she’s also responsible for significant updates and changes that would make our admission process much better for both sides.

Elena Stupnikova was continuously working on Mentoring topic, tacking the old system, introducing changes, and improving the mentoring experience for both mentors and mentees.

ReBecca Compton was busy writing monthly Community Newsletters, ensuring no topic stayed unreported. Conducting interviews and writing reports showed us once again how many happenings and project successes can fit into one month!

Adelina Pohlers  returned from maternity leave and brought a lot of structure and focus into the team. She continued to work on International Office topics, organized workshops, and improved student life experience at CODE.

Jonathan Rüth our team leader. While brainstorming new (crazy) ideas, he’s always ready for a chat or a new round of kicker. Among many other essential things, he’s responsible for the best CODE community meme of 2021 (hint: Strafbier). He didn’t have an easy task in the past months. His position required him to keep the community updated and safe. It was crucial to stay focused and dedicated in the pandemic time.

Ah yes, and me (Hana Grgic), I’m proud of everything we did together, we cooked, we made decorations, we danced. I’m grateful for each student or a team member that joined me on various occasions and more hopeful for the next year, where I hope to see every individual from the CODE community safe and healthy in person.

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This week we are wrapping-up with Niklas Terrahe, ThirdParty Product Management student.

Niklas, and his co-founders Fabrice Diedrich, ThirdParty Product Management student, currently working on Compensaid, Lufthansa’s official carbon offsetting platform, and Liam Hänel, experienced UX/UI designer & freelancer with history of working in the marketing and advertising industry and startups, spent the last 13 months building and developing Nul. And even participated in CODE Catalyst program in 2020.

We’re super proud to share how far they’ve come in the last year.

So what is Nul? Nul helps companies to effortlessly offset the personal footprint of each individual employee. It’s a monthly carbon offset subscription designed for teams. And This month, Nul was acquired by Athyna, a fast-growing Australian HR startup with the vision of lowering the barriers to hiring top talent globally and driving sustainability through empowering employees.

Niklas share’s the teams 2021 WRAP-UP

What are you currently doing…

We’re currently stealth mode validating products in Web3 and Environmental Tech, combining our passions between Crypto and sustainability.

Our biggest challenge this year…

Prioritizing! We were a small team, and there was just too much going on from building our product to sales to customer support to accounting to speaking to investors, studying and handling our private lives. But the biggest struggle is to talk to great people who tell you 100 good reasons why something will not work and then get back to work and be motivated to sell this product and grow it further.

Luckily we got support from professors, fellow students, friends, and family.

Our greatest success… 

Getting acquired after grinding and hustling for over a year and seeing a fresh new team continuing what we were starting.

Proud of ourselves because we… 

My team and I had the most intense year in every single sense. A year where we went full time remote, made our first money with something we built ourselves. A year where people took us more serious than we thought we were. A year where we met incredible people, both from CODE and outside of CODE, but most importantly a year where we had the strongest learning curve ever. We realized that the fact that we can do what we burn for, full time, is the biggest privilege ever. This I’m grateful for.

If it weren’t for CODE… 

CODE manages it somehow to give me the freedom to experiment and do the things I burn for. At the same time enables me to learn new incredible things. I have both an accelerating network and really good friends at CODE. It is both a safe space and a motivating, hype community.

People that really helped me this year…

My incredible team Fabrice Diedrich, Liam Hänel

Congratulations Nul! We’re really proud and honoured to see teams like Nul grow and flourish like this, and we wish you all nothing but the best with your future ventures – we’re sure there will be bigger and even more exciting things to come!

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Today we’re excited to share a 2021 WRAP-UP of an Official CODE Partner Project! This semester, our Partner, Porsche AG joined forces with our students to work on Porsche id.8.

 

The id.8 concept is based on the work of the Porsche Project Chain team from summer semester 2020. A Project Chain can most simply be described as a group of experts or product owners that work together without meeting. It is an ideal option for people involved in research or development projects who want to share their project experiences and get feedback but don’t have the time or inclination for a regular face-to-face group. The Idea: Project members are grouped together – five to fifteen people per Project Chain – and pass on their own project ideas or project related content to other member of their chain in an iterative process managed by an IT-tool or an app.

 

The concept of the book chain was merged with lean and agile methods to create a lightweight, future-proof ideation tool. At its core is the rapid feedback process that dramatically improves the quality and maturity of ideas. To ensure that experts from different fields can provide high-quality feedback, the tool uses tags to link different projects and people as well as gives the project owners the opportunity to show, which departments’ feedback they need. Only ideas that have the appropriate maturity level after successful iterations can be pitched to management. The goal of id.8 is to effectively increase the maturity of ideas so that more ideas become projects.

 

How it solves the problem:

id.8 connects Porsche experts from across all departments and allows ideas and feedback to be exchanged quickly and effortlessly.

 

How it’s different to anything else:

A circular and especially lean principle with as less guidelines as possible will produce a higher maturity than a “linear” workflow because this way more people can contribute, connect and improve ideas.

 

Our goal with this project:

Building a future-proof ideation tool for Porsche, that will help to build cars, customer related functions and business models of the future.

 

The Porsche id.8 Team consisted of;

Antea Giljanovic, Fourth Dimension Software Engineering student

Brian Mugisa, Fourth Dimension Software Engineering student

Shuto Uwai, Fourth Dimension Software Engineering student

Lida Karimi, Fourth Dimension Interaction Design student

Dan-Yoel Bitter, Fourth Dimension Product Management student

Burcu Baycan, Fourth Dimension Product Management student

Ingvild Therkelsen, NTNU Exchange Student & Interaction Designer

Kono Ndlovu, Fourth Dimension Software Engineering student

Lennart Stachowiak, Fourth Dimension Software Engineering student

Anzor Shakiashvili, Fourth Dimension Interaction Design student 

 

Antea Giljanovic, Anzor Shakiashvili,  Brian Mugisa,  Shuto Uwai & Lida Karimi share their 2021 WRAP-UP of Porsche id.8

A moment we almost lost hope… 

Lida: The whole concept of the platform and the logic behind chains were not working well, Me and Burcu had many hours of talking about the structure of the platform and assessing it, we then were discussing all of our results with the group to make them aware of our concerns. I guess communicating and sharing our perspectives from Interaction Design and Product Management views were those kinds of moments that we lost our hope.

Shuto: Re-organising teams again before starting this semester. I’m an only one who is working since last semester so that it’s quite challenging to re-frame everything we’ve done last semester and transmit all to new teams due to the fact that I didn’t get shared all documents from last semester (I’ve working as Software Engineer but I don’t have most of Product Management, Interaction Design documentation).

Brian: Personally I almost lost hope and felt terrible for letting the team down when we discovered that the skillset required was higher than my competence at the time- so could not implement much.

 

Our biggest challenge this year/semester… 

Antea: Aside from the time pressure, we lost some members early on who sadly couldn’t participate, so it took a bit until we readjusted. But, with good communications, we were able to get back on track pretty easily.

Lida: Coming up with a new structure and function for the platform that can work (presumably) better than the previous one and be more user-friendly at the same time.

Shuto: Allocate working time and common time within teams and work together. Even though we had a project room, we have different time slots so it’s so challenging to sit together and work for one common goal.

Anzor:  To find an approach for establishing a unified working culture within a team. As long as the project Id.8 constitutes an outcome of international team by nature there were issues of selecting commonly acceptable time schedule and alignment of working guidelines.

 

Our greatest success… 

Antea: I’m rather proud that we were able to come out with the POC, despite the time pressure and other hurdles that we faced.

Lida: was to see how this project grew, there is a dummy version of it that users can work with, there is a new design and suggested structure that got approved and there is a lot more to work on. I guess this process of growth and the fact that it is growing with a tangible speed can be considered as our greatest success.

Shuto & Brian: Delivering the first piece of application & building the idea we could visualize in Spring.

Anzor: was to come up with an idea that could simplify the internal workflow of Porsche personnel. The most exciting point for me is enhancement of ideation/brainstorming process and making it more transparent and efficient.
 

 

Proud of ourselves because we… 

Antea: The project itself was intimidating because I felt like I knew nothing, but despite the time and knowledge limitations, I pushed myself to learn and achieve something I hadn’t done before.

Lida: Because even though the project partners weren’t in Berlin and project team members were in contact via zoom during the pandemic, we could manage that and put our best effort into it. Also, the final result proves that we did a good job and we can be better in the next semester.

Shuto & Brian: We managed to make all tasks done as we planned before the beginning of semester. I’m proud of myself because through all that pressure, I pushed myself to learn advanced programming, and got 2 certificates. The project and CODE motivated me a lot. I’ve also got a couple of contracts through the CODE network (Factory). The team did a great job, particularly Dan-Yoel Bitter as Product Manager, Anzor Shakiashvili as Interaction Designer and Shuto Uwai as lead Software Engineer and mentor. I learnt a lot from him as a SE.

 

If it weren’t for CODE… 

Antea:I wouldn’t have had this wonderful opportunity to learn through projects like this, that speeds up my learning road.

Lida: I would never imagine working on a project with Porsche after just one year of being a student. I think CODE made it easy for us to imagine more freely and make our thoughts and wishes real.

Shuto: Flexibility of learning through projects. The project environment is pretty much close to real working experience so super practical.

Anzor: I would not have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing team and deepen my knowledge. The Id.8 is exactly the project where you are involved to “learn by doing”.

 

Person or people that helped us with this project…

Lida: Thanks to Evelin and Uwe who tried so much to describe and explain the inner relationships in the Porsche and made it tangible for us how things are working inside the company. They also did their best to give us the opportunity to interview their colleagues to go forward with the project which widened our horizons so much.

 

Uwe Reuter, Director of Resources and Innovation in the area of Chassis R&D at Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG and Evelin Spies, working student in the Innovation Management of the Chassis Department for two years, also share their experiences.

Our greatest success working with CODE on this project…

Uwe: Throughout the last two semesters we achieved a lot of milestones to be proud of but one thing that I would call our greatest success is the click dummy which we created with the students form last semester and optimized with the students in this semester. It is just nice to see, that our project is moving forward and that we have a real functioning product. 

Evelin: Our greatest success is the fact that together we always manage to bring different people with different working cultures to one table and merge all different perspectives and insights in our project beneficially. 

 

Our biggest learning, working with CODE on Porsche id.8…

Uwe: We’ve learned that it is very important to provide customer centricity and proximity through user interviews and user testing, as a desired product can only be created when the end-users themselves participate in the development process. 

Evelin: Throughout the project I learned how to manage and structure a project from a project owner’s point of view. Thus, I faced a lot of difficulties and challenges especially in times of the pandemic, that helped me to grow and evolve personally and professionally.

 

One thing we would do differently next time…

Uwe & Evelin: We both agree that next time, we would take more attention on the documentation of the project’s development process. We experienced that documentation is the key and needs to be comprehensive and understandable especially for later semesters. 

For next time, we also hope that the pandemic lets us organize F2F meetings with the team in Berlin.

Last but not least we want to get to know the student’s modules a bit better, so we can align the project’s requirements and milestones accordingly.

 

We are proudest of…

Uwe: My proudest moment was the video shooting for CODE’s Demo Day at Porsche Digital Berlin where we provided the latest model Porsche Taycan Turbo. 

Evelin: For me the proudest moment on the one hand was the moment we realized the potential of the project and decided to continue in next semesters, and on the other hand, at the beginning of each semester when we find competent students to form our team. 

 

We are always super excited when our students and Partner companies come together and work on projects – we’re looking forward to the next collaborations!

 

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Today’s 2021 WRAP-UP comes from our incredible Berliner Startup Stipendium Team.

ThirdParty Product Management student and BSS Startup Coach, Aya Douba and Head of Pre-Seed Startup Grant, Tobias Kraski, spent the last 7 months running CODEs 7-month accelerator program.

Aya is working as a startup coach for 6 early-stage startup teams in the BSS and Tobias is responsible for the administrational aspects of running BSS supported by Aya and Chris Bonau Schmidt (Product Management Professor).

The Berliner Startup Stipendium at CODE is a pre-seed startup program in English, funded by the European Social Fund and the State of Berlin in equal parts. Our 7-month accelerator program is designed to help early-stage projects test their idea and business model, build or finalise a minimum viable product, and successfully launch their business.

Aya & Tobi’s 2021 WRAP-UP

My biggest challenge this year…

Aya: Multitasking, jumping from one project to another and having an average of 14-hour meetings per week

Tobias: Keeping 15 BSS participants at a time happy and trying to get them the support they need to turn their project into thriving and flourishing businesses.

 

My greatest success…

Aya: Managing to build meaningful relationships despite them being through a zoom screen most of the time

Tobias: Seeing our participants grow and tackle challenges with our help, support, and advice. Maybe even making a positive difference for them by doing what we do.

 

A person or people that really helped me this year…

Aya: Tobias for being the most supportive and helpful colleague one can wish for. And, Nina Zavrieva (CODE COO), Chris Bonau Schmidt (Product Management Professor), Markus Müller ( Product Management Lecturer and Mentor) and the rest of the CODE team were always there to help us.

Tobias: Kyra, my “girlfriend turned wife this year” without whose unlimited support I would definitely have tackled all challenges in private life, but also professionally, much worse.

 

Proud of myself because I… 

Aya: Finally understood what NFTs are (thanks to one of our startups) Hopefully next year I will understand the why.

What are you doing next?

Aya: After many years of work. I’ve decided to take a short sabbatical and focus on my self-growth, as I believe mental wellbeing is an important aspect that we often forget in our fast-paced life.

Tobias: As the BSS will discontinue in 2022, I will take over similar responsibilities for other co-operations CODE has in the position of Grant Coordinator.

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We are very excited about this 2021 WRAP-UP. Today, we’re with Fourth Dimension, Software Engineering student Glenn Gregor.

 

Glenn is a frontend engineer at DegenScore, building an identity layer for web3, and is now in his second year of university at CODE.

 In the last year, Glenn started by getting into web development. After learning a bit of frontend development on his own, he quickly started working on a project with a good friend to improve his technical skills and apply what he had learned. Glenn and his friend built a workout app called “Crush It”. In the summer, he got a software engineering internship at Superchat, a startup founded by CODE students, which helped him get real-life experience. Since December, he has joined DegenScore as a frontend developer.

 

What is DegenScore?

DegenScore highlights a user’s story in decentralized finance over time. It is the identity layer for web3 that opens up new opportunities for communities and protocols. Check it out on degenscore.com

 

My biggest challenge this year…

Managing myself and keeping focus

When you hear about CODE, that you don’t have a curriculum, have a lot of freedom and can learn what you want, it sounds cool at first. However, this has its difficulties because you have to learn to manage yourself. You have to figure out what you need to know to achieve your personal goals, get to the right learning material, and manage your time. In the beginning, I tried to do too many things simultaneously and consequently didn’t make much progress. Focusing on one thing and my end goal helped me a lot.

 

My greatest success…

Building good habits

For me, that’s what I focused a lot on this year, and it’s what made the biggest difference in my life. I began meditating and journaling on a daily basis and started waking up at 5 AM. Having good habits helps me stay consistent and feel like I’m in control of my life.

 

I’m proud of myself because I…

Became more confident at social interactions

Starting and having conversations with other people was always a struggle for me. When you are on the CODE campus, however, you just bump into so many people that you automatically start conversations and get better over time. CODE’s learning concept also helped me so far, that you engage with others in projects and ask your peers for help if you need something. You are constantly in talks with others, and this builds social skills.

 

If it weren’t for CODE…

I wouldn’t have got into this fantastic community of inspirational people

CODE is truly a magical place where students work on cool stuff, and there is always something new to explore. Students come from different backgrounds and work in various fields, which means you can learn a lot from others. As I am also interested in founding, it is extremely motivating to be able to directly follow how other students build their startups and go from idea to reality. Thanks to the CODE team for making all this possible!

 

A person or people that really helped me this year…

This year I had countless people who had a significant positive impact on my life and helped me a lot. Some I want to thank here are: 

Nina Zavrieva, a former lecturer and now leadership at CODE gave me extremely valuable career advice throughout the year. Thomas Plattner, the best accountability partner I can imagine, helped me stay on track. And Giorgi Sharashenidze, the toughest guy I know, motivates me to get out of bed at 5 AM every morning.

 

We are very excited to see what the future holds for you, Glenn! 

 

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Let’s wrap up the week with nft studio berlin! Today, we’re hearing from Vicktoria Klich NextGeneration Product Management student & Co-Founder of nft studio berlin. 

This year, Vicktoria and her Co-Founders, Jonathan Kuhl, and Henrik Bredenbals founded their first company together – nft studio berlin

nft studio founding day

 

nft studio berlin is a full-service provider for NFT strategies – from own collections & communities to limited drops. They;

– conceptualize projects & provide complete education on non-fungible tokens as well as their use cases – adapted to your brand or artists,

– complete minting & launch of your own NFTs,

– organize collaborations with renowned artists so that your brand appears in the right light,

– provide educational material – NFTs are something new & that’s why we take care of answering all your audience’s questions.

The team currently acts as a research and investment hub for exciting projects in the Web3 space. They plan to expand towards content production and a web3 community in the coming year and become the go-to place for topics around NFTs, Crypto, and Metaverse.

They all make investment decisions together, but to be more precise: Jonathan is entirely into NFT games and guilds, Vicktoria analyses Blockchains, NFTs, and Metaverse projects and focuses more on content, and Henrik is the person for everything from admin stuff to communication with their partners.

It was an exciting year for the trio. After working on another project toward the end of 2021 – Varry, a platform that enables students and young professionals to learn, exchange, connect and make new friends sustainably – they are happy WRAP-UP 2021 with us;

A moment we almost lost hope…

We saw the potential of NFTs for creatives and brands earlier this year. Unfortunately, everyone shied away from it and wasn’t interested in the technology. We used the time to learn while setting up our own NFT drop. Now we’re in a phase where everyone is suddenly interested in the topic.

Our biggest challenge this year/semester…

Find a scalable use case in the chaotic world of NFTs.

Our greatest success…

We tried out many things and faced so many problems. If there’s one thing the CODE has taught us, it’s consistency and the love to learn new things. Without this attitude, we wouldn’t be where we are now – in the middle of developing a new big project: w3.fund

Our biggest project f***up…

We thought it is easy to drop a 10k NFT collection.

Proud of ourselves because…

We have gone through so many phases in the last 2 years and worked so closely together, trying different projects and always believing we would eventually find the right one for us. In between we had to clear some stones out of the way, but this has brought us even stronger together. We are a pretty good team and know our strengths and weaknesses. Feliks Eyser, among others, also saw this potential and brought us into their office at the end of October, where we now invest together in exciting projects in the NFT sector and position ourselves early in the space.

 

They are very active on LinkedIn, so be sure to keep an eye out for more exciting news & developments in the new year!

 

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We are very excited to share today’s 2021 wrap-up which is dedicated to Malik Piara, #NextGeneration Product Management student.

This semester Malik decided to focus on philosophy and social psychology, believing product management and leading a company narrow down to decision-making. Malik is currently learning and absorbing everything from Aristotle and is working on the 5 Science, Technology, and Society (STS) modules. Malik’s free time is mostly spent writing on Moonwith. Moonwith is Malik’s blog about emotional intelligence and decision-making and building Earnest: cards for deeper conversations.

What are you doing next?

I want to work on startup mentoring program anyone in Portugal can have access to, regardless of the city they live in, their connections or their income. I’m also currently planning ‘Fingerprint’, a conference for people who want to build the future. On my free time, I’ll keep honing software engineering skills and building new products every Sunday.

A moment I almost lost hope…
Having to close Upframe after 5 years of work and after already having moved to Lisbon and sold some of my things to keep the boat afloat was rock bottom. I couldn’t leave my bed for a week.

My biggest challenge this year/semester;
Keeping my mental health in check and realising the startup life is not everything. It’s okay to take breaks. And there are other paths that can be equated with success. Overworking should not be glorified.

My greatest success…
One year ago I didn’t know Python, Flask or NoSQL. I had never built an app before. This year I worked on 4 apps and I launched a job board for startups in Portugal which is helping people every day. I’m so proud and I would not believe that would be possible if you told me. You can learn anything. I truly believe in that.

I’m proud of myself because… 
I’m proud to have taken steps towards improving myself and letting go of my unhealthy obsession with work. This included seeking a coach, a therapist and a personal trainer that are here to keep me balanced. I know most people cannot afford this and I feel incredibly fortunate.

People that really helped me this year…
Ben Bachem, Jonathan Freiberger, Moritz Eich, Hanno Grimm, Teodora Trposka, Johann Hemmann, Dennis Willmann and Lukas Müller kept me sane while I felt alone in Lisbon. And they helped accelerate my learning. That’s one of the things I love about CODE. I’m smiling thinking about how many people are there for me and with whom I can learn anything I want faster than I could ever before.