Hey there! I’m Egon, a second batch student at kood/Jõhvi. In my free time, I love reading study-related books, exploring nature, and travelling to new places to experience different cultures. With the Tallinn Marathon coming up, running has once again become a big part of my routine.

Egon already has some marathons behind him!

Join me as I share my journey of how I ended up at kood/Jõhvi and my experiences as a student here!

My life and career before kood/Jõhvi

I am a 35-year-old with a Master’s degree in Management and Marketing from Tallinn University of Technology. During my studies, I went on exchange to Lyon and Paris in France. My thesis focused on the key decisions that lead to success for billion-dollar companies. I looke into companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Dropbox.

At the age of 25, I co-founded the European Innovation Academy, an accelerator for tech entrepreneurs. In 2015, I also tried to build a startup, that motivated people to be more active and healthier. We were selected as one of the top entrepreneurs in Europe by EU-XCEL Horizon 2020 Startup Europe accelerator program.

In 2017, I joined Taxify, a small startup that was expanding to Mexico to build the future of mobility. Taxify was later renamed Bolt and became one of the fastest-growing startups globally, serving over 100 million happy customers in 45+ countries from Europe to LatAm to Africa on different verticals. 

Egon and his former team at Bolt in Mexico

In 2021, I joined a small fintech company in Mexico to build a marketplace and make credit accessible to everyone. We were helping 1.5 million people in Latin America to improve their financial health and connect them with more than 200 financial entities.

And in 2022 I came back to Estonia and started my studies at kood/Jõhvi

Why did I choose this school?

Having worked in startups and very closely with technology, I developed a strong interest in programming. While studying in France, I heard about Ecole 42, a similar school in France, but decided not to pursue it. However, my wish for a similar opportunity was answered when I came across kood/Jõhvi, which is built on the same principles.

Egon came all the way from Mexico to take part in the 2022 Selection Sprint

In February 2022, I returned from Mexico to Estonia and already in April, I challenged myself with a 3-week Selection Sprint at kood/Jõhvi. It only confirmed my belief in the program’s practicality and coolness. During those weeks, I made some great friends, and we continue to study together. So far it has been challenging and interesting. I am incredibly excited about the upcoming challenges and community events! 

Studying and day-to-day life on campus 

At the house opening, one of the school founders said that we can all shape our experiences here. We can make things happen and make things better. We build the school around us. So, I am really proud to be part of the school community.

Egon at the school building opening party together with his peers!

The school’s philosophy is based on a non-traditional approach to education, where students learn through a peer-to-peer learning model and hands-on, project-based learning, rather than through traditional classroom lectures. A student only needs a passion for programming, dedication to learning, and a willingness to work hard, mostly independently. It may not be suitable for all students, but it has been working well and has attracted a diverse group of students from different nationalities, which enriches the whole experience.

The non-traditional, self-directed approach to learning at school may seem challenging at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll discover the benefits of figuring things out on your own or with peers at a similar level. It’s taught me to be more patient, focus on breaking problems into smaller tasks, and tackling them individually.

Being surrounded by like-minded peers who face similar challenges has its magic and allows for a lot of learning through conversations and discussions of different approaches.

In kood/Jõhvi, you can study remotely or live on campus, and I choose to live on campus during the weekdays to fully immerse myself in my studies. The school facility is an excellent environment to concentrate on programming and building projects.

My progress and future plans

kood/Jõhvi offers many opportunities for students to grow and develop their skills. For instance,  participating in hackathons and other events that are organized or co-organized by the school with different companies. These events introduce students to real-life challenges that businesses are facing in their everyday business. 

Here you see Egon and his peers taking part in a cybersecurity workshop

The school’s focus on hands-on learning and the numerous opportunities for development make it a good choice for students. Especially for those who are passionate about programming and willing to work hard.

I already feel quite confident with Golang and will start learning JavaScript. In the near future, I would love to put my learnings to good use by building even more projects. Additionally, I plan to continue expanding my knowledge and skills in programming to become a well-rounded software engineer.