Now that Lighthouse Labs has been around for a while, many of our alumni have approached their one-year graduation anniversary. In this new series, I'm taking some time to catch up with them and feature the amazing things they've done since coming to Lighthouse Labs!

First up, Andre Soesilo (LinkedIn) (Twitter). He graduated from our May 2014 Web cohort, and since then has been working at Axiom Zen. But I'll let him tell the story:

What was your background before LHL?

I went into LHL with three years of software development and two years of project management experience. I graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Engineering in 2008.

What made you decide to leave your previous job & come to LHL?

I just moved back from China, and was looking for a product/project management position in Vancouver. Since my previous PM experience was not directly related to software, I was having a hard time getting a job. I then helped out a friend to build the backend of an iOS game, which brought me back to developing software and I realized that my passion was still in software development. Thus, I decided to take LHL’s web development course to bring myself up-to-date with the latest technologies used in web development.

Do you have any advice for people who have a background like yours who want to launch their career as software developers?

I gained the fundamentals of software engineering from university, but that doesn’t teach you to be a hacker, who is good at developing a product in a fast-paced environment and is always ready to try out new technologies. This is what I learned from LHL. I believe having both of these skill sets is the key to being a good, successful web developer. My advice is to keep an open mind and to learn the new technologies out there.

It’s been exactly a year since you graduated Lighthouse Labs, what have you been up to?

After graduating from Lighthouse Labs, I landed a full-time job at Axiom Zen and began working on Routific. I also built an open-source time tracking app for Lighthouse Labs and I was a Lighthouse Labs TA for a short period of time after graduation.

What is it like to work for Axiom Zen?

Life at Axiom Zen has been awesome! It’s one of the best places I have ever worked. It doesn’t feel like work most of the time, because I have fun going to the office every day. Every day passes by fast because there are a lot of things to work on and to learn. Everyone on the team is also super friendly and helpful. We even hang out on weekends!

We are always trying out new frameworks. For example, one of our iOS products is built entirely in Swift and in Go language. We also have a lot of cutting-edge gadgets: Oculus Rift, Recon Jet, Google’s Project Tango, Thalmic Lab’s Myo. In summary, it’s a fun, amazing place to work.

Axiom Zen is an idea catalyst and product foundry. We build, launch, and accelerate impactful companies. We take on selective work for clients, such as Timeline, but we primarily focus on launching internal products, such as ZenHub and Routific.

What is Routific and what was your role in it?

Routific is a smart route planning tool that helps delivery businesses save time, money and up to 40% on fuel. I am a full-stack developer at Routific, and my main focus is building our new web UI product using AngularJS.

Routific UI

Where did the idea come about?

Routific is the brainchild of Marc Kuo, who wrote his thesis on advanced route optimization algorithms. Marc pitched Routific at Vancouver’s Startup Weekend in 2012 and won first place. Routific has been his passion and obsession for years now, and it's so exciting to be part of his core team.

What’s next?

We are going through a very exciting phase in Routific right now, especially since we are now being accelerated by both Axiom Zen and Techstars Chicago. It has led to a lot of coverage from publications like TechCrunch and The Next Web. I want to keep working on Routific to make it even more awesome. We have businesses all around the world that are saving time and fuel by optimizing their routes with Routific. It's so fulfilling to see how valuable Routific has become to so many business owners and fleet managers who are competing in the red-hot delivery space.

Anything else you'd like to add, either about yourself, Lighthouse Labs, or Routific?

I would like to thank Lighthouse Labs for helping me land a position at Axiom Zen. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their connections and great web development course that brought me up-to-date with the newest technology. Also, thanks to Axiom Zen and Routific for always challenging me, providing such a stimulating workplace, and giving me the opportunity to work on such a great product. I look forward to a bright future!

Want to follow in Andre's footsteps? Apply now to our web development bootcamp!