If you've attended an event at our Vancouver campus, you've likely met Reinhardt! Whether it's attending a Demo Day and meetups, volunteering as a mentor, working on side projects with fellow alumni or hunting for the last slice of pizza, he's an actively adored member of our alumni community. Since graduating Bootcamp over a year ago, Reinhardt has been working as a Developer with Sycle.net while diving head first into Vancouver's tech community.


What were you doing before Lighthouse Labs?

Before Lighthouse Labs I was doing Database Admin / Analyst work which was about as exciting as herding cats. So I decided to take some time off to sort through things and figure out the next steps in my career with a little bit of travel and backcountry camping on the side.

What made you decide to come to Lighthouse Labs?

Ultimately, I decided that software had the lowest barrier to entry to a creative, tech related job and web development allowed me to make things that reach the most amount of people due to the ease of access. At the same time I was planning to do a road trip from Toronto to Vancouver.

And after some review of other teaching methods, I found the hands on work and guidance from mentors within the industry were really up my alley.

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

This past year has been a whirlwind of learning. Tried two hackathons, built a few side projects for fun and with friends. I volunteered for tech events and did a bit of mentoring as a developer to keep my skills sharp while also helping support the next generation of coders. I learned so many things working for a startup with great people and now working at a larger company with a cool new bunch of intelligent people.

How did Lighthouse prepare you for your transition from bootcamp to full-time developer with Sycle.net?

Lighthouse showed me what was possible to learn in such a short amount of time. With focus, diligence, and guidance from the smart people around you, you can learn almost anything. I am not afraid to get my hands dirty and learn things as I go and inversely, I am not afraid to ask someone to explain some concept that is beyond me.

Tell us about living in Vancouver as a Developer!

I do love the tech scene in Vancouver. Everyone is always interested in learning more. People in the community, especially startups, are really friendly and they always have thoughts to share on some new tech. I am always hearing about new things and it doesn’t take much to feel connected.

What technologies are you working with?

Currently, at work I use PHP for server-side code with the Laravel web framework and Javascript for client-side code with an Angular framework.

Personally, I enjoy building with Node.js on the server-side with the Express web framework and no preference for client-side code besides jQuery and some Jade templates of web pages.

What advice would you give someone who wants to become a developer?

I would say start today and build something small. You might be surprised at what you can learn right away just by looking for simple tutorials about things you find interesting.

Also, don’t be afraid to talk to smart people and ask them questions. Ask them about their projects and talk to them about your projects.

What's the weirdest, or most interesting part of your job?

Weirdest thing about my job is currently trying to seem like a decent human being by being social but also trying to focus on being a great developer by ignoring everything else except for the code. No but really, I feel that finding a balance between learning and doing is an ongoing experiment on focus.

Any side projects?

Currently, I am working with a friend to build out a chat platform front to back. There is much to learn about planning and developing so we learn as we go.

I also tried my hand at a Three.JS 3-Dimensional website and a nice little Post-It Note kind of app which I would like to revisit.

What’s next?

I am actually hoping to get involved with the Vancouver scene and possibly not just tech. It would be great if we could find a way to support the local businesses and strengthen our reach to make a global impact. I feel like with the right application of tech we can amplify the positive work people do.

Anything else you want to add about LHL, working with Sycle.net, the Vancouver tech scene, or working as a dev?

Just go for it.

Whatever your thing is - cough tech cough - just get your feet wet. Check out the local scene, get involved, maybe even volunteer. Talk to people and ask them questions about how they got to where they are at.

The best way to get a feel of something is to just take that first baby step. Build that first ugly website like I did and you’ll be surprised about where it might take you.