From student at Le Wagon to CEO at Forest Admin, a new eFounders project
Just after Le Wagon, David Verbustel has launched Forest Admin, a SaaS to help startup's CTOs instantly deploy an admin interface/back-office that’s highly flexible and requires no front-end development.
For the last 8 years, I have launched or have taken part in many web projects and I have always acted at a business or functional level. Even though, from time to time, I had to get my hands on the design, the technical level remained kind of a black box to me. On the one hand, I couldn’t exactly gauge the impact of technical constraints of a project; and on the other hand, it was impossible to me to be completely independent in building a MVP. I have always seen the web as a huge playground to express my creativity but not being able to code quickly grew has a real handicap.
How did you hear about the Fullstack program?
I was staying in Silicon Valley back in 2013, when I discovered for the first time the existence of such coding schools. It was a school called Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco and the students I met were delighted by the program; they all came from different backgrounds (accountants, biologists...) Once I got back in Europe in 2014, I read in the news that a full stack program was opening up in Paris and a bit later in Brussels.
Did you encounter any difficulties or challenges during the bootcamp?
I think the biggest challenge was to switch my mode of functioning. Because of my career background, I’m used to get the big picture first. When coding your product, you can’t have everything right in one go; you code, you test, you debug etc. You have to accept that learning comes with failing and there is no such things as decreasing your failure rate with too much upfront thinking like you would do on the market side (for marketers).
Why would you recommend Le Wagon over other similar learning programs?
What surprises me at Le Wagon is the community. If you take Ycombinator, the alumni community has a tremendous value. Whether you look for advice, coding buddies or testers for you app, you will always find people ready to help. But above all, this is the best way to get results in 2 months time. When I got back from Silicon Valley, I signed up for an online coding course but it didn’t help much improve my coding skills. You neither have the group effect, nor a coach available to answers your weirdest questions :-)
What's the best thing in Le Wagon's experience?
The workflow. Definitively. The program is split in different weeks and for each week and day there are specific objectives. We learn in 2 months what we would have learned in 2 years. From day 1, you will be stuck to your screen/seat with coding buddies. This is a unique learning experience.
What did you do immediately after the bootcamp?
I went on holidays :-) Le Wagon is so intense that I seriously needed a couple of days off to change my mind. Then, I kept coding during Summer (for fun and to keep improving my skills) and in the same time I met Sandro Munda, a developer who happens to be my co-founder today. He was working on an idea to build a ‘back-office-as-a-service’ -- a quite complex technical product -- at eFounders, a startup Studio. With Sandro, we met up a couple of times and talked about the product, its architecture and the vision. There is no doubt that the training helped me to capture quickly the technical challenges and also the potential.
What are you up to now?
In September, we decided to move forward together and I joined Sandro, the CTO, within the startup studio, as co-founder and CEO. Our SaaS, named Forest Admin, helps startup's CTOs instantly deploy an admin interface/back-office that’s highly flexible and requires no front-end development. Together, we built a strong vision: we aim to remove the startup CTO's pain of developing the admin interface at a crucial moment when he/she wants to spend more time working on product and customers. Me and my co-founder faced this problem many times. We strongly believe that we have found a solution to solve this pain. Sometimes we like to think that Forest Admin is also our way to give back to the web startup community. The dynamic is really unique and I have never enjoyed as much a new Internet venture. Despite the numerous challenges, we have already accomplished several milestones in a short time. Our app is stil private, but we already have several happy pilotes. Early 2016 will be an exciting time since we hope to make our app public.