StartFast Code Graduate Follows His Passion for Code

David Badillo empowered himself by learning to code to help others.

After five years working for Apple as a Mac technician, David Badillo knew it was time to advance his skills to the next level.

“Working as a tech for Apple was more than just fixing computers, it was about repairing  relationships and I loved that,” said Dave. “I’d explore what brought people to the table and sought out to alleviate their tech frustrations by providing solutions.”

Still, the universe was pulling Dave in a new direction. He would scroll through the various job listings within the company and wouldn't apply. He felt he didn’t have the qualifications necessary to land web developer or programmer positions. Dave always had a passion for coding, and knew it was time to learn more so he could get fired up about the future.

Then Dave learned about StartFast Code through a friend who used to work for Apple and left to start her own company. From time to time they would catch up. Dave was always impressed by how her business was growing, and how happy she was pursuing her own course.

“In addition to starting her own business, my friend has become a solid member of the tech community in Syracuse. She knew about StartFast Code and encouraged me to go for it,” said Dave.

Dave had been working on Wordpress sites and basic CSS projects on the side, and really enjoyed it. Now, with StartFast Code, he was presented with an opportunity to learn how to enrich the lives of others on a different level by learning to code and creating amazing user experiences through web design.

“I always enjoyed the idea of coding but never really did anything about it until I heard about the program,” Dave said. “StartFast Code taught me more about how server-side/backend works, and how popular coding languages can be implemented into a management system.”

After a few months of learning CSS, HTML and Javascript, Dave knew he was on the right track. With each tutorial and each project completed, his excitement for what the future could hold expanded.

“A few months in with StartFast Code, I started to see that more opportunities were available to me.” said Dave. “Originally, I took the course to gain the in-demand skills needed to land a different position at Apple, but the thought of being out in the wild and working for myself captured me, so I decided to embark on a new path.”

One month before graduating from StartFast Code, Dave parted with Apple and started his own company - NEATify. He said it feels amazing to make a living, all the while, being aligned with his passion.

“When choosing a name for my company I thought about how people look at technology. Whether it’s Apple Pay or using a new integration, ‘It’s neat,’ is something they say,” said Dave. So NEATify is about combining the skills I learned from being an Mac technician (Apple Genius), with my passion for coding to help people create - something neat.”

Though grateful for his past experience, Dave hasn’t looked back since. Now one month after graduating from StartFast Code and leaving Apple he has a full portfolio of clients. He’s helping business owners get their web presence to where they want it to be through custom UI/UX design and educational training.

One of his projects is building a user interface for a GPS-based app similar to what Uber is doing. Another is a task manager app that gamifies tasks and habits.

“I love building sites and apps, but I’m finding the real reward is teaching someone to maintain their own site. There’s nothing like ending a session with a client who understands fully what they have in front of them and how to use it.” said Dave. “That’s why I decided to have the my landing page invoke the old saying, ‘Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.’”

Dave is one of the many success stories spawning out of StartFast Code. To date, the majority of our graduates have transitioned into high-paying roles at their current companies, landed new jobs or freelance projects, and two others in addition to Dave have started their own company.

Are you ready? StartFast Code’s next cohort begins on March 1. Learn in-demand skills and change your future with the power of code. Apply now!