#45: Kenny Tran – 19-year old who completed App Academy & Hack Reactor and skipped college to become an Engineer

Kenny Tran is a passionate writer and coder. He chose to forego college and instead pursued his personal projects and his love of writing. After reading a post on Hacker News about App Academy, he decided to apply and learn how to code, joining the first Ruby on Rails cohort. He also attended Hack Reactor and built a cool project, PurifyCSS, that went viral on GitHub and Hacker News.

He eventually joined Mesosphere, an infrastructure startup, serving as a front end engineer but is soon leaving this job in order to focus more on his upcoming personal projects.

In this episode, Kenny talks more about his bootcamp journey, his job search experience, the life lessons he learned along the way, and the awesome projects he created.


Years in Tech2
Born InLos Angeles, LA
Current JobSoftware Engineer
Date Recorded7/17/2016

Contact Info:

Kenny Tran

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennylt/

Email: kenny8tran@gmail.com

Twitter: @__klt

Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources


Telegraph Academy

App Academemy

Hack Reactor Remote

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Personal Projects/Partnerships:



Effective Altruism

Show Notes:

[01:30] Kenny talks about his love of writing, forgoing college, working various jobs, and joining App Academy

[03:22] The importance of having fast feedback loops, why he pursued coding as a career, and the best thing about joining a coding bootcamp

[06:45] The reaction Kenny got from his mom when he enrolled to App Academy and the lesson he learned out of living in a $250 apartment

[09:26] Why Kenny considers joining App Academy as one of the hardest things he ever did in his life

[11:10] Kenny talks about a project he created for App Academy that got rejected and another project he created called Flixdeck.

[15:35] Kenny talks about going to Hack Reactor’s remote program, what motivated him to apply, and how it’s similar to their on-site curriculum

[18:23] Another project he created is PurifyCSS which got viral on GitHub. Find out more about the cool thing it does.

[20:22] Kenny narrates his job search experience following Hack Reactor. and his next step after getting rejections until landing a job at Mesosphere.

[26:00] Why Kenny thinks he is above average and what’s next for him now that he’s leaving Mesosphere

[30:50] Kenny differentiates college vs coding bootcamps

[34:55] The power of practice to get better everyday and the importance of focusing on the fundamentals

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