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Hack To Start
Episode 8

Heather Payne

Founder of @hackeryou & @llcodedotcom. Early investor in @shoplocket.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Episode Overview

Heather Payne is the CEO of HackerYou, Canada’s original programming bootcamp and to date, the only one of dozens around North America that was founded by women. HackerYou offers Toronto’s best full- and part-time courses for people who want to learn to code. You can learn more about HackerYou’s bootcamp graduates here. Heather also operates a 7000-square foot digital literacy education facility in the heart of downtown Toronto called The Lab.

In 2011, Heather founded Ladies Learning Code, a Canadian not-for-profit organization that runs popular workshops for women (and men, and girls and boys) who want to learn computer programming and other technical skills in a social and collaborative way. Ladies Learning Code now has chapters in 19 cities across Canada and thriving programs for youth. Heather was the first investor in ShopLocket (acquired in 2014 by PCH International), and was recently named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the Trendsetters & Trailblazers category, as well as one of the Globe and Mail’s Top 12 Canadian “Innovators at Work”.

Some Of The Questions We Ask

Where are you from, what did you study and how did your passion for entrepreneurship start?

You founded Ladies Learning Code (LLC) in 2011. Three years later it has chapters in over 19 canadian cities. How did you decide to start this organization?

What are the plans for the future of Ladies Learning Code?

You’re currently running The Lab, a digital literacy facility and Hacker You which offers part-time and full-time technical courses in Toronto. How are these different from what you set out to achieve with LLC?

You’ve invested in ShopLocket (now acquired by PCH international), so what do you look for in a startup and are you planning to make more investments?

What are the challenges to being based in Toronto and building education companies?

Other than education, what industry or niche you most excited about right now?

Where do you plan to be in 10 years and what will you be doing? Any advice to people who want to get started with their own projects today?

What’s your favorite programming language and why?

What are some of your favourite apps/tools/books right now?

What You'll Learn In This Episode

  • Why Heather decided to get into coding and why she decided helping others learn was something worth pursing.
  • How sharing your ideas can be the catalyst to creating something bigger than yourself.
  • How building a tight community is essential to growth.
  • Why staying small isn't always a bad thing. Scale doesn't always mean better.
  • And more!

Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Heather Payne on Twitter
HackerYou on the Twitter
HackerYou on the Web
Ladies Learning Code on Twitter
Ladies Learning Code on the Web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Books & Apps

Google Docs
Microsoft Office For Mac

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