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Hack To Start
episode 93

Meng To

I design, code and write.

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

Meng To is the Founder & Author of Design + Code. Meng started off his career as a self-taught graphic designer who transitioned to digital work. Wanting to move to San Francisco to learn from some of the best designers in the world - designers who were passionate about solving problems - Meng managed to stay for a year until his visa expired and he could no longer continue to work. His dreams were crushed. With nothing left to lose, and at a crossroad in his career, he set out to travel the world. He soon decided to launch a product while on his adventure. Having started to blog about a new app called Sketch, Meng quickly settled on teaching others how to design with it, and then how to bring those same designs to life through quick prototypes using xcode. Design + Code was born. Two year later, Meng is still just as passionate about helping people learn how to implement their designs as real products and continuing to build & grow Design + Code as a full time job. He’s created several products and libraries since then - some paid, some free - to keep supporting his works and the students that have been using Design + Code. Meng joins us to share his story, what motivated him to launch Design + Code, how he grew it into a full time project, what it was like to travel for 2 years, what it’s like being a new parent, and much more!

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about Meng.
  • Learn more about how Meng taught himself to design & code.
  • Learn more about how Meng created, built, and grew Design+Code.
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Meng To is the Founder & Author of Design + Code. Meng started off his career as a self-taught graphic designer who transitioned to digital work.

Wanting to move to San Francisco to learn from some of the best designers in the world - designers who were passionate about solving problems - Meng managed to stay for a year until his visa expired and he could no longer continue to work. His dreams were crushed.

With nothing left to lose, and at a crossroad in his career, he set out to travel the world. He soon decided to launch a product while on his adventure. Having started to blog about a new app called Sketch, Meng quickly settled on teaching others how to design with it, and then how to bring those same designs to life through quick prototypes using xcode. Design + Code was born.

Two year later, Meng is still just as passionate about helping people learn how to implement their designs as real products and continuing to build & grow Design + Code as a full time job. He’s created several products and libraries since then - some paid, some free - to keep supporting his work and the students that have been using Design + Code.

Meng joins us to share his story, what motivated him to launch Design + Code, how he grew it into a full time project, what it was like to travel for 2 years, what it’s like being a new parent, and much more!


What You'll Learn In This Episode

  • How Meng taught himself to design and code
  • How he launched and grew Design + Code
  • How to travel and stay productive
  • What it's like to be a new parent and work from home.
  • And more!

Some Of The Questions We Ask

1:50
Where are you from, what did you study, and how did your passion for entrepreneurship & design develop?

2:56
How did you first teach yourself how to code? How did you get your first few design jobs?

4:25
What were some of the most interesting projects you worked on and how did it have an impact on your design career?

7:14
You’re also the founder of Design + Code, an awesome & beautiful course that helps people learn how to use Swift & xcode to design and build apps. What motivated you to start Design + Code?

11:00
How did you manage travelling & working on Design+Code? How has travelling impacted the designer you are today?

19:40
So how did you approach marketing & growth around Design+Code? What were some of the most effective channels?

23:00
You’ve also created a ton of tools & resources to support new designers/developers, including Canvas, an animations library for xcode. What drives you to create these resources?

25:30
What’s your take on designers needing to learn/know how to code? Is it necessary?

29:29
How’s the transition been for you? And how have you been able to manage a healthy work / life balance while working from home?

35:56
What are some new devices that you’ve used/purchased lately?

40:29
Any last thoughts or personal mottos that you live by that you think others should know about?


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

Twitter Handles & Websites

Meng To on Twitter
Meng To on the web
Design+Code on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

Meng's Story
Angle
Design Resources
Sketch
iPad Pro

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