Meet Ash 👋. They’re one half of one of the hardcore outfit Minimal Violence, and have been working in the music and arts scene for over a decade. We spoke with Ask about their decision to join our coding bootcamp in Berlin, what it’s like to be a creative in the world of Web Development, and about the surprises you can find living in Berlin during lockdown.
Hi Ash! Thanks for talking to us! 😎 Tell us a little about your educational and professional background?
I have been working in the arts and music industry for over 10 years. Most recently the focus has been on my work as a Producer with my project Minimal Violence but prior to moving to Berlin I was very involved in the Vancouver cultural scene for many years as an events organizer.
We’re fans of your music! As a creative, what is it about Web Development that you find appealing?
I feel like Web Development is really just another creative tool. Since taking the course I’ve found myself just as excited to learn new skills and build personal Web based projects as I am about music. Not to say that the two are mutually exclusive, most of what I have learned and am working on is all interconnected and an extension of my creative output through music.
You took the course in Berlin, tell us a little about the city and what you love about it?
Berlin is really a special place. I love it for all the reasons I didn’t even expect. As an electronic music producer I moved here to be closer to the club scene but shortly after moving here everything shut down so I began to find new things to love in Berlin. The fact that you are never more that 30 minutes from a lake in the summer it definitely a number 1, the galleries are a non-stop source of inspiration (Julia Stoschek collection is a favourite), Sunday morning running clubs ( the new after-hours!), and the overall energy of the city.
Why did you choose to study at Spiced? What made the course stand out?
I looked through a lot of different courses and spoke with a few schools before deciding on Spiced. Spiced stood out as it felt less rigid in its presentation than other programs, appealing to a more diverse range of students from all different educational backgrounds. For someone coming from an artistic background it felt
like the right choice and my experience in the program affirmed that decision.
You were part of a cohort that was affected by the coronavirus restrictions. Tell us a bit about how that was? Do you have tips for future students?
Honestly I was surprised on how well things went as a fully zoom based course. Of course I would have loved to have met my cohort and teachers in person (and hopefully we will one day once things reopen!) but it was also nice to just roll out of bed and start coding.
One important tip for anyone going through future online cohorts is to remember that you are not alone and you can always reach out to your classmates and teachers, so often I felt like the only one who didn’t understand something but then after reaching out realised that others were struggling with the same problem I was.
What was the most challenging aspect of the course?
The speed of the course was definitely a challenge. Whenever I felt like I grasped one thing we were on to the next, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to fully understand everything right away. Eventually it all comes together and the bits that were challenging at first are revisited in a more practical context.
What was your favourite aspect of the course?
Final projects, I felt like this was the point in the course where it all came together for me. Putting what I had learned together in a self directed project put everything into a functional context, things that felt very abstract before suddenly when put into practice made complete sense.
What were your instructors like?
They were great, and much different than I expected. Just like the cohort, all of the instructors came from different backgrounds, some from academia and even one from a similar music background to me which really affirmed that I made the right choice 🙂
Do you have any insights for anyone thinking to study Web Development?
You will be amazed at what you can learn in such a short period of time. Also don’t be too hard on yourself. The most important thing I was told by one of my
instructors during the course was that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, rather you should measure your progress based on where you were at 2 weeks before.
Do you have any words of advice for our upcoming graduates about the Bootcamp experience more generally?
Take a moment to breathe after it’s all done, close your computer for a day or two and go outside 🙂
Do you have any projects in mind that could bring together music and web development?
I’m particularly interested in the creation new spaces for musicians to share work outside of the existing corporate structures.
My final project was a social network focused on connecting artists and musicians. I have been closely following the rise of NFTs and the exclusion of musicians from this platform, the projects aim is to help bridge that gap and create a space with the intent of connecting musicians to artists for those collaborations and beyond. Would love to hopefully get this opportunity to see this through into a fully realized project.
Thanks for your time, Ash!
(Photo credit George Nebieridze)