Nursultan Askarbekuly

Nursultan is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. At his 26 he has already worked in the national companies, including KazPost. The Astana resident is the author of Joode, the app that helps to learn Arabic alphabet. You can find it in the AppStore. In the summer of 2017 — thanks to the grant of Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation — Nursultan spent 8 glorious weeks in Silicon Valley, where he honed his skills in mobile apps development. The guy was taught everything — from programming and design to making the product ready for the AppStore.

When did your interest in IT development appear?
Since I started play computer games. I used to spend hours in front of the monitor. Upon graduation the school, I was lucky to go to study computer sciences in Britain under the “Bolashak” grant. There we were taught the basics: math, algorithms, data structures, and of course, programming. Starting with a summer nFactorial mobile development incubator, that happened in 2016, I dove into the apps development fully. I still remember that summer with joy because they taught us the magic: to take an idea and bring it to life in a matter of days. Also there I evaluated the knowledge that I got at the University.

How did you win the Foundation’s grant?
I applied for the competition nFactorial Challenge and won it. The Foundation financed the study at Silicon Valley for three of the winners, including me. And not just anywhere, but in one of the best schools of its kind in the world — Make School.

What were you doing at the study?
The whole program lasted for 8 weeks. In the summer academy I continued studying iOS development. Along with me, another 80 guys from different countries of the world have been studied. The school itself is located in the heart of San Francisco, the main city in Silicon Valley. Our goal was to take a look at mobile development, as a process: from idea to finished product, available for download and use. The study was interesting. The first 3 weeks we created clones of popular mobile games and apps (Timberman, Instagram and Angry Birds). Then we had to build a pilot project in order to understand the sequence of actions while creating own product. Another month had gone for work on our own projects. The culmination of the program was the Demo Day where all participants presented their projects to the guests. Besides all those, we had lectures and presentations on different stages of project development, i.e. design, analytics and marketing the apps and games.

Nursultan, what have you achieved at the study?
First, I improve the quality of my Joode app: an educational application that allows the user to learn the Arabic alphabet in 2 hours. In addition, thanks to the help of the Foundation’s trustee – Eldar Akhmetgaliyev, I was able to pass a job interview in 5 startups of the Valley, and even signed a contract with one of them — NextPlay Inc. At the moment I develop for them the application Ellen.ai that allows large companies to train their employees and to find them mentors. Now I am working remotely from Astana. And secondly, I’ve been to the States, looked, what are the people there and the way they live. I travelled around the San Francisco Bay. So many different people from all over the world live and work there, but all have something in common – simplicity, openness and friendliness. I think the trip changed me for the better as a person.

What’s next?
I need to know more and understand better my field. There are so many directions in it, and they are intertwined. This is the conclusion I came to. So I want to learn the basics of building a business, working with user and with other companies, the principles of development and design and much more. And I’m interested in the field so far, and I think over time I will start to go deep and specialize. My big goal is to unite the team and to start own business, they are just plans so far. In the near future I have two tasks: to bring as many benefits to startup that I work for, and, of course, to continue the development of my application Joode.

16.01.18, Success stories

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