Original Post — Direct link

EDIT: If you're someone out there reading this that wants to work on your own side projects/ideas, head here. (Yes. I run it. Yes it's free). You could work on anything -- music, games, art, content, whatever.


Hi, I’m Farza. Today, I’m 28.

Below is a story that's a bit longer then perhaps what is usually post here.

But, I truly think it could perhaps help someone out there.

It's simply a story of a kid figuring it out.

Today I’m the founder of a tech company. We got a bunch of fancy investors, millions of people checking us out every week, stuff like that. It's pretty cool! But, journey there was all thanks to this place.

Everything started for me on this subreddit when I was 19r/leagueoflegends

This subreddit taught me how to code at 19.

This subreddit brought me over 1,000,000 users for my apps at 20.

This subreddit got my first real job as a Deep Learning Engineer at 22.

This subreddit gave me a reason to keep going.

I want to tell you my story because I know a lot of people here are in college or into tech/programing stuff, and it can be a long-winding road. I hope my story helps.

And, if you're someone that has a questions or are struggling with something right now, drop a comment/question! Happy to help.

"FML. I hate this major..."

In 2014 I was just another 18 year-old computer science student.

I picked computer science kinda randomly. I wasn’t sure if I’d be into it. I wasn’t that 12 year-old programming prodigy. Or that kid that had been making Minecraft servers since 14.

But, I truly loved making stuff on computers — editing videos on After Effects, making beats on Audacity, messing around with Unreal Engine, selling stuff on eBay, stuff like that.

So, I picked CS as my major.

Reality was tough though. I sucked at all aspects of programming. If you asked me to make a “for loop” I would have to literally google it every time. Everyone around me felt like a natural. I could barely do the most simple things.

I was lost, depressed, unsure of everything.

"League is cool though..."

But I knew one thing — I loved playing League. I even started the League club at my school and I was that kid that was literally always wearing League merch. My love for the the game was almost irrational.

Here I am repping my League merch back in the day.

So, I thought...

“Hey. Let me combine my two interests — computers/making stuff and League”.

So, I started thinking about making stuff for League players.

"I got an idea".

When playing League me and my friends would always listen to music.

So i got fired up about my first idea to build.

A website that would let League players listen to playlists built for specific champions. I was already doing this with my friends as a meme.

Ex. if I was playing Fiddlesticks — I would have a special playlist that “felt” like Fiddlestick’s energy with spooky halloween music, dark techno, stuff like that.

There were people who were already doing this with Spotify playlists, but, a lot of my friends didn’t have Spotify at the time so I wanted it as a stand-alone website.

I got obsessed with making the idea, and a miracle happened — I got obsessed with programming. I learned Javascript, learned how to make my first website, learned to use an API, learned to deploy a website — all in a few months.

I had support for about 30 champions on the site.

I thought okay, “that’s good enough!”

"Holy sh*t I have over 1M users"

I released it on this subreddit and got over 2800 upvotes.

I was so excited. I had hundreds of people hitting the site. Butttt, the site kept crashing. So, the post ended up dying.

But I was fired up — “Holy sh*t! I made a custom web app. All by myself. And, I had hundreds of people from around the world using it!!” I was over the moon.

I went back to the drawing board, redesigned the site/architecture, got two of my buddies to help me making playlists for the rest of the champions and launched it again.

I post it here, it blows up to 19,000 upvotes.

Over the year, it ends up getting over 1M users.

And over 100,000 people would continue using the site regularly. This massively improves my programming skills because I was getting stuff to people at scale! It wasn’t on localhost anymore.

After this, I continue making stuff + posting it on this subreddit.

"I'm getting the hang of this..."

Things continue spiraling as I build cool sh*t related to League of Legends.

  • At 21 I get into Deep Learning and build a training set + algorithm to analyze League of Legends with AI ends up getting used by TSM and other teams in the LCS. Here's the Reddit post.
  • At 22 I got to present it at Google. Here's the Reddit post.
  • This ends up getting me my first real job at 22, where I get flown out to San Francisco to work at Mayhem (backed by Y-Combinator) where I trained models for our AI coach for people that played games. Ends up getting acquired by Niantic.
  • At 23 I join another company as CTO where we built a Chrome Extension that used AI to help you find the perfect League stream to watch based on the champions you wanted to watch. I leave the company at 24, but, a year later this ends up getting acquired by Riot Games. Here's the Reddit post.
  • At 24 I end up starting the company I’m at right now — buildspace, a place where people can work on their own ideas. Any idea. From tech, to art, to content, whatever. I wanted to take my learnings and make a company out of it for anyone that wanted to work on their dreams. It's free + remote. Applying takes 60s.

I wanted to tell this story for two reasons:

One — because I want to help people that want to work on their own ideas. And if you’re someone out there reading this with a dream, comment below and lmk! Could be anything. And if you got a quesation lmk. Happy to help. Can also go to buildspace at link above!

Two — because, this subreddit has helped me out so much in the last 10-years. Always supporting my random projects. Always giving me the fire to keep going. So for that I wanna say thank you. And, if you’re someone in a dark place unsure about it all, I hope this story helped.

Keep following your passions.

You will figure it out. In your own way. Promise.

Thanks again, r/leagueoflegends :)

p.s: feel free to connect with me on Twitter!

External link →
about 2 months ago - /u/spawndog - Direct link

Thankyou Farza. Maybe similar? I grew up on a rural isolated farm in Australia. I had an early passion to want to make video games and (record scratch) now the tech lead for League of Legends. I'd recommend following your passions, empathise and be inspired by the people who are different to you and always always be humbled by the amount of knowledge you do not have