This week, I published Hadelin de Ponteves's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:

  • Hadelin traces back his entrepreneurial roots back to high-school where he already preferred to choose his own learning path. Back then, he preferably learned from books he chose and bought himself, instead of the mandatory books the school provided.
  • Studying in a French ivy-league engineering school didn't really prepare Hadelin for his entrepreneurship path. Instead, it gave him the technical background to be able to comprehend he problems he would work on after graduating. The entrepreneurship part was on him.
  • Hadelin read a LOT of books about machine learning and AI. He realized that none of them was general and complete enough to his liking. That's why he chose to write his own book and create his own courses.
  • Hadelin is a really good and efficient self-learner. When he realized this, he decided to make it his first business idea: an online education platform. But when he discovered Udemy, he decided to use that existing platform instead, pivot and focus on creating content only.
  • Hadelin is really humble about his success. One of his first entrepreneurial ideas was successful. He was at the right time, and place with the right content... and executed right as well.
  • As a director, Hadelin doesn't have much time for coding himself anymore. But what he diligently still regularly does is reading research papers on AI. This makes him happy and keeps one foot in the tech.
  • In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica debacle and the daily screwing of our private data by tech giants, I asked Hadelin for examples of fields where Data and AI actually played a positive role. His answers were image processing in healthcare, then renewable energy and transportation with self-driving cars.
  • Here's Hadelin's advice for us: trust yourself, work hard, work smart, identify your purpose.

Thanks Hadelin for sharing your story with us!

You can find the full episode and the shownotes on

Did you listen to his story?

  • What did you learn?
  • What are your personal takeaways?
  • What did you find particularly interesting?