Revealed: The Mysteries of Coding



Alumnus Joe Wadcan demystifies code

Don’t know your Ruby on Rails from your RAM? Joe Wadcan, MBA 12, plans to change that. Wadcan recently offered the first of what he hopes may become a series of classes on coding for MBA students.

A serial entrepreneur, Wadcan has learned that there are numerous advantages to being conversant—even self-reliant--when it comes to code. Wadcan, who launched the social media team for Citi as Senior VP of emerging communications, as well as a number of his own social media ventures, is currently coding for his latest venture, Calico, which is "reinventing the calendar built around social."

He returned to Haas to share what he’s learned because he wished he’d had access to such a class when he was a student. "I could have saved time and avoided mistakes," he says.

Some 30 students turned out for an initial session, offered by the Haas Entrepreneurs Association. They heard from Wadcan on the joys of never again having to beg for coding help, or at least being able to avoid sounding dumb to developers. One goal was to help students see a way forward in getting started with code. “It’s less complicated than people think,” says Wadcan. “GMAT math is sufficient for 99 percent of web apps and a CS degree is not required. Though logic and patience are.”

Gabe Cohen, MBA 13, says he’s exploring opportunities with mobile app startups that would involve collaboration with coders and wanted "to get an understanding of the language and structure." He says he might ultimately want to write his own code. “This session helped demystify the subject to the point where I think, with hard work, I could familiarize myself with coding."

Wadcan hopes to return to Haas to help with that increased familiarization and suggests that students reach out to @joewadcan to express their interest in keeping their CPU and their CSS straight.

About The Author

From 2011-2013, Valerie Gilbert focused on sharing stories of Berkeley MBA student achievements and connection to the Haas Defining Principles. At Haas since 2004 and now Associate Director of Content Marketing, she still enjoys revealing the different facets of life at Berkeley-Haas to a variety of audiences.