Wes Bos founder of wesbos.com

Wes is a Canadian computer programming teacher who has taught hundreds of thousands of students through his online courses. I have been a fan of his for years as his free courses helped me pass my web development classes in college. I could not find an image of him with full usage rights hence the coding photo but you can find out more about Wes here and you can listen to a more in depth origin story here on his web developer Podcast, Syntax.

One might not think of Wes as a traditional founder like most of the tech founders listed, since his business has not become some huge organizational system and many of you have probably not heard of his website before. Nevertheless, I think Wes is an excellent example of a passionate founder who committed to an educational venture he is passionate about and has achieved incredible success. I chose to share Wes because I think his business is a good example of how educational ventures can come in many forms beyond starting a tech company and seeking investment.

I am including a paraphrased version of his origin story here because I find it relatable and inspirational, but also have a short summary at the end.

Wes has been building websites for 20 years, and explains in the podcast episode on his origin story that he first began freelancing while in University at Ryerson studying technology management. His freelance web development business was beginning to do well and he got permission from his instructors to complete his co-op by working for himself. He attained a new business grant from the government and purchased a new computer and began to focus on his business with laser focus. It was in this period that he created a site called dealpage.ca since he loved using deals from websites like Groupon to save money, but hated having to scan through all of the different sites to find deals. The website was a PHP script that would scan and compile deals from all the major online coupon sites. After publicly publishing the website for others to use, he began to receive affiliate credits or money from the coupon sites for the traffic he was generating them. After about a year, he had thousands of dollars in credits and a friend recommended that they rebuild the site properly and extend it to other major cities. The website ultimately was abandoned as daily deal sites began to lose popularity, but the venture proved to be a critical learning opportunity and pushed Wes to become a much better developer.

As his experience and knowledge grew, he found that what he enjoyed the most was helping others starting out to learn how to code. He was offered a position teaching for Ladies Learning Code and began forming his engaging teaching style, learning from students where they were commonly getting stuck and coming up with ways to explain complex seeming concepts. Wes then co-developed a coding bootcamp called HackerYou (now Juno College) and after writing some blog posts was approached by publishers about writing a technical book. During the process of trying to write the book, Wes discovered how difficult it was to explain programming concepts through text and experimented with making educational videos instead, ultimately learning that he much preferred teaching through video and began publishing more videos online.

After creating two online courses which became very popular, Wes began moving away from freelancing to focus on his online teaching. A critical milestone was when Wes created a free 30 day Javascript challenge course, “Javacript30” which has had over 369,000 students at the time of writing. The course launched Wes into a place where he was able to focus on his teaching practice with a massively expanded audience. Javascript 30 continues to expose new students to his engaging and approachable teaching style who go on to purchase many of his premium courses.

Wesbos.com is an educational website founded by Wes Bos which specializes in teaching programming languages to students through free and paid video courses. Free courses, social media channels, and his podcast, Syntax, all contribute as marketing channels which Wes leverages to acquire new students. Wes provides helpful and valuable free content which allows learners to test drive him as a teacher. After deciding that they like, trust, and can benefit from his products, fans and followers go on to purchase his premium courses.

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One response to “Wes Bos founder of wesbos.com”

  1. Grant MacLeod

    Although I have not heard of Wes Bos, it sounds like he has worked very hard to be where he is today. From what I have read, to me he would represent a strong role model for young entrepreneurs. The fact the he dabbled in a couple different types of website businesses but then finally transitioned to something that he was more passionate about is a good story. He did not give up, but adapted to the market which has seemed to work out in his favor. I am not currently a coder, but if I wanted to try to learn coding his programs sound very intriguing. I like that he has the teaching experience to back up what he offers. Also being able to try free courses and tutorials is a great way to attract new customers.

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