About Me

Calix Huang - Headshot
Silicon Valley

Hey there! My name is Calix, and I'm a self-taught startup engineer, with a focus on full-stack web development. I believe in learning by doing, so I try to model my projects around useful ideas that can be deployed to users around the globe. My skills in full-stack development allow me to take a project from an idea to a product!

I'm currently building 1Academy with my epic co-founder Michael Ye, so be sure to check it out!

Full-stack Dev. Web/UI Design Product Management Entrepreneurship Public Speaking

My Path

  • My Start in CS!

    September, 2018

    I had my start in CS back in September 2018, with a huge interest in ethical hacking and penetration testing, and learned a lot of concepts on my own from online courses! I was obssessed with network & website hacking, and I specifically found social engineering super interesting, with everything about trojan horses and payloads.

  • Started Programming

    December, 2018

    I had heard from an instructor that Python was considered the 'hacker's language', so I figured I'd check it out. I took huge interest in it, and started learning the basics of programming!

  • Transfer into DS/ML/AI

    Feburary, 2019

    After learning a couple of programming languages and making some small projects in Python, I wanted to niche down on something. I found that Python was super versatile in the developer world, and that using it for data science and machine learning was a HUGE niche, so I decided to get into that!

  • First Hackathon!

    June, 2019

    Before this, I had never even heard of a hackathon. My friend was organizing a hackathon at the time, and he invited me to it and told me it'd be fun. I decided to attend and see what it was like. It wasn't smooth by any means - my team sucked and I couldn't even work with them, so I ended up just building something on my own. I built a facial recognition program in Python and OpenCV, but it didn't abide by the themes of the hackathon, so I received a honorable mention, but this was just the start in my hackathon journey!

  • Shift into Web Development

    June, 2019

    I eventually got really tired of the theoretical complexities of ML/AI. I was trying my best, and fully understood basic data analysis, engineering, visualization, and manipulation, but just didn't have enough mathematical knowledge to truly understand certain algorithms and models. I checked out a backend web development course in Django, and immediately fell in love with the simplicity and straightforwardness of the niche, and sunk my teeth into it :)

  • First Initiative!

    July, 2019

    Around this time, I had started my first ever initiative in CS! It was a nonprofit called HackSpace, and it was a team of HS developers helping other nonprofits with development work and building software apps they requested when they didn't have the funds to outsource it.

  • First Hackathon Victory!

    November, 2019

    After attending more than 10 hackathons, I got sick of losing. I had been competing in high school hackathons, inter-collegiate hackathons, and even adult-level hackathons, competing against industry professionals from FANG companies! I attended Atoms&Bits and finally won my first hackathon with my team building Ano.js, a project that I continued long after the hackathon ended.

  • First Internship!

    November, 2019

    Around this time, I had wanted to get an internship, so I had been applying to a bunch of internships online. After over ~100 applications and 3 rejected interviews, I landed my first internship as a SWE intern at Apollo DAE Inc!

  • First part-time job!

    December, 2019

    I was with my mom at the bank staying inside the car, and I looked across the street and saw a building called 'Codeninjas'. I was curious what it was, so I called them and they didn't pick up. I later found that they were hiring for tutors, and before I knew it, I had gotten my first paid job ever!

  • Built more projects

    January, 2020

    Even with new internships and jobs, it didn't stop me from building projects and growing my portfolio. I built a lot of projects like GroceryMeals, GroceryPricerAPI, SelectiveChat, HackCollab, SAPI, and continued Ano.js to make it even bigger!

  • More Internships

    March, 2020

    For my second round of internships, I reached out to old companies that ghosted me, as well as new companies! I was lucky enough to interview and get hired as a SWE intern at Livestockcity and Restvo!

  • Joined CVT

    April, 2020

    I had been invited to a Discord server by an Ano.js open source contributor, who I later found to be the co-founder of CVT! I joined the community and didn't do anything until May, when I was prompted to lead the development of the main website, where I took up the offer and slowly climbed through the ranks!

  • Launch Tech LLC is born!

    May, 2020

    My parents had wanted me to get an LLC corporation that I could store my projects underneath for legal protection, because around now was when people start using them. But, I knew I wanted to do something more with this LLC, and decided to start Launch Tech LLC, later rebranded to Ortexo, and started to grow the user base on the applications I was building to hundreds of users!

  • Joined first fellowship - urspace labs 2020

    June, 2020

    Around March, I applied for a bunch of summer programs such as LaunchX, Leangap, Bluestamp Engineering, and ended up getting into all of them! The only thing was, the tuition was way too expensive. So, I pivoted into fellowships and applied for fellowships from MLH, CodeDay, and urspace labs. I was rejected from all of them except urspace labs, so I joined and do not regret it one bit!

  • Co-founded EdTube

    August, 2020

    I had begun reaching out and growing my network on LinkedIn. I was watching a YouTube video by Sigil Wen and he mentioned someone named Michael Ye. He had built a $3k/month business when he was just 14 years old in the hacking community. He sounded so awesome so I connected with him and we started to talk! He eventually pitched the idea of EdTube, and we decided at that moment to work on it together and turn it into a company!

  • Ortexo Acquired by NovaCrypt!

    September, 2020

    After 5 months of building, growing, and branding Ortexo, it had finally come time to figure out our next steps, and acquisition made the most sense in terms of an exit strategy. Though I cannot share the details of the acquisition, we closed a paid acquisition deal with NovaCrypt on September 25, 2020, and I couldn't be happier with the turnout!

Accomplishments

2019

  • Learned the basics of programming and building projects
  • Grew my network and community through LinkedIn and joining online communities like Hack Club and Techmasters
  • Grew my local, in-person network by joining clubs and volunteering
  • Grew my self-discipline and self-study skills
  • Made a name for myself within my local programming community
  • Placed 2nd with my team at CCIC (California Cyber Innovation Challenge), a state-wide cybersecurity competition
  • Attended 10+ hackathons
  • Won my first-ever hackathon, and placed in a couple others
  • Was invited into an early-stage startup as a UI/UX developer
  • Jumpstarted my professional career by landing my first 2 internships and my first ever part-time job
  • Created larger-scale and more complex projects towards the end of 2019
  • Pushed myself outside my comfort zone to build my social skills and public speaking skills
  • Began speaking at nonprofits as a volunteer to audiences of 50-100
2020

  • Learned many valuable skills from internships and self-study
  • Enabling myself to learn new technologies/frameworks just by reading documentation without tutorials
  • Was again invited into an early-stage project with potential to be a startup
  • Finished my first 4 internships
  • Maintained contact with a potential employer over the course of 6 months after ghosting, and landed the initial opportunity I wanted
  • Landed 4 more internships within the first 3 months of 2020
  • Spoke and mentored at many different hackathons
  • Accepted into LaunchX, Leangap, and Bluestamp Engineering with an average acceptance rate of around 10-15%
  • Built up the courage to quit my first internship
  • Started producing quality content for high school students in SWE on LinkedIn
  • Offered executive positions in nonprofit organizations and companies (that I turned down)
  • Was able to be a judge for multiple high school hackathons
  • Started my first company
  • Joined a huge intercollegiate nonprofit organization as a normal developer and was promoted to a director
  • Accepted into a collegiate/graduate level fellowship based on product design/development
  • Co-founded my first lean tech startup in educational technology
  • Got my first ever company acquired!

Failures

2019

  • Failed at learning ML/AI, JS frameworks, and mobile app development
  • Applied to 120+ internships, got rejected/ghosted by ~110, and got rejected by 3 after an interview
  • Failed to complete a take-home exercise from an internship employer and was rejected as a candidate
  • Founded, maintained, and ultimately failed my first attempt at a high-school run nonprofit
  • Founded my first team within a nonprofit and failed to lead it
  • Failed at jumpstarting my freelancing career
  • Failed to support and help my Cyberpatriot team get past state qualifiers into the national round
  • Failed to start a YouTube channel
  • Failed to place Top 10 in the AWS Summit Deepracing competition 2019 (placed #19)
  • Worked my ass off to get an IT internship and failed
  • Failed to maintain my dedication to my responsibilities at a certain nonprofit organization
  • Faced loneliness throughout the year due to lack of social interaction and social skills
  • Faced a short-term identity crisis
  • Struggled with interval burnout from intense studying
  • Failed to monetize my projects
  • Failed to sponsor other hackathons with HackCollab as an organizations software in place of Shawee
  • Failed to follow-through and continue on the startups I was invited into
2020

  • Applied to ~50 internships, rejected/ghosted by 40, rejected after further review by 5
  • Failed to keep up with the competition at Google Code-in 2019
  • Had to dropout of LAHacks Virtual 2020
  • Performed terribly in several hackathons in March/April
  • Failed at organized an event with different nonprofits/companies as guest speakers
  • Failed to do anything useful with most the projects I built
  • Rejected from multiple officer positions I applied and interviewed for
  • Rejected from MLH Fellowship opportunity
  • Rejected from CodeDay Labs Fellowship: Advanced Track
  • Rejected from multiple HS-run nonprofit organizations
  • Had to quit 3 internships due to time commitments and burnout
  • Failed to brand myself properly on social media
  • Recruited people into Launch Tech that later stabbed me in the back
  • Completed an internship that was inaccessible due to COVID
  • Failed to build and startup a few ideas that I had for projects