Learning Chinese + Taking a Craftsman’s Approach to Building Software with Daniel Nalesnik

Learning Chinese + Taking a Craftsman’s Approach to Building Software with Daniel Nalesnik

Today I’m releasing the second episode of my new podcast, Wandering, with Thenuka! The theme of the podcast is to have conversations with people that have charted unconventional life paths.

My second guest is Daniel Nalesnik, founder of HackChinese.com and one of the prolific indie creators I know.

Quick bio: Daniel Nalesnik is the founder of HackChinese.com, a platform that helps people learn Chinese quickly and efficiently. Prior to starting HackChinese, Daniel was a VP at State Street Hong Kong, a global custodian bank and before that, a financial software engineer.

In this conversation, you’ll learn about:

  • How Daniel’s two early passions in life – software engineering and Chinese – have blended together in an unusual way, culminating in the creation of HackChinese.
  • Daniel’s unorthodox approach to building a technology startup that I call the craftsman’s approach. Rather than outsourcing or delegating immediately, Daniel self-taught all of the design, software engineering, and marketing skills that he used to build HackChinese.
  • The fine details of exactly how Daniel became fluent in Mandarin Chinese, from beginner to fluent.
  • Comparisons between learning Mandarin Chinese and learning other skills like software engineering, or even French.

I’ve curated 7 clips from our 2+ hour-long conversation that you can find below.

Taking a craftsman’s approach to building software products.

Learning Chinese, becoming fluent and reflecting on the journey.

Learning Mandarin vs. learning software engineering – similarities and differences.

Self-teaching design, software engineering and marketing as a solopreneur.

Raising money vs. not raising money as a solopreneur.

Learning Mandarin vs. Learning French – similarities and differences.

The curriculum + study routine Daniel used to go from beginner to fluent Mandarin speaker.

Why you shouldn’t spend too much time learning to write in Chinese.

If you’d like to watch the full 2+ hour conversation, you can do so below! Click the title of the video to watch it on YouTube.com if you want to see the timestamps as well!

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