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My Work Experience at Acorn Aspirations

On Wednesday and Friday last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to do work experience with Acorn Aspirations.


On Wednesday, we were at Wayra, a collaborative workspace for start-ups. It turned out to be really cool and modern. I had a pass to beep in and out when I was around the building -even just to go to the toilets! There was also an interesting pod for people to power sleep in! We were in the café, where we set up and got going. While I was trying to connect to the Wi-Fi, we were joined by Arion, Kirsty and Snezana, 4 other teens doing work experience.

My first challenge was to create an Alexa workshop for the upcoming AI hackathon. Alexa is the personal assistant on the Amazon Echo and you can program it to do whatever you want! I created a random number facts skill that uses an API to get facts from a database. This is what I am teaching to create.  This workshop will be presented at the upcoming AI hack. By the time I had finished that, it was time for lunch. Elena booked a meeting room for the afternoon, so that I could test my Alexa workshop and so that Snezana could do her growth hacking workshop. During that, I learned quite a lot about giving workshops and growth hacking too!

After we had finished that workshop, we got back to the café and started brainstorming. We came up with an idea for a social site for young coders to connect and also an academy, where young coders could learn. We soon discovered that @codeluca & @peterthehe had made something similar in the past, but this time it was going to be an actual product available for use. We created a team and started discussing it.

To finish all of this off, we were joined by Priscilla Power, blogger and magazine editor. She gave us an interesting workshop about blogging and then we all just had a chat about entrepreneurship and our future aspirations.

It was a great day and I couldn’t wait for what Friday would bring.


On Friday, it was a bit more relaxed. This time, we were at Trident Business Centre in Tooting. We started off the morning in the café, but after a while, we moved to an office, because of more Wi-Fi troubles. After that, Snezana joined us and we started working.

My first challenge was to try and create a chatbot. On Wednesday Arion tried to do this, but ran into an error. And as you may be able to guess, I ran into the exact same error. We tried to find some tutorials, but it didn’t really work out.
I started to move onto some admin work, by linking the Acorn blog to Medium (If you’re reading this on Medium, it’s because of me 🙂 ). That was only small work, so I started to help Snezana create a landing page for the app she is developing, Gramer.

Overall, I really enjoyed doing this work experience, as it gave me an insight into how start-ups work and the exciting work they do, but also the business side of things. I hope I’ll be able to do work experience again sometime.


- Arun Pattni

Teen who codes.

Twitter: @ArunPattni 

Github: Arun Pattni




Also published on Medium.

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