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Testimonials

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Testimonials

  1. 1. Iskender Piyale-Sheard Hacker Paradise Testimonials July 2015 - July 2016
  2. 2. JESSE NORTON Creative Director - Flibl QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? When I met Izzy he had the unenviable task of coordinating a ragtag assortment of 40 digital nomads working on projects as disparate as machine learning research, digital marketing, online gambling algorithms, blockchain-based video streaming and novel writing. No matter the topic, Izzy has an uncanny ability to inject infectious positivity and provide practical, solutions-based thinking. His exceptional interpersonal skills were demonstrated constantly throughout the trip as he seamlessly tuned into each participant’s unique visions and brought them together to form a cohesive community. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Izzy is one of those rare personalities who is able to foster communities and elevate projects effortlessly. He leads by example to set a tone professionalism, collaboration and enthusiasm in all projects that come his way. Possessing both a broad understanding of best practices and a keen analytical mind means that Izzy is extremely flexible in his approach to managing groups, while always ensuring that teams are working effectively towards their goals. Most of all Izzy is outstanding in his ability to motivate, focus and inspire individuals with his indefatigable dedication to providing perspective, insight and vision. So if you're looking to hire somebody dependable, approachable and inspiring consider yourself lucky if Izzy applies - he's as cool as cucumber and as awesome as a stegosaurus with laser beams attached to its head.
  3. 3. HEIDI PRIEBE Writer - Thought Catalog QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy went well out of his way at Hacker Paradise to ensure that everyone was comfortable, content and engaged with the rest of the group. What could have been nothing more than a group of coworkers turned into a family - one who ate, worked, traveled and explored together. Anyone in the group would be quick to tell you that this was Izzy's doing. From planning weekend trips to spurring group discussions to connecting one-on-one with each member to make sure things were running smoothly for them, Izzy's presence was the consistent glue that held the team together. He was there to smooth over any conflict, to organize every event and to individually encourage each Hacker Paradise member to push themselves both professionally and personally throughout their time with the group. When I was struggling professionally, Izzy took the time out of his schedule to brainstorm ideas one-on-one with me. When group members experienced personal challenges, Izzy was the first one to check in with them and ensure they felt heard and cared for. And when anyone was even remotely bored, Izzy was there to pump up the energy level and get everyone excited about the next adventure! If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a single ex-participant of Hacker Paradise who does not consider Izzy to be a friend. And this speaks volumes when you pause to consider the amount of time Izzy also had to invest in keeping things running smoothly from behind the scenes at HP. I'm not sure I've ever met someone who works so hard and so efficiently at both the technical and personal aspects of maintaining a community. Izzy didn't just go above and beyond when it was needed at Hacker Paradise - he went above and beyond every single day, without ever being asked to do so. Hiring Izzy means hiring someone who is more than prepared to bring every skill they have to the table - from resolving conflicts to managing crises to confidently completing the administrative tasks that others balk at. Izzy throws 110% of himself into every job he does, which he displayed time and time again during his role at Hacker Paradise.
  4. 4. CREIGHTON WONG Founder Chefmetric. Founder Bomnipotent QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy is an incredible human being. He is a great leader with an other worldly positive attitude which permeated our group. Izzy was our leader - he facilitated all our group activities, planned all of our adventures through Vietnam and Bali, made sure that each of us was taken care of. Happy to call him my friend! If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Because Izzy is awesome! You can put a check in the boxes next to tireless worker, incredibly positive, wonderful leader, very organized, extremely caring etc. etc. Izzy certainly possess all the skills you look for to fulfill a community / event management position, however, I must impress upon you that Izzy is a special human being.
  5. 5. JESSICA DUHADWAY Technical Manager - iFit QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy stood out right away as an optimistic and mood lifter within the group. He brought energy and life with him to the meetings and events that Hacker Paradise put on as well as events outside of that. It was very welcoming the way that Izzy knew a bit of who you were before starting the trip but then just the first week he reached out to everyone individually to get to know them and made sure people were comfortable and settling in nicely. Izzy impressed as he ran to resolve different situations that came up. Up late with those that were working the night shift, Izzy was able to put together a hot spot quickly when the Internet died allowing everyone to continue working until the Internet came back online. Overall Izzy was one who looked out for those in the program. He wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable and involved. He keep provided a constant source of energy and life. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? You should hire Izzy because he is a competent, optimistic, go getter person who gets things done.
  6. 6. HENRY SNOW Organizer @ Create Abroad QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Do you know how practical Izzy is? When we were working together at Hacker Paradise, Izzy always had practical and efficient solutions to problems. It doesn’t matter if it was something complex, like establishing a wi-fi network for thirty developers. Or something simple, like fixing a door. Izzy always found an innovative answer. He thinks outside the box. Back to the door example, there was a housing problem for several participants where we had to lock an "un-lockable" door between two rooms. I was thinking we should get a lock and begin drilling the door handle, a task that would take an hour or more. Do you know what Izzy did? He got a screwdriver and went to the co-working space to take out some screws from a table. Then, he screwed them into the "un-lockable" door. Problem solved, and it only took five minutes. Now, imagine this kind of thinking applied to everything. That is Izzy. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Why should you hire Izzy? Because he's: - Happy with a contagious personality: No matter how sleep-deprived, stressed, or exhausted Izzy gets (traveling full-time isn't all flowers and rainbows), he’s always a pleasure to be around. He radiates positivity. Izzy doesn’t conform to norms that he doesn’t believe in. He’s a leader, not a follower. - Resourceful: I cannot stress this enough. Izzy is, by far, the most resourceful person I’ve ever met. When Izzy heard about my new venture, he reached out for a Skype call. During the conversation, he gave me actionable, practical, and exceptionally useful advice. He loves helping people. There’s a reason he’s built such a large and supportive network. - In touch with both EQ and IQ: Izzy understands the analytical side of things just as much as the human side. Speak to him for only five minutes and you'll understand why. Izzy is an all-around awesome person. :)
  7. 7. ALLISON VICENZI Head of Education - 3Doodler Founder - material nyc (in beta) QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? From the moment I was accepted into HP until the moment I arrived, Izzy was there to answer all of my questions and also to check in and make sure I was all set before coming. He had prepared numerous resources and documents ahead of time to ensure a smooth arrival, but even when I asked a question that he had so clearly answered in these documents he didn't get frustrated and instead answered everything calmly and clearly again. Once I was there, I was impressed with Izzy's ability to rally the group for events and internal brainstorms. Regarding all of the things I had in mind for my time at HP, Izzy went above and beyond to execute. He also has a knack for learning local languages and customs, and teaching others too. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Izzy brings a positive attitude to everything he is part of and is a natural at dealing with difficult people and situations, which are inevitable at every company. He genuinely loves to be useful to people, which I've found to be a unique and refreshing characteristic and one I found myself trying to embody more after learning from Izzy's example. His ability to adapt to different environments is commendable.
  8. 8. KEVIN CRIMI Android Engineer - Wink QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? I can't think of anyone better suited for the job. Izzy is basically a box of concentrated fun and smiles squashed into a very explosive package. Intimidated by strangers nor language barriers, I've seen Izzy transform uninterested crowds into raging dance parties on multiple occasions, becoming the best friend of literally everyone in the building, whether they could understand anything he said or not. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? If you want a fun, friendly community, there is no one who does it better and more instinctually than Izzy.
  9. 9. AKHIL VERGHESE AI Engineer at Butter.ai QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? I met Izzy on my first day of the Hacker Paradise get-away at Bali. He was lugging an enormous can of water up some stairs, but set it aside to welcome me to the group before proceeding to accompany me to my room with said can, presumably to make sure I didn't get lost along the hotel's only corridor. As a community manager, he always managed to provide exactly the sort of energy a group or person needed at a given time. Sometimes that meant getting us excited and ready to explore a small town in search of food after sitting in a van for hours, and sometimes it meant remaining calm and responding respectfully to an ill-tempered woman berating him about our group being too large and finishing all the food at the hotel's breakfast. As a trip facilitator, every aspect of my stay with Hacker Paradise in Bali and Chiang Mai was well taken care of, and I don't remember a single hiccup in the arrangements. I've also been on a couple of side-trips he organized, including an elephant sanctuary and a scuba-diving weekend in Amed, which were two of the greatest experiences of my life. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? While my interactions with Izzy on a professional level were limited, based on my experience on the trip he organized and casual observation, I think he'd make a great addition to any team. He's clearly an excellent organizer of events and trips. He knows how to handle people without making them feel like they're being handled, diffuse tension without being preachy and he goes the extra mile for anyone who needs it. For example, when the unavoidable accidents that occur with any large group of idiots in their 20s and 30s happen, I'd definitely want him to help take care of it. Overall, he's a really great person to have around. This is coming from someone who normally finds overwhelmingly friendly and positive people a little disconcerting, but with Izzy you just know it's genuine. In short, my advice - hire him! If he turns out to be a complete disaster, my name is Lucius Von-Matterhorn.
  10. 10. PHILLIP GOURLEY Senior Software Engineer - Migme QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? I working alongside Izzy as a Community Manager in Barcelona with Hacker Paradise, we worked together on weekly events, facilitating, programme schedules and everything in-between. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? While working with Izzy it had never been so clear to me the impact that a genuine joy of the job (if he would even call it that) and interest makes. His attitude and mentality had a huge positive impact to everyone around him. Personality aside he far excels in every professional expectation and breezes through hard challenges while making it look easy.
  11. 11. BLANCA MARTINEZ Support Specialist-Kovi Fabrics QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy was an engaging, charismatic and a thoughtful community manager and trip facilitator. When I arrived at Hacker Paradise, I was simply there accompanying my partner unsure of what the community would be like. However, during introductions Izzy gave such encouraging and insightful welcome that I immediately saw myself being part of Hacker Paradise. I talked to Izzy afterwards and he took it in his own hands to see that I was incorporated to the group dynamics. Being new to the nomadic type of work hubs, it was great to find someone so welcoming. Additionally, when my partner became ill, Izzy was very supportive and helped me navigate the medical system in Indonesia, all with patience and kindness. He was exceptionally prepared to deal with all kinds of issues. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Izzy is definitely one of a kind! He has a beautiful personality, the type that you just want to be around. He understands how to navigate different cultures meanwhile being respectful and appreciative. Izzy was definitively a great highlight in my experience with Hacker Paradise.
  12. 12. THOMAS REDFERN Python programmer Professional poker player QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy was great to be around in Bali. While I was there he was the only one in charge of organizing events for 50 people with different schedules, and he somehow pulled it off. Despite the large number of people he also did a great job of staying in touch and making sure everyone had everything they needed. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Izzy is a hard worker, and is very fun to be around. There isn't anyone Izzy doesn't get along with, and his relentless positivity is not grating or fake, it's authentic and contagious. Izzy is the kind of person that will be successful in any environment because of his unique combination of work ethic, intelligence, and people skills.
  13. 13. HAIKO SCHOL Senior Software Engineer Meelogic Consulting AG QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy always made sure everyone was informed about group activities while also offering just the right amount of encouragement to join. I remember when we went for karaoke in Tokyo and Tapei, a few people who didn't come the first few times eventually did and had a great time. He also took care of organizational issues like making sure everyone has a payment card for the metro and bikesharing system and knows how to sign up for it. Figuring out the bikesharing is a small thing I certainly could have done myself, but being terribly lazy when it comes to things like that, I might not have done it and missed a great way to experience the city. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Because he brings infectious enthusiasm and energy to a group and makes everyone feel welcome. Although luckily we didn't have any such issues, I'm certain Izzy is able to mediate conflicts within a group and assist with personal crisis as well.
  14. 14. KEN HU Software Engineer - Freelance QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy is a fantastic and dynamic community manager. Often he's seen at the forefront, leading activities and events. At the same time, he is also great at listening and encouraging us to connect with other members who can help. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Izzy has the charisma and energy to help define your community. Behind the enthusiasm, he is keenly aware of the group dynamics and adjusts his approach accordingly. He is a person your community can rely on.
  15. 15. CHRISTIAN GREINER International Corporate Development Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy has always been a very empathic, big-smile and "welcome everyone with open arms"- person. He is the kind of person that makes friends everywhere on the planet, may it be on the streets of Vietnam where we got invited for lunch at a local family, or within the HP group with so many different cultures around him. He always played a big part in getting the attending individuals being a big family group. In addition he took care of organising field trips, hikes and other activities, always with a good mix of comfort and adventure (My Son, Hoi An, Mount Batur etc,..) Apart from being a non-stop smiling and having fun guy, you will find a time where you can talk with him about serious topics, you know meaning of life and shit. All together I couldn't imagine having a better facilitator, motivator and travel buddy at my side, except of my wife of course. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? You should hire him because he has that multi skillset. Strong communication skills, intercultural awareness, very organised and a big heart for everyone and he still balances it to be the kind of "authority" someone needs to be as a responsible trip organiser.
  16. 16. KENDALL COLE Software Consultant - Self-Employed QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy is a fantastic community manager and trip facilitator. His cheerfulness is contagious, and he's so outgoing and entertaining he often became the de facto trip leader on our excursions for groups of complete strangers, in addition to ours where he was the actual trip leader. One time in Hoi An he started MCing on the bus, which was about half our group, half others, and immediately began asking people where they were from, opening up the bus to great group conversations. Everything was well-organized during at the Hacker Paradise sites, and Izzy was readily available to address any questions or concerns. He usually became friends with the hotel staff very quickly (everyone knew him by name in Da Nang), which resulted in a very smooth experience for all HP participants. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Izzy's interpersonal skills are unmatched. He is able to develop individual relationships within large groups easily, which allows him make introductions and foster an open and welcoming community.
  17. 17. MELISSA CHOI Project Manager - Gramercy Tech QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy is a man who is the life of the party. He leads by example, rallying people together through sheer enthusiasm and friendliness. It doesn't matter what situation you put Izzy in, he will make friends with everyone in the room. For example, we went to a ridiculous bar one time in Vietnam. It was more of a club than a bar, but everyone was just sitting around, while the DJ blasted obnoxiously loud music at us. No one was dancing. Until Izzy literally went to every table in the bar/club, made friends, and corralled them onto the dance floor. He started that party. It was a running joke that Izzy was the best club promoter in Vietnam. He also knows when someone needs his attention on a more serious note. He is aware and attune to people's needs and is an easy person to talk to and will do everything he can to make sure you feel comfortable and are enjoying your experience. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? See above.
  18. 18. JEREMY SHARVIT Software Engineer - Independent QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy's personality is super contagious. He's always laughing and down to do pretty much anything. Being able to control a group of 40 people while still coming off as a fun, laid back guy is no easy task, and Izzy handled it flawlessly. No matter what situations traveling through foreign countries threw at us, he has a great talent for keeping his cool and getting the job done. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? I would tell you the one thing I personally look for in a co-worker or any business partner is reliability. You need to know that you can leave the job in someone else's hands without needing to worry or micromanage. Izzy was running hacker paradise pretty much alone for a large chunk of my time with them, and everything worked out great.
  19. 19. NIELS DE HOOG Software Engineer - Independent QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? Izzy would go out of his way to make new community members feel welcome right from the start. He made sure he was there to greet you, even if that meant waiting in a tiny room the whole day while others were out having fun. The vibe he managed to create was one in which everyone could feel welcome and accepted. Together, we had some great adventures on our trip, like being taken on a hot spring tour by a retired car salesman in Taipei. The entire time we were being shown around, Izzy managed to keep a conversation going in Mandarin Chinese, even though he had only started learning the language a couple of weeks earlier. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Izzy commits fully to every task at hand, no matter how inconsequential or silly it might seem. He is smart, thoughtful and great fun to be around.
  20. 20. ANDRE BARNES Software Engineer - Independent QUESTIONS What was your experience with Izzy being a community manager and trip facilitator at Hacker Paradise? I had a great experience with Izzy, he provided great service, good follow through and was often the life of the room. I got really sick when I was in Bali with Izzy and Hackers Paradise, to the point I had to be hospitalized. Izzy was able to facilitate my mother coming to help me, visiting me in the hospital and just handling coordination of making sure I had everything I needed, very much appreciated. If someone asked you "Why should we hire Izzy?", what would you say? Energy, enthusiasm, attention to detail and follow through.

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