Homeless Man Turns Out To Be Computer Genius, HERE’S a fairy-tale story in the run-up to Christmas. Leo Grand was living on the streets without a prospect coming his way. Then, one day he was given the offer to code and now he has just released his own app.
It sounds like the premise of a Hollywood yarn but as reported by Business Insider this really happened.
Most coders have the luxury of a comfy office chair, a warm office and coffee machine in the kitchen. Not Leo Grand. He charges his laptop courtesy of a nearby apartment building, then heads out to the street where he has been living since 2011 to learn code from used books from Amazon and the help of a programmer who decided to give him this chance.
Grand lost his job at insurance company MetLife in Manhattan and was priced out of his apartment with nowhere other than the streets to go.
Patrick McConlogue is the man who saw potential in Leo and one day decided to give him a shot by offering him the option of $100 or books, a laptop and lessons everyday on how to code. Leo chose the latter.
“I can go through $100 in a few days,” Leo said. “But he told me I could have a laptop and learn how to do something and I figured it could turn into something more.”
So, every day at 8am McConlogue and Grand would sit down for an hour and code. When McConlogue headed off to work, Leo continued to spend 3-4 hours on his own practising writing code and swotting up on the books provided.
“It’s not like I don’t have the time to learn to do it,” Leo says.
Leo had a knack for it and before long the two men had worked together to start building an app. Four months later Leo’s very own app has been launched in Apple and Android app stores.