Finding a purpose to my passion in Tech: starting a company at 21 to help nonprofits pro bono
By: Hendro P.
Hendro, founder of CodeToLove, shares how he finds purpose in using his tech skills for God and Others in projects such as HOGC On Air.
At the age of 21, as a university student, I started my own company. It provides pro bono IT services to non-profit organisations. In fact, the initiative was even featured in the Straits Times.
How did it all start? It was the sermons in Heart of God Church that inspired me to be idealistic. I was inspired by a service where Pastor Tan Seow How preached. He shared that our talents are God’s gifts to us. What we did with our talents was our gift back to God.
I used to learn programming languages on my own and spent hours reading up on how different algorithms worked. But I didn’t know how I could use all this IT knowledge. There was no purpose to this passion.
Then, God gave me a big idea – launch a start-up company to provide free IT services to non-profit organisations! I caught a dream to bridge the gap between social organisations and IT.
My company is called CodeToLove. While others code to make a profit or to gain success, I wanted to code to love OTHERS. I was inspired by how everything in church was out of a pure heart to love others. I wanted my company to have that same heart. In my company, I create websites and build applications for non-profit organisations – for free!
Together with like-minded individuals who were willing to code for free, my company helps nonprofits make a meaningful impact with tech. In one project, we helped an organisation build a website to raise awareness and appreciation for migrant workers in Singapore. This helped them find support and a community.
For another organisation, we developed an app that suggested activities loved ones of the elderly could do with them. Many of the elderly people had serious medical conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s. I was so happy to connect families together.
Even as I went to school and ran CodeToLove, I continued to serve in the IT ministry in church. Serving God always takes first place. After all, it is God who enables me to live out my passion and help others through CodeToLove. I realised my skills are not just for my own success. It is so I can live a life of success AND significance.
As part of the IT ministry in Heart of God Church, we oversee the network infrastructure, applications, automation and the information management systems to support over 4,000 members!
I was also part of the team behind our recent HOGC On Air. It is an initiative that allowed church members to tune in for the Word of God during the church break – even those travelling overseas!
As a team, we implemented new features to support the broadcast experience, ensure that the online platform is secured, and provided a seamless login experience for our church members. I also co-led a team of volunteers who provided technical support to the viewers during the broadcast.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to be part of a team that can bring the word of God to others. It may have been our church break, but it is no break from God!
I never imagined the IT skills I learnt had any application out of my future job. But with God and church, I found that I was capable of so much more. Now, I wake up every day, excited for all that I can do for God.
God gave me a purpose to my passion and the courage to dream. To those of you who are reading this, I believe He can do the same for you too!