The Ultimate Creative Space: How SplootCode is reshaping the way we learn and use code

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April 5, 2023
SplootCode founders Katie Bell & Mattia Fregola
SplootCode founders Katie Bell & Mattia Fregola

Fact: Over 86% of the world’s population owns a smartphone.[1]

Fact: Only 0.5% of the world's population knows how to code.[2]

These statistics are astonishing when you realise that every website, mobile app, computer game, eftpos machine, aeroplane and wifi-router is underpinned by a complex arrangement of letters, numbers and figures. AKA code. 

SplootCode founders Katie Bell and Mattia Fregola are on a mission to drastically augment these numbers and make coding simple, widespread and accessible to everyone.

How, you ask? 

SplootCode provides its users with a library of ‘cheat codes’, right where they need it the most. These tools help users discover the endless possibilities of code in theory and in practice. 

The result: Millions of coding wizards in this world.

SplootCode already has a group of active users extracting value from the platform. Having launched in Week 4 of the Startmate Accelerator program, this is a huge milestone to have hit within such a short time period.

“Having active users who are using and enjoying our platform is probably our biggest milestone at the moment. We have been working on SplootCode for a long time now, so to have people online and active is a huge validation for us.”

"At the moment, we are building SplootCode with beginners in mind, but our ultimate goal is that all code is run on SplootCode. We are really crafting a revolutionary shift away from traditional coding."

Exposing the almighty power of coding

While Katie and Mattia have found what truly sets them alight, the general population still holds some serious animosity towards coding. 

“Coding is difficult, confusing and unnecessarily complex. This is a huge barrier to entry. We want to eliminate the awful learning curve so it’s easy to use and fun.”

In fact, Katie and Mattia are exposing the “almighty power” of coding. 

At school, Katie loved design & tech subjects like sewing and wood work but as a “chronically disorganised person” (relatable), she would always make mistakes and end up wasting materials.

Unlike other artforms, the concept of “waste” doesn’t exist in computer programming. 

“There is no limit to what you can build with code. The possibilities are endless. It truly is the ultimate creative space, with no physical constraints.”

“You just keep building and iterating until your mistakes become your website's most valuable features.”

And that is why there is a special place in heaven for the person who built “Ctrl Z”. 

But seriously.

Katie and Mattia are solving the pain points of traditional coding so that humans can focus on good stuff - the creative process of building software.

The lightbulb moment(s)

The idea for SplootCode had been brewing since 2015 when Katie - founder, software engineer and straight up tech queen - was sitting on a train through Switzerland. Struck with a new app idea but no laptop on hand, she was initially frustrated by the physical constraints of coding. 

“Originally the idea was to create a tool that enabled touch-interface coding so you can do it from your smartphone. So I started coming up with ideas for how a phone friendly coding tool would work.”

Katie tumbled down a deep rabbit hole, discovering all the ways that coding was unnecessarily frustrating. After several years of research, discussion and prototyping, she began sharing her refined concept with her tech network.

Cue co-founder Mattia.

Working in parallel by no twist of fate, was Mattia, a veteran UX Designer who had been dabbling in the world of code. As a designer he felt comparably spoiled for tools and was bewildered by the seemingly impenetrable learning curve that existed within coding. He too began prototyping.

After stumbling upon a ‘future of coding’ slack community, Mattia found a video of Katie presenting her SplootCode prototype which had uncanny similarities to his own mockup solution. After reaching out on Twitter, they grabbed a coffee and the rest is history.

Within one year they had quit their full-time jobs, built SplootCode MVP, completed beta testing with over 50 people and launched Splootcode to the world wide web. Talk about lightning speed.

Friends and founders

Katie and Mattia are complementary in the way most co-founders dream of being. 

“Mattia is the organised one. He taught me the importance of UX design and user studies to find pain points and improve the product. It brought a lot more direction to what was just a dinky prototype when I was working on it.”

While Katie leads the team in all things tech related, their “foundership” has been a valuable opportunity for knowledge transfer and further learning for both of them. 

When Mattia joined SplootCode, his understanding of programming was “good-ish at best.”

“Katie has taught me so much about coding and my understanding is growing at an unbelievable pace everyday.”

The duo have not only found friendship in their chance pairing, but a deeply aligned vision that has raised both of their ambitions.

A Word of Advice 

Katie and Mattia have absorbed some powerful wisdom throughout the trials and tribulations that go hand in hand with founder life. 

“When you’re a founder, everything seems urgent. Everything needs to be done yesterday. But when you take a moment and pause, you really only need to focus on a few key steps. Figure out what’s most important and go from there.”

Learning to not feel overwhelmed is a clear winner. 

“It’s much easier to embrace risky things when you see them as learning opportunities. Don’t stress too much about succeeding or failing. Your goal is to learn stuff”. 

“Learning stuff” is one of the reasons Katie and Mattia were so excited to join the Startmate Accelerator Program. 

“I think our favourite part so far has been the incredible mentors and other founders that we have met so far. We’ve made some lifelong friends and learnt some valuable lessons”

“It’s been awesome to be surrounded by such driven people. And you’re allowed to be ambitious. You’re allowed to aim high… which is not true of every culture, right?”

Katie and Mattia have lived up to their own advice, with aspirational goals and a laser focus on hitting their next milestones. 

Startmate's Summer23 Accelerator Cohort

Ref:

  1. https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/how-many-phones-are-in-the-world
  2. https://www.thehealthyjournal.com/frequently-asked-questions/what-percentage-of-the-world-can-code#:~:text=Only%200.5%25%20of%20the%20world's,planet%2C%20which%20gives%200.26%25

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Holly BrooksHolly Brooks
Holly Brooks is a freelance writer, content marketer and storyteller specialising in startups, tech and creative industries.

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