Life after the Leaving: “I can always go back to college.”
Dylan Varian is a 19 year-old entrepreneur and blogger from Midleton in Cork. He is currently on his second year out from a course in software development in CIT.
“I’m just about to take my second year out from my studies – I was doing software development in CIT but balancing business with college wasn’t working out well for me. I’m busy so I may as well run with it for now. I can always go back to college.
“I have my own business. I build websites, I blog – there’s money to be made from that. I guess it started when I was 14 or 15 and I stumbled on websites and posts about how you can make money from blogs. It piqued my interest. Then a friend and I went to CoderDojo [an open-source, volunteer-led, global movement of free coding clubs for young people] and we got more into it.
“The business itself actually stemmed from one summer when I couldn’t get a summer job. At the same time, we were being asked to build websites for people and companies. Turning it into a business seemed a logical decision so we set up a company. We pitched the idea to the guys in CoderDojo and they gave us some office space in Mahon which was a great help, and Dharma Software was born.
“It’s great being boss in lots of ways. You can go out when you want and all that, but you do work extra hard. Every evening, every weekend, it consumed everything. The Leaving Cert kind of pushed it to one side but, me being me, I couldn’t stop. I created an app for myself to make exam papers accessible on my phone. My friends asked me to put it up on the app store, so I did.
“I guess that pattern sort of followed me to college. I’d be sitting in class and all I could think about was ideas for websites and blogs. I just felt I could be more productive with my time. Education is good but now is not the right time. Right now, I want to build my brand. I’m running a couple of blogs and have some money coming in off those. I want to develop that, I guess.
“The idea of working until I’m 60 and retiring with a pension isn’t what I want. I’ll work now to get enough money to do what I want while I’m young and live that way. I’d rather enjoy life now. For now, at least.”
– In conversation with Gráinne Faller