Meet engineer Oscar Lafarga, President and CTO of The Setlife Network and founder of SetDev.
Hey Oscar! Tell us about yourself and your hobbies!
My name is Oscar, I’m 25 years old and was born in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, Florida. Soccer and hacking have always been my hobbies. I’ll play a game of soccer anywhere, anytime if I can find it because I love it so much.
I live by the motto “Pay it forward. Don’t worry, be happy, and FITFO (figure it the f*** out).”
How do you spend your free time?
“Free time” and “work time” have always been a little blurry for me. Anything I do in my “free time” I try to figure out how to use it professionally so I guess it’s no longer free.
Currently I’m focused on hacking education to improve software literacy around the world and across cultures.
I’m also interested in learning all about Bitcoin, mining a little and building apps on top of the Bitcoin software.
When I can find time to study it, I think quantum physics is very interesting.
Take us on the path of your career journey…
I fortunately grew up in very supportive circumstances, so it was easier for me to “risk it all” on my own business in 2015. It was after college with the help of 4-10 other passionate and committed team members; I only had one corporate internship under my belt and worked on some software engineering and radio tools testing for Motorola Solutions. Figuring out how to run a business put me through the highest highs and the lowest lows.
First, we started with a music app that people enjoyed and got a bit of traction. We tried to monetize by working with retailers and DJs/artists on a new way to release music. Failed.
Then, we built a content management platform to make it easier for the DJs/artists. Failed again.
We then built a customer tracking app to make it easier for the retailers. Failed again!
Finally, we built a bitcoin app with a similar business model driving customer foot traffic to our retailers with bitcoin instead of music. Guess what? FAILLL.
We had built so many apps at that point that we were able to sell app development services and start growing a client base… Funny how things work out!
What are you currently doing professionally?
I am the President and CTO of The SetLife Network, a nonprofit engineering consultancy. I’m also the founder of SetDev, a boutique development firm. Between the two I do mostly full-stack software engineering, project/engineering management, development operations, finance strategy, and technical writing.
How can we reach you?
I’m at a personal desk most of the day, but hit me up on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook anytime! I take frequent breaks and am happy to hang out and chat on the patio.
On Instagram: @ohscarl
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/oscarlafarga
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oscar.lafarga.5
On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oscarlafarga/
Any final tips for our readers?
Do some research on learning transfer and reasoning by first principles. It is almost impossible to waste time if you’re learning how to learn. If you’re looking for a good book, definitely check out Solve for Happy. This book basically gives you the cheat codes for how to be happy as often as possible so it’s pretty amazing!