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The F Word: Failure, Can We Talk About It? Part 1 Feat. Elisha Tan from TechLadies and Facebook

Elisha Tan | February 10, 2019
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    The F Word: Failure, Can We Talk About It? Part 1 Feat. Elisha Tan from TechLadies and Facebook
    Elisha Tan

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Let’s both be real for a second, let’s talk about failure, small failure, big failure, surprising failure, embarrassing failure. It’s scary, just the sound of the word failure gives me goosebumps, I’ve been through it.

Whether you’re scared about the word itself, or you relish in talking about it as much as you can at parties and networking events until your friends say “enough, we get it, you failed”, then you’ll love today’s episode. Elisha Tan is like us, two people, a success and a failure. One Elisha is the founder of TechLadies, a volunteer platform that teaches ladies how to code, and Developer Programs Manager for Facebook APAC, the other is someone who spent four years on a startup before closing it down, repairing herself only to get fired from her new job for not being a culture fit after just 6 months.

She’s inspirational, in the way she describes her feelings of pain, sorrow and the realisation that it was going to be a bumpy road if she wanted to reach her lofty aspirations. It’s a feeling we all have when we know that our precious goals might be trampled by reality. I’ve failed and I ain’t afraid to say it, uhhuhh.

But you have to keep in mind, while you listen to this story, that it was her resilient mentality that has now landed her dream job at Facebook, where she essentially got to turn her side-hustle, into a full-time job at one of the best employers in the world. She took a break from her free catered meals at Facebook to chat with me about how she crawled out of the failure hole, and the character she gained from being lost in the wilderness for 5 years, which she lends to now landing her at her dream job. Take a listen as she first opens up about the challenges of being a founder with no technical experience.

Now, she’s a Developer Programs Manager for Facebook APAC – developer communities across Asia to reach 40,000 developers in the region, upskilling and helping developers with employment and startup opportunities.

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BIO From ElishaTan.com

I started my career as a fresh grad entrepreneur, wanting to help people make a living with their passion. My startup journey took me through many challenges – from learning how to code when I couldn’t find a tech co-founder, testing new ideas to grow the product, to moving to Silicon Valley for mentorship.

I’ve put my heart and soul into Learnemy but it eventually failed. Then, I was fired 6 months into the job I had after my startup failed. Through resilience, a supportive community, and perhaps a sprinkle of dumb luck, I’m now the Developer Programs Manager for APAC at Facebook and the Founder of TechLadies.

At Facebook, I helped launch the Developer Circles program globally and scale it in Asia. Within a year, I’ve built communities to reach 40,000 (and counting!) developers, training and helping them with employment and startup opportunities.

Outside of Facebook, I work on TechLadies – a community-led initiative for women in Asia to connect, learn, and advance as programmers. We are now a community reaching thousands, having taught hundreds of women programming skills, and helping tens of ladies enter the industry as programmers.

I’ve spoken at regional conferences such as Slush Singapore, DevRel Summit, MaGIC Academy SymposiumSRECon Asia, RubyConf MY, and Techsauce Summit to name a few, and have mentored at Startup Weekends (San Francisco & Penang) and SPARK Global Acceleration Program. I was also featured in CNBC, The Straits Times, Her World, e27], High Net Worth, and more.

I’m based in sunny Singapore and aspire to also be a standup comedian.

Music (CC/Copyright Free)

Lee Rosevere – In A Moment

Lee Rosevere – Places Unseen




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