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#090: How Nintendo made chendo – Jack “chendo” Chen

By Jordan Michaelides

Jack “chendo” Chen ( @chendo ) is a product engineer and co-founder of Assembly Four. Assembly Four makes products and services to empower sex workers throughout the world, committing a portion of profits to help those sex workers in need.

Assembly Four rocketed to the forefront of the industry with the launch of Switter as legislation known as FOSTA/SESTA effectively banned sex workers safely engaging clients online. Switter was the beginning of Assembly Four’s modern tech disruption to an industry that globally is worth US$186b and historically is not too tech savvy. The launch of further services in Tryst (for Advertising) & Honey Notes (a CRM), underscores Assembly Four’s commitment to the industry.

Our chat with Jack gave us the perfect opportunity to dig deeper on the tech side of Assembly Four (including product development), while also delving into what it takes to become a true stack developer.

A fascinating episode for anyone interested in software devs and Assembly Four, we also covered:

  • Where the name “chendo” comes from
  • High-performance Mario Kart on Ruby
  • Bouldering
  • His background in tech
  • Programming explained
  • Home automation and LIFX
  • Early days of FOSTA/SESTA
  • Assembly Four: Switter & Tryst

Listen to the episode

Watch the episode: 


01:54 – Introduction
04:49 – Where the name “chendo” comes from
05:29 – Favourite Nintendo games
06:57 – High-performance Mario Kart on Ruby
09:39 – Bouldering
12:45 – His background, earliest computer experiences
21:04 – Parenting and technology
23:22 – Socialising online, IRC
27:32 – Programming explained
35:11 – His experience at LIFX, WiFi
40:55 – The downside to programming
42:22 – Understanding how you learn
46:35 – What’s never changing for programmers/devs
47:58 – New gadgets, home automation
51:01 – Early days of Switter
56:45 – FOSTA-SESTA, laws and regulation
01:02:34 – What he’s learned
01:04:24 – Switter, Tryst, privacy and data
01:10:49 – Future opportunities, venture capital
01:15:04 – Morning & evening routine
01:16:08 – Best purchase under $200
01:17:56 – Favourite movies or TV series
01:18:46 –  A book he would gift someone