May 28th, 2013
How did you learn to program?
I get asked a few times a week how people can learn to program. I felt like if more people shared their stories it might help people to understand how many different ways people teach themselves to work with code.
Every time I hear someone’s story, I wish it could be shared further with the world. Often, these stories are left untold, and many people would benefit from hearing them!
Programming in the press and movies has encouraged a lot of people to try to learn to program. I’ve encountered a lot of initially enthusiastic individuals that start out with the best of intentions, but sign up for something like Codecademy and then give up after a couple of weeks.
I figured that the best way to help others is to connect them to real stories about what it takes to really learn to develop. I’ve never met a programmer that wasn’t self taught, and I reached out today on Facebook and Twitter to see if anyone might be interested in telling their story. Within minutes I received hundreds of replies on Twitter and over 50 on Facebook. After the response, I created a survey based on the questions I’ve been asking people in person.
If you’ve read books like Programmers At Work you might know about how valuable it is to have a personal story. I’ll be posting the stories on a website kind of like the Usesthis interviews. If there are enough of them, I’d like to turn it into a book. I was guided by Programmers at Work and Founders at Work with Geoloqi, and it helped me to hang on in difficult times. I think there needs to be an updated set of stories!
Remember, a story that might seem uninteresting for you may be extremely interesting for others. All stories will be excitedly read! How about sharing the story of how you learned to program? I’d be happy to do a personal interview with you over Skype. Fill out what you can, and simply mark N/A for what doesn’t match your story. I’ll be in touch within the week to schedule a personal interview!
Not a programmer but know someone who you think might have an interesting story? Send them this link! http://caseorganic.com/how-did-you-learn-to-program
Amber Case is the co-founder of Geoloqi, Inc., a company bringing the future of location to the world. Geoloqi was acquired by Esri in 2012 and she now works as Director of the Esri R&D Center, Portland. She’s spoken at TED and around the world, and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, WIRED and more. Amber can be found @caseorganic on Twitter or on her personal site.