My mom thrills us with a new (expensive) personal computer purchase–I am in fifth grade at the time. I learn little more than how to play and install games, but I do pick up DOS for Dummies by Dan Gookin.
Jim Moran, my seventh-grade English teacher, takes his class to the fresh-built computer lab (newly connected to the internet) introducing me to HTML.
As a sophomore undergraduate at the University of Michigan I use my allotted web space to host a personal website, written in pure HTML. I also work in the Media Loan department, renting out A/V equipment to faculty, staff and students and repairing equipment when it broke.
I begin working as a Microcomputer Repair Technician, learning how to repair hardware, solve IT issues and fix network protocols.
In the second-year of my masters program I learn about Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) during an Excel-based business-analytics course, and am exposed to simple coding.
I move to Seattle to live with a friend. He is a programmer. I see the difference (large gap, in my mind), between the respect afforded to the humanities, and those in the tech sector–even though I have a masters degree (in Natural Resources). I read Program or be Programmed by Douglas Rushkoff.
Working for a small non-profit in Detroit, my boss needs a custom function to organize data in an Excel spreadsheet. I try but it’s too daunting for me, so I turn to my brother for help, who writes the VBA code for me.
Working in rural Lyons, Nebraksa, I use Drupal (PHP-based, though I don’t understand what that means at this time) to manage the online content for a small non-profit. I also take a free online course taught by Stanford’s Nick Parlante, learning the basic fundamentals of digital technologies and computer programming.
Nick is also the creator of CodingBat, a site to practice coding.
I move to Seattle and take Internet History, Technology and Security through Coursera.
Working at my first startup, on a colleague’s invitation I read the Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas, and am glad I do.
While working at my second tech startup, I see the chief differences in how programmers are treated compared to other employees–one of the lead programmers there recommends Hello World, an introduction to programming, using Python.
I take an online introductory computer science class (CS 110) at North Seattle College–Hello World is amazingly useful (for me, more accessible than the class text); exercises on CodingBat are given as homework.
I begin classes at Seattle Central College. My knowledge and skills skyrocket–the work done previously (studying on my own) allows me to pass out of several introductory courses, saving money (and time).
I learn PHP, MySQL, Git and, by using computer science courses as my electives, (completing both CS 141 and CS 142), I am exposed to the fundamentals of Java (and Eclipse) as well as higher CS concepts (like recursion and inheritance). I read many helpful books (listed below) and make many websites, databases and applications.
I finish my program but continue to read more. I begin working at my third startup, where I use Python to process data and write web scrapers to gather and aggregate data.
I begin taking classes at Better Engineering.
Free Online Classes:
Free Online Resources: