Few people are capable of teaching themselves how to code from scratch. It’s a grueling task that requires focus, curiosity, and a whole lot of patience.
However Steven Foote is proof that teaching yourself to code is indeed possible. Actually not just possible, but potentially revolutionary for your career.
After Steven taught himself programming he eventually found himself hired as a web developer for LinkedIn. During this time he wrote a book titled Learning to Program which has been very highly received.
I had a chance to bounce some questions off Steven regarding his experience as a self-taught programmer – and his answers are more than encouraging.
Q: Can you share a little about yourself & your work history? What got you into programming and why did you stick with it?
I have been doing web development at LinkedIn for nearly 4 years, mostly working on LinkedIn Search. Before LinkedIn I worked as an auditor for EY in San Jose, CA, and I even became a CPA.
I got into programming for my college job at the library. Learning to program is a frustrating process and I was ready to give up several times. Probably the only thing that kept me going was the project I was working on. I was building every aspect of a website for library employees, from database administration to graphic design. I had to learn it all as I went, and everything I learned had a purpose. Eventually I really started to enjoy learning new programming concepts and tools.
Q: What were some of the biggest roadblocks you hit when first teaching yourself how to write code?
Definitely the biggest challenge was trying to learn completely on my own. I remember reading a book about Perl. The book instructed me to write out some code to print