How Steve Wozniak Blended Self-Directed Learning with Traditional Education

Steve Wozniak has plenty of degrees. He did most of the coursework for a Bachelor’s and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees, but the Apple co-founder’s great skill comes from rigorous self-teaching.

Like many self-taught programmers, his childhood activities combined a love of mathematics and technology with a decidedly ambitious personality. Later, he attributed his passion to inspiration from his father and encouragement from his primary school teachers– as well as watching Star Trek on TV. In fourth grade, he first developed a taste for mathematics. He had an early passion for radio transistors and earned a ham radio license at ten years old. At 11, he built a “ticktacktoe” computer. Continue reading “How Steve Wozniak Blended Self-Directed Learning with Traditional Education”

How Jack Dorsey Learned to Code and Birthed Twitter

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and Square, is one of the most successful self-taught programmers in history. In addition to creating two companies that have become household names, he’s gotten plenty of recognition from his fellows in the technology field. In 2008, the MIT Technology Review named him one of the top 35 innovators in the world under 35. In 2012, the Wall Street Journal awarded him the “Innovator of the Year” award in technology.

Throughout his career, he’s been vocally proud to be self-taught. In an interview with Business Insider, he stated his opinion that “most of the best programmers are self-taught.” Let’s explore his many successes, learn from his less numerous failures, and try to understand the drive that brought him to the forefront of the technology world. Continue reading “How Jack Dorsey Learned to Code and Birthed Twitter”

Margaret Hamilton: A Critical Player in the Apollo 11 Mission and the Founder of Software Engineering

In 2018, we have loads of resources for teaching ourselves absolutely anything– including programming. Even though programming has joined the ranks of disciplines taught via formal education, there are many other routes a budding programmer can take. Online courses abound, as well as individual books, videos, podcasts, and guides. But imagine having none of that at your fingertips, like the first programmers. One of the greatest self-taught programmers in history, Margaret Hamilton, made her mark on technology long before any programming classes were available. Continue reading “Margaret Hamilton: A Critical Player in the Apollo 11 Mission and the Founder of Software Engineering”

Learn to Build Hangman in Python

The following is an excerpt from The Self-Taught Programmer: The Definitive Guide to Programming Professionally that teaches you how to build Hangman in Python.

In this chapter, you are going to combine the concepts you’ve learned so far and build a text-based game, the classic Hangman. If you’ve never played Hangman, here’s how it works: Continue reading “Learn to Build Hangman in Python”

How I Went From a Warehouse Employee to a Full-Stack Developer

I started programming in C++ when I was about 11 years old. I thought nothing of it, I just thought it was “cool,” and I would eventually fall away from it. Just a phase. Especially since I lived in a tiny town, and pretty much all of my peers hardly even knew how to turn a computer on. Fortunately for me, however, I had been around them my whole life. My dad was basically the go-to repairman for the town’s computer troubles. I learned early, mostly about hardware. Continue reading “How I Went From a Warehouse Employee to a Full-Stack Developer”

300+ Pages of Inspirational Interviews With VR Pioneer John Carmack

I found an archive containing 300+ pages of interviews with VR pioneer and programming legend John Carmack. If you haven’t heard of him, John Carmack is a self-taught programmer that began his career leading the development of popular games like Quake and Doom. Now he is the CTO of Oculus Rift. The interviews, which are long enough to fill a book, are full of gems like this: Continue reading “300+ Pages of Inspirational Interviews With VR Pioneer John Carmack”

Sabrina Pasterski: The Girl Behind the Next Einstein Meme

There is a meme going around on Facebook about a girl named Sabrina Pasterski who built a plane at 13 years old, and the press is hailing as the next Einstein. I kept finding myself thinking about the meme, wondering if it was all true, so I decided to do some research to find out more about the girl behind the meme. Continue reading “Sabrina Pasterski: The Girl Behind the Next Einstein Meme”

Only One Person on the Facebook React Team has a CS Degree

React is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries in the world. The Facebook React team maintains it. Developers use it on the front-end to create maintainable user interfaces that can change over time without reloading data. Continue reading “Only One Person on the Facebook React Team has a CS Degree”