How Gaming Helped Elon Musk Learn to Program

Today, Elon Musk is best known for founding Tesla, Space X, and PayPal, companies that revolutionized their industries. But long before he became an entrepreneur and one of the richest men on the planet, Musk was driven by a simpler idea: he wanted to design video games. How did self-taught programmer Elon Musk go from a kid playing games to a billionaire? In this article, you will learn about Elon Musk’s education and how his interest in gaming led him to learn to program. 

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The Rules Bill Gates Broke Learning to Program

Bill Gates mugshot 1977

Today, Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world. As co-founder of Microsoft, Gates built a tech empire. And as co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he’s given away billions of dollars. But who was Bill Gates before Microsoft? It turns out young Bill Gates was a rule breaker—and that might explain why he became one of the most successful self-taught programmers in history.

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How Daniel Ek Learned to Program and Created Spotify

Daniel Ek

Daniel Ek is the co-founder and CEO of Spotify, the music service almost single-handedly responsible for convincing a generation of music pirates to start paying for music again. An incredibly talented businessman, Ek taught himself to code when he was just fourteen. In this article, we will explore how Daniel Ek learned to code and eventually founded Spotify. Continue reading “How Daniel Ek Learned to Program and Created Spotify”

The Coding Education of Kevin Systrom: Creator of Instagram

Kevin Systrom programmer.

Self-taught programmer Kevin Systrom founded Instagram with Mike Krieger in 2010. While working a job as a marketer, Systrom taught himself to program and built the first prototype himself. Just two years after its launch, they sold Instagram to Facebook for one billion dollars. Systrom continues to manage the company today, and over the course of his leadership, he has kept the app elegantly simple, which has helped secured Instagram’s popularity. In this article, we will explore the coding education of Kevin Systrom. Continue reading “The Coding Education of Kevin Systrom: Creator of Instagram”

How Steve Wozniak Blended Self-Directed Learning with Traditional Education

Steve Wozniak

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

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

Margaret Hamilton

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”

300+ Pages of Inspirational Interviews With VR Pioneer John Carmack

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”