Java-PodcastYet another self-taught programmer, Mr. Troy Davis went through a college education and graduated with a BFA in Electronic Media from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. With this degree Troy would have been able to pursue a career as an audio engineer, recording commercials and music. But the job prospects as he neared graduation were awful, so Troy decided to try web design as an alternative, something he thought would be short term.

Fast forward until present day, and Troy has now flourished as a self-taught programmer, being involved with a few start up companies and is now the CTO of CoupSmart. You'll find out more about what CoupSmart is all about in the podcast episode, but I'll tell you now that after hearing about it, I'm almost on board as a customer!

Journey from Zero to Hero

In this episode of the How to Program with Java podcast, Troy's story is amazing, but definitely not the exception to the rule. The idea of someone teaching themselves how to code may seem like an insurmountable task to someone who hasn't yet started learning, but I assure you, it's actually a very satisfying journey.

Almost every day I'm still learning something new with respect to programming, and I've been doing it for decades now. That's the beauty of programming, once you've learned the foundation of programming and understand the basic concepts, you can then focus on a particular project and implement the “just in time learning” strategy that I tend to rely on.

You'll never know your potential as a programmer until you take the leap into the uncomfortable and often frustrating position of trying to build something from scratch. But MAN is it satisfying once you've completed your project. If you're anything like me, you're ready to roll up your sleeves and jump right to the next project!

So, having said that, sit back and enjoy this interview with Troy Davis.

What you'll Hear in this Episode


  • How Troy started to program when he was 10 years old
  • How he became a web developer in college when the internet was in its early stages
  • How more business people need to understand programming basics as a pre-requisite for all things in the business world
  • What the different levels of programming are i.e. from highest level to the lowest level imaginable
  • How Troy landed his first job as a “web master”
  • The need for continuous learning
  • The need to not carry your technical ego everywhere you go but rather to chill, to listen and to learn from the organization you are working in
  • Hyper specialization is only great in the short term, until that specific technology becomes outdated
  • The three key ingredients Troy is looking for when hiring potential candidates: Enthusiasm, competence and social ability
  • How Troy's first venture in business failed but then again if you do fail, “fail often but fail early”
  • How Troy was able to build on those lessons learned to create the growing and successful business he is now part of

My thanks to Troy Davis for this insightful interview. Troy was gracious enough to offer up his contact information. Troy can be reached via email at

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