Keeping on our theme of becoming a success story with programming as a self-taught programmer, I interview a successful self-taught programmer by the name of John Sextro. As a seasoned programmer and agile coach with no degrees or diplomas, John made it to ‘the big show’ by impressing one of the gatekeepers of that coveted ‘entry level programmer’ position. Find out how he managed to kick start his career in today’s interview. And if you want extra help and guidance to start your programming career, learn more about our Java Bootcamp here.
Getting your Foot in the Door
One of the most important lessons that you should learn from people like John (and myself) is that we weren’t just in the right place at the right time… we PUT ourselves in the situations that would lend themselves to opportunities. If you’re having troubles finding an entry level position as a programmer, then maybe you should change the game a bit and look for a job in a company that HAS a software department?
If you’re in a company that has a software development department (even if YOU yourself aren’t IN that department) you are in an excellent position to show off your skills as a VALUABLE employee. If you are known as someone who provides real value to a company, then you show that your true skills (as a programmer) aren’t even being utilized… well… it won’t be long until the company will take advantage of that situation.
It’s much easier to Learn Programming these days
As John mentions, he learned what he knew from books and magazines (which he had to either purchase himself or have his parents purchase for him). These days, getting access to valuable information about programming is as easy as typing something into Google! It’s FREE access to life changing information, all you need to do is show up.
Now some of you pessimists out there may grumble “Well, if everyone has access to the information, then there are probably so many programmers out there that there aren’t any jobs left!”. Well, to you sir/madam, I shake my head. Go do a search for programming jobs on indeed.com… seriously… I’ll wait.
Have you done it yet? Well if not, take my word for it, there are TONS of opportunities out there for programmers. The only problem is that you’ll need real experience in some way shape or form to land jobs easily. If you don’t have any professional experience, then you’ll need to get crafty (just like John does).
Items mentioned in the podcast include:
I would like to take the opportunity to point my listeners/readers to go and check out what John has to offer. I’m particularly partial to the agile methodology, as I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some very talented agile coaches (just like John) in my professional career. Remember that there’s more to programming than just code! You need a way to create it, release it and maintain it efficiently, this is where agile steps in, so have a listen to his podcast listed below and send him a message on twitter!
- John’s twitter account
- John’s Personal Blog
- This Agile Life Podcast
- I Oh Yes Podcast
- Company Website
If you’d like to launch your career as a full-stack developer, learn more about our Online Java Coding Bootcamp.