Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 5 – Finding a Community

Becoming a software developer is a big undertaking. Finding a community that can help you is vital to your success. Let me be plain about this: I would have failed out of college if I hadn’t sought tutoring from my classmates. If you want to become a software developer without a traditional classroom environment, you’re going to need help. Read more on Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 5 – Finding a Community…

Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 4 – Expanding Your Skill Set

During your quest to become a software developer, you’ll encounter some domains that may or may not merit study in their own right. Everything on this list is valuable but dispensable. You could get a job as a developer (as a member of our Accelerator, for example) without knowing what static analysis is, for instance.

And yet, I’d suggest choosing a few of these areas to study. Read more on Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 4 – Expanding Your Skill Set…

Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 3 – Learning to Think Like a Programmer

Of all the computer science classes I took in college, there were three that I’d recommend, without reservation, to someone who wants to do my job. Each taught me something that relates to programming as an activity and a way of thinking. There’s nothing terribly domain-specific (like networks or databases, which I will cover in the next post) here, just stuff that helps you build programming muscle. Read more on Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 3 – Learning to Think Like a Programmer…

Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 2 – Understanding Algorithms

If you’re going to be a developer, you need to understand algorithms.

At its most basic definition, an algorithm is just a program. “print(“Hello, World!”)” is an algorithm, albeit a very boring one. As a software developer, your job boils down to reading and writing algorithms, or figuring out why and how some algorithms are wrong in certain circumstances. Read more on Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 2 – Understanding Algorithms…

Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 1 – A Roadmap for Learning Software Development without College

If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in learning software development but not interested in completing a four-year degree program to get a bachelor’s degree in computer science (CS).

There are a lot of good reasons to be at the intersection of “want to be a developer” and “not want to get a degree.” So I’m going to provide you a roadmap to getting the skills you need to be a software developer.

Read more on Beyond Coding Bootcamp, Part 1 – A Roadmap for Learning Software Development without College…

How to Present Your Portfolio at a Software Design Job Interview

I recently had coffee with a young professional designer. She was lacking confidence after leaving her current position and needed a bit of encouragement. We talked for over two and a half hours about her portfolio, interview skills, and the industry in general.

While every person is different, I find myself giving young designers many of the same pieces of advice about interviewing for a software design position. Read more on How to Present Your Portfolio at a Software Design Job Interview…

Three Habits That Will Slowly Make You a Better Developer

There are lots of ways to improve as a developer quickly—keeping track of what’s going on in the industry, reading books, maintaining outside projects, and watching talks are some of the obvious ones. But there are a few habits you can adopt in your day-to-day work that will slowly improve a different set of skills over time. Read more on Three Habits That Will Slowly Make You a Better Developer…

Five Tips for Sharing a Project Retrospective with Your Whole Company

I recently attended a retrospective led by a team of Atoms who worked on a large project. My colleagues were both vulnerable and knowledgeable as they shared challenges, successes, and hard-won lessons.

Two Atoms from the team shared their process for creating the project retrospective with me. I organized their thoughts into five tips your team can use to conduct a valuable, company-wide project retrospective.
Read more on Five Tips for Sharing a Project Retrospective with Your Whole Company…

How to Mentor at a Student Hackathon & Why You Should Give it a Try

Mentoring student hackathons is one of the best ways to have a direct impact on your local tech community. Hackathons are essentially invention/creation marathons that focus on building small software or hardware projects.

I’ve been mentoring and attending hackathons for over two years now, and they’re consistently among the most enjoyable experiences in my life. Read more on How to Mentor at a Student Hackathon & Why You Should Give it a Try…

Your Dev Project Is a Classroom; Be Intentional about Learning

If you’re like me, you always learn something new on a project, but it’s usually incidental. Your focus is on writing code, and the learning just kind of… happens.

I’m here to tell you that you’re wasting a great opportunity. Your colleagues have a lot to teach you—and a lot to learn from you. A project team is a perfect environment for learning, but you’ll only get the full value if you’re intentional and thoughtful about it. Read more on Your Dev Project Is a Classroom; Be Intentional about Learning…