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Have you considered just applying to places? His setup works because people are really, truly desperate for programmers. If you're a Cal math student who's really into programming (even if you just started learning), you have the intellectual chops to do it. You would get training just the same, except you'd be getting paid for it at the same time.

I got my first job/internship involving programming with zero (literally 0.00 hours) programming experience. It's quite possible.

Of course, there's a lot to recommend learning from a good, dedicated teacher instead of a couple stolen minutes everyday from another developer in a production environment.

Actually, that's exactly what I've been doing. I work for a tech company now where I'm honing my skills but the work I've been doing is far more algorithmic rather than development oriented. My goal is really to be a PM and then move to start my own start up. I know exactly what I want to do and how I want to do but getting the skills in another thing. I'm not sure I'm learning fast enough where I'm working because a lot of the work they want me to do is things I already know. Knowing this, what do you think I should do moving forward?

Would you mind sharing some more about how you got your first programming job?

Did friends help you land the job, or did you just wow them in an interview? Did you have an impressive portfolio or degree?


A friend helped land me the job in a corporate IT department (an advertised but effectively fake-competitive position, bypassed HR), plus I have a strong technical degree from a brand-name university. No portfolio or design experience. I'd like to say I wowed them in an interview, but it was really just sitting down in a bar on a Friday night, shooting the shit, and then getting a programming book to study over the weekend so I could start on Tuesday.

I was very lucky, of course, so it should be said that one size never fits all. I also think it was totally inappropriate for me to get hired. But when you're unemployed with dwindling savings and have been homeless for 2 months straight, a $45k/year internship is something you jump for, no matter how unqualified you are for it or how unfair it is that you're getting that opportunity.

I sincerely apologize for anyone who's had to read the code I wrote back then. Though, all things considered, it's probably not as bad as many of the monstrosities I see regularly in my current position.

Thanks for sharing.

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