A self-taught developer who now works as a COO

Published on May 12, 2020

Andrew Bryant

COO, ZTZ Tech Group

Computer science degree

.NET R Python

Do you think that not having a CS degree been a blocker in your career?

So far, not having a CS degree hasn’t been a hindrance for me.

Tell us about how and why you learnt to code.

I first learned R because I wanted to learn how to analyze data using tools other than Excel. I learned Python through books and online courses when I wanted to become a developer and .NET on the job.

Tell us about your first personal project. Is it still live?

I did my first projects for my Udacity data analyst nanodegree. You can check them out on Github

Udacity nano degrees are an awesome free resource. I know a lot of developers who have done one of them and they only have good things to say about it.

How did you get your first job as a developer?

Luck. I met the CEO of the company I work for at an event for expats. I later sent him my CV. The rest is history.

What were some of the challenges that you encountered when you started to code?

Coding is only a small part of what goes into making software. There are many other things that have to be done to deliver a product. You need to have at least a general understanding of these other areas in order to be effective as a developer.

What soft skills developers should have to be successful at their job?

Managing your emotions. Working well with others.

What advice would you give to other developers who are getting started out in their careers?

Follow your interests.

What are you up to now?

Work, mostly. I’m learning Lisp and Processing / p5.js in my free time.

Any there any useful resources that you could recommend us?

For mental models, decision-making, and reading, I recommend Farnam Street. They have a great blog, podcast, and newsletter. For coding-specific resources, it depends on the language you want to learn. For beginners who want to learn Python, I recommend Python Crash Course by Eric Matthes. I used this book to learn Python and I found it very helpful.

Check out Andrew’s blog

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