A Self-Taught CTO Shares Tips on Learning to Code

Michael Blanton

Michael Blanton is a self-taught developer and CTO. In this interview he shares tips on learning to code, getting hired and what being a software developer is really like. Enjoy!

Hey, so can you introduce yourself?

I'm Michael Blanton, Chief Technical Officer and Chief Cat Herder at Xiggit. I live in Livermore, California, about 60 miles east of San Francisco and about 40 miles north of San Jose.

Michael Blanton

Why did you learn to code?

I've always enjoyed computers and connecting with people through technology. I enjoy helping people solve problems. I enjoy figuring out how to make different systems talk to each other. I knew this was a career path I wanted to explore, so I started working on a CS degree in college and went from there.

How has your life changed since learning to code?

Once you learn how to code - it doesn't matter the language - there are so many more possibilities that open up. Just about anything can be scripted or automated. Just about any program you are using has some sort of scripting or API available.

Want to analyze a bunch of data? Write a script. Want to pick a random winner for a drawing? Write a script. Want to suck a CSV file into a database? Write a script. Doing development doesn’t necessarily mean you are writing thousands of lines of code. Tasks that used to be very manual can now be fairly easily automated with a few lines of code, saving you (and your partners) hours of work.

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