Hank Stoever
part time nerd, part time gnar.

The Self-Taught Software Develper's Handbook

How to Become a Programmer

By Hank Stoever

Be Independent, Motivated, and Free

Being self-taught is the decision to control the path of your learning. You can say you are self-taught if you are deliberate and independent. If you’re like me, you’re happier in life when you feel independent and confident about what you’re doing. This guidebook aims to help you through life as a self-taught programmer. The goal is to learn to build software as a means to a happy life. I love building software because it uniquely allows me to feel challenged and motivated.

I found success as a self-taught programmer. I have a rewarding career, a thriving open source portfolio, and a few profitable side projects. I’m building this guidebook in hopes that you might find similiar results.

Navigating the world of building software can be tricky and overwhelming, especially when getting starting. I’ve sifted through a ton of useful and useless information to find the stuff that actually helps, and you’ll find those in the guide all along the way. The guidebook won’t teach you how to build any software, but it will show you how to learn how to build software. The ability to learn how to build software, applied appropriately, can propel you to do anything you might desire.

Building software means many things. You might want to learn to build websites, games, spaceships, apps, or robots. Depending on the path you want to take, the resources you’ll need will be different. For example, if you want to build spaceships, you'll need the infrastructure a university can provide. On the other hand, if you want to build websites, apps, or games, you need nothing more than a computer (and this guidebook, of course).

The guidebook begins for those without any knowledge of building software, and ends for programmers who don’t need a guidebook anymore. If you know how to build software but are just getting into life as a professional, more than half of the guidebook will be applicable for you!

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    Table of Contents

    Part One: Why Be Self-Taught

  1. No One is Really Self-Taught
  2. Degree No Longer Required
  3. The Good Life

  4. Part Two: A Blossoming Developer

  5. START!
  6. ABC (Always Be Coding)
  7. Scratch Itches
  8. Diversify
  9. Solve Puzzles

  10. Part Three: Getting Out There

  11. Contributing to Open Source
  12. Your Personal Website
  13. Meetups & More

  14. Part Four: Going Pro

  15. Getting a (Paid) Internship
  16. Your First Job
  17. Interviews

  18. Part Five: The Independent Developer

  19. Freelancing
  20. Entrepreneurship
  21. Selling your Knowledge

  22. Appendix

  23. Go
  24. * subject to change

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Frequently Asked Questions

What language will this guidebook cover?

No specific language will be covered; instead, many different languages will be suggested based off what type of software you'd like to build.

Will programming tutorials or exercises be included?

No, they will not. The guidebook will, however, navigate you towards a myriad of on-and-offline resources that will work you through the actual programming.

So why do I need this thing?

This guidebook aims to be a curated walkthrough of everything out there that consists of 'learning to program'. It can be a lot. The guidebook will help you understand what works and what doesn't so that you can spend your time valuably.

Get updates about the book and 20% off on launch day.