001 : It’s never too late to become a coder with Will Larche

NNL PodcastIn this inaugural episode of the Novice No Longer Podcast, I’m joined by Will Larche, the Lead iOS Developer at LearnVest. This episode is a little different than the stuff I usually teach — I almost always tell my students to hire a developer rather than learn to code themselves. But sometimes learning to program is the right path, and Will proves that anyone can become a developer, regardless of previous experience.

Will is an artist, graduating with a BFA in Musical Theater. He’s now able to maintain his lifestyle as an artist and composer by working as a mobile developer — one of the most in-demand jobs at the moment.

I really respect Will for a few reasons:

  1. He taught himself to code as an adult, with no previous technical background. It sometimes feels like today’s programmers have been writing code since childhood, and catching up to their skill level can seem daunting. But Will took his first coding class when he was 28 and worked his way into a Lead Developer role by age 30!
  2. He has found a way to support his true passion. Will is still actively writing and performing musicals, and he’s able to support that passion by having a skill that’s guaranteed to make money. It’s so much better than bussing tables.
  3. He’s passionate about teaching others to code. Will has used his experiences to help teach others to follow in the same footsteps. He taught a free class in New York City aimed at giving women the skills they need to enter the predominately male-dominated programming world.

In this episode, you’ll hear how Will went from taking his first programming class (in the wrong language!) to becoming a Junior Developer within one year.

It took a lot of hard work, but his experience can be replicated.

He shares what he’s learned since becoming the lead iOS developer at a successful New York City-based startup, and what he’s done to attract the attention —and marketing power — of Apple itself.

I’m proud to kick off the podcast with someone as interesting and accomplished as Will. Whether you’re thinking about a career change into the technology field, or simply have an interest in building successful apps, this podcast will be extremely helpful.

Here’s what we chat about:

  • Starting from nothing: how to teach yourself to code
  • Apple’s default UI elements and the importance of good graphic design
  • The process of updating an app for iOS7
  • Key differences between smartphones and tablets
  • How people use different devices
  • Marketing and business in a post-mobile world
  • Why it’s important to get customers before building a product
  • How to get ahead of the competition by paying close attention to Apple
  • Why women are the next big thing in programming

Links mentioned in this show include:

Did you enjoy this episode? Thank Will on Twitter!

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What was the most interesting thing you learned from this episode? Share in the comments below!

Can’t get enough?

This is the first of many podcasts to come. I’ve got some amazing people scheduled in the next few weeks, including independent app developers and writers for some of the top tech publications who share the secrets for getting good press.

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The Novice No Longer Podcast intro music was composed by the talented Will Larche.

Thanks again for listening!

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