My Ebook: How To… Learn To Code. Get Your Dream Job. Change Your Life.

In the past few months, I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me asking me for help and advice on how to learn to code and get their dream job as a software engineer. So I decided to write an ebook on everything I know from my own experience!

The ebook – How To… Learn To Code. Get Your Dream Job. Change Your Life. – is split into two parts. The first part is more about the mindset of coding – how to keep on track without giving up. Believe it or not, that is the hardest thing about learning to code!

The second part of the book lists every single resource I know about, in a variety of learning styles, that you can try out on your new and exciting journey.

If you get the ebook and are not completely happy with it for any reason, I will refund you right away!

Here is an excerpt from the book with 10 reasons to make 2013 your real code year!

Never Be Unemployed

As of today, there is a huge shortage of software engineers in the tech industry. And as more and more industries need software engineering talent, this shortage will only be increasing. Even coffee shops need a website today!

In addition, some traditional industries are finally understanding the power of engineers, creating almost new sub-fields of work. Consider the growth hacker – it is basically a new job description of a marketer who can also code.

As a software engineer, if you’re decent, you are pretty much guaranteed to always find employment in a wide variety of fields.


The engineering supply is low and the demand is high. That means software engineers get paid A LOT. According to Indeed, a ruby or python engineer in San Francisco makes an average salary of $120,000 per year.

Don’t get fooled by these numbers though. I know in San Francisco, engineers also get equity or stock, signing bonuses, and lots of perks as part of their salary. I’m personally excited to get paid enough to finally pay off my student loans!

Great Perks!

Oh, the perks! If you work in the San Francisco Bay Area and sometimes elsewhere, expect to be treated like royalty, with your every need met. Big companies and small startups offer incredible perks such as free food, massages, unlimited sick and vacation days, gym membership, iPads, computer equipment of your choice, Uber rides, commuter reimbursement, and more. Full Contact, located in Denver, offers a Paid, Paid Vacation!

Always Be Learning

I know this is probably not the shiniest perk of being a Software Engineer, but it’s my personal favorite. I get bored easily, so is important for me to do work that I find engaging. Most work outside of Software Engineering is very repetitive and boring. However, as a Software Engineer, you’ll always be facing new and exciting problems. And there is just soooo much to learn!

Just when you think you know something, it’ll change. I hope you really love learning, because it never stops!

Start Your Own Business

The cost of starting an online business is so low compared with a traditional brick and mortar business, and the return is so much higher! I’m currently reading the $100 Startup, and highly recommend it. There are just so many ways to make money online!

If you combine your current skills and passions of with coding, you’ll no doubt create something amazing. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll read about your startup in Techcrunch 🙂

Travel The World

One of the things I love about being a developer is the flexibility of the job. Increasingly, companies are becoming more and more open to remote work. Companies where you can work remotely as a software engineer include 37Signals, Intridea, Treehouse, Github, and more.

Many Software Engineers are also choosing to do remote freelancing or starting online businesses while traveling the world.

Join A Passionate Community

Want to join a community of smart, passionate people who are changing the world? That is what the Hacker Community is like, and I personally LOVE being part of it. Instead of talking about problems, Hackers focus on solutions. There are always a ton of meetups, conferences, and cool events to go to where you can meet some really incredible and passionate people.

One of my favorite parts about the hacker community is how open they are with sharing knowledge. From open source projects to StackOverlow to Hacker News to Github to incredible meetups and workshops, hackers are there to help you or let you use their code in your time of need.

Work Flexible Hours

Hackers are notorious for being night owls, working late into the night and waking up late. While this is not my personal style (I like to wake up at 6am :), if you’re into sleeping in or keeping different work hours, this is the job for you.

I’ve worked in places where most people get to work around 10 or 11am. It is also completely normal to step out for coffee or run a personal errand as you need to throughout the day. Whatever the hours you prefer, if you’re getting your work done, you can negotiate whatever hours work best for you.

Casual Friday Every Day

Hackers judge you by one thing: your work. What you wear hardly matters. Some hackers even wear the same thing every day! Software Engineers, especially in Silicon Valley, are known for wearing jeans, t-shirts, and hoodies to work. It is very rare to see a suit in a tech company office.

So throw out your tie and dress shoes! You can finally be comfortable again.

Love Your Job

I cannot stress enough how fun it is to be a Software Engineer. Every day you’re building some cool new feature or fixing a bug and learning something new. It is seriously the most fun you’ll have!

Happy Learning!

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  • Congratulations! (and Thank you for the inspiration in the last couple of month)

  • Hi Natasha, I’m also learning to code. I only just found your blog through Google Alerts. Will definitely be subscribing.

  • Adam Boatman

    Hi Natasha, I’ve been contemplating for a very short period of time. Actually, I’m pretty good with computers but programming never came to mind. So, in doing some research… I purchased your book. It’s a great read and inspired me to begin my re-education in code. I just took my first online class tonight and I’m, basically, following your advice to a T!!! Thank you very much and I hope that isn’t the last thing you write 🙂

    • Hi Adam,

      This just made my day! So excited that you’re learning to code. Are you taking the Stanford CS106A course? I’d love to hear about your progress!

      • Adam Boatman

        Actually, I’m started with but I believe I’ve reached my limit. The video classes stop after the 14th lesson. So, I’ll finish up reading the lessons and then I’ll be moving on to CS106A. I’ve started a blog at It’s my first blog but I’m making sure I track every peice of my education. I’ve joined and found a few groups I believe I would like to meet. I just want to learn as much as human possible because I don’t want to look like a complete idiot. Finally, I’ve been reading Programming for Dummies and have purchased multiple other books to follow that one. I want keep quinching that thirst for knowledge. If you could recommend any other books, it would be greatly appriciated.

        • Wow, you’re an extremely talented writing. LOVE your blog!!! Next time, just let me know if you have trouble finding any of the resources – I can easily point you to them. Here is the Wiki I wrote for the Stanford CS106A course:

          You’re thirst for knowledge is incredible. Keep going!!!

          What kind of books are you looking for? If you’re learning Ruby, this one is great: If you want more lighter reading about programming culture and building products, this one is great:

          • Adam Boatman

            Outstanding!! Thank you very much. I’ll take a gander at them

          • Adam Boatman

            I hope you don’t mind. I began reading the book you recommended by Jeff Atwood and I recently posted on my blog about you being a mentor to me. I’m almost finished with the courses on Computer Science for Everyone and I’ll be headed to CS106A. The holidays have stalled me slightly but I know I need to stay the course. Thanks again

          • Hi Adam,

            Happy New Year!!!! I love reading your blog posts, and I’m looking forward to what you’ll do in 2013 🙂

            I love my kindle as well, so can totally relate. I’ll let you know if I come across any other books. So excited for you!!

          • Adam, just saw this – looks like a great reading list:

          • Adam Boatman

            Oh also, I guess I failed to mention I found when doing some research on you. What can I say… I attempt to be thorough. Anyways, great idea. I Love workflowy. com I’m about to finish Jeff Atwood’s book and I’ll be writing a blog post about it. I can’t get the other book your recommend because I’m a child of the 21st century…. Instant gratification is key 🙂 So I’m more focused on ebooks because I can mark and highlight them. Anymore suggestions? OH… HAPPY (soon to come) NEW YEAR!!!! I pray your holidays were well

  • Shay

    Hello Natasha, You have motivated me in so many ways and I really appreciate the effort you have put forth to get information to those seeking guidance. With that said – I am purchasing your book today. I am currently an IT Project Manager and have been wanting to take my career to the next level. I will continue to follow you and your posts as I enter into this exciting Learning journey.

    • Hi Shay,

      I’m super excited for your resolution to take your career to the next level! Thank you for purchasing my book, I’ll send you a follow up email so you have my email address and can let me know if you need any help or have any questions.

      Happy Learning!

  • Ann

    I will be purchasing your book on pay day! I’m 30 hours from graduating in Public Relations, but I’ve taken a hiatus from school (due to costs and career assessment) to build “income-generating” skills and experience. I’m preparing myself to have a specialty in Content Strategy, and I’m currently taking courses at Codecademy and The New Boston. I’ve completed the Web Fundamentals from Codecademy, and I am following up what I’ve learn from The New Boston, W3Schools and eventually Codeschool. I plan to start the CS106A course and purchase your book. I recently learned about “marketers who code” from browsing your site, and that’s the direction I’m going. Thank you for inspiring me! I eventually hope to attend a “bootcamp” at the end of my journey learning independently from online schools, books, and application (Beginners Programming, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Jquery PHP, MySql, Ruby, Ruby On Rails, and more.) I am writing a book on wellness, and will be testing ebook launching & marketing, and more content expansion. If you have any tips on how Content Strategy and Web Development can create the perfect marriage, please let me know!

    • Hi Ann,

      Just google “growth hacker” and read everything there is on it! Here is a great article as a starting point:

      I recommend you start a growth hacker blog and twitter account for yourself, and post everything you’re learning on it to establish your brand. As you’re learning to code, focus on making products that will help you with your new career path.

      The hardest thing in all of this is knowing what you really want to do with your coding skills, and you’ve already accomplished that 🙂

  • SFTechJunkie

    Natasha, I came across your blog a couple of months ago when I was in the middle of my DBC application. Last week I was accepted to DBC and I’ll be starting this August. It’s really inspiring see your commitment to learning and to see how far you’ve come. I feel like it’s already been a long journey for me and it’s really just the beginning. Thinking so abstractly doesn’t come naturally for me so it’s tough but I’m so driven by my goal of being able to build my own ideas. I’m sure you’re really busy but I would appreciate your thoughts on a few questions I have about your pre and post DBC experience. Your insight would go a long way. Regardless, congrats on all you’ve achieved!

    • Always happy to answer questions! Email me at natasha at