Hello, World

Hi there!

I’m Professor Jake. I’m a computer programmer, software engineer, computer scientist, and university professor.

I’ve written software for one-man startups, giant mega-corporations, and everything in between.

I’ve also taught computer science at a public university, teaching programming, data structures & algorithms, and specialized things like mobile app development, physical computing, and mechatronics.

Here’s something interesting: Did you know that 60% of all professional programmers don’t have a formal computer science degree? Most are actually self-taught.

When self-taught programmers I work with learn about my background, they often say the same things:

“I wish I understood all that technical stuff.”

“I feel like an imposter without a computer science degree.”

“I don’t know anything about algorithms; sometimes I’m afraid that I’m writing bad code and I don’t even realize it.”

So, I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

80% of the stuff you learn in a computer science degree is stuff you’ll never use as a working programmer. It’s interesting stuff, for sure, but it’s not what you need to know. Except for a few specific jobs, you probably don’t need to know about back-propogation neural networks, relational calculus, or determining whether a problem is NP-hard or NP-complete.

That stuff is interesting, but for most programmers, it won’t ever matter.

But that other 20% can make all the difference. If you have two different ideas on how to solve a problem, how do you decide which one is best? If you’ve got code that’s not performing well, can you spot the performance problem? Can you resolve it? How do you decide whether to use an array, a list, or something more complex like a tree, graph, or database? (And for that matter, what’s the difference?)

That’s where I come in! I help working programmers who don’t have a formal CS education to fill in the gaps, so you can stay in the conversation with your peers, write better code, go into a job interview with confidence, and fearlessly tackle hard problems.

We’ll learn some really useful practical stuff (like how to make your code run faster), and some fun stuff that’s just plain interesting (like how RAM actually works).


(I told you I’m a professor – there’s ALWAYS homework)

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