Lumen Sivitz

Innovator with broad experience in recruiting

Becoming A Programmer Part 1

July 09, 2020

I’ve tried to learn to program a few times over the years:

  • Took a highschool CS class (but never built anything outside of class)
  • Started college as a CS major (but stumbled through assignments without learning deeply)
  • Founded a software company Mighty Spring (and spent 6 months trying [read: failing] to build an MVP before recruiting a team of real engineering talent)

I built enough with that last one to convince others of my enthusiasm, but that was about it.

The theme across these efforts was clear: every time I tried to learn, I got stuck on fundamentals essential to being a programmer but that weren’t programming.

Did I want to be a sysadmin? No, but there I was, Googling how to add things to my $PATH.


The possibilities sprouting from a new idea are great motivation for learning, and recently, I thought of something small enough to consider building myself.

This time, a couple of months into my fourth stab at becoming a programmer, I’m approaching a real MVP.

I started with a basic python script. One quickly grew to three, and now I’ve got them strung together with an API call to Google Cloud Platform.

For front end, after some HTML and CSS, I started into JavaScript and, while awed by the learning curve, I’m learning React.

My knowledge in all of these things is surface-level (intimidatingly so when I look at the big picture), but I’m picking up something new every time I sit down to code.

I’m barely an intern-level programmer today. But tomorrow I’ll be a junior programmer, and soon, I’ll be a junior programmer with an MVP.

This time it’s going to stick.