You Don't Need a Computer Science Degree

When I speak to students, particularly at programs like Bitmaker or Lighthouse Labs, one student inevitably pulls me aside for a question:

Is it really possible to be successful without a computer science degree?

The short answer? Yes. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you a computer science degree — or any degree — is a requirement for success in this industry.

I don’t have a degree. Also, I suck at math. Don’t believe that one either. Seriously. I was a terrible math student. I failed math in the 10th grade. Just bombed it. They sent me to summer school to catch up and, when I was done, told me I’d have to redo the school year anyway.

I still count on my fingers, sometimes.

Despite those shortcomings, here I stand. I have created and contributed to projects that have been featured by Apple, garnered serious media attention, won awards, and been used by people all over the world.

I have been programming professionally for more than a decade. In that time I’ve been lucky to work with the best this community has to offer — and the worst. I have done great work — and shitty work. I have had success. And I have had crippling failure.

And you will too.



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