S3E10: Starting and Scaling Lucidchart with CTO Ben Dilts

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In today’s episode of the Learn to Code With Me podcast, I talk with Ben Dilts. Ben is the CTO and co-founder of Lucid Software – the company behind Lucidchart and Lucidpress.

Ben’s love of coding began when he was just a child; he wrote his first line of code at the age of six. After studying computer science, he worked as a software engineer and CTO before founding Lucid Software.

In this episode, Ben explains the difference between a CTO and a CIO and outlines what his role as CTO involves. He explains how he created and grew Lucid Software and reminds us how important it is to build projects you’re passionate about.

This episode was transcribed with the help of an AI transcription tool. Please forgive any typos.

Laurence Bradford 0:06
Hey, you're currently listening to Season 3 of the Learn to Code With Me podcast. I'm your host, Laurence Bradford. And this season I chat with a range of individuals who work in tech.

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Laurence Bradford 0:52
Hey listeners, welcome to the Learn to Code With Me podcast. I'm your host Laurence Bradford. In today's episode, I talk with Ben Dilts, CTO Lucidchart, a leading online diagramming application. In fact, it's a tool that I use all the time, which made me super excited to get him on the show. In our interview, Ben shares how he started his own company lucid chart and scaled it. He also talks about interviewing engineers and the different roles that engineers can play in senior management. Before we get into the interview, I also just wanted to throw in a quick mention that you can sign up for free Lucidchart account at learntocodewith.me/lucidchart. That's spelled like L-U-C-I-D C-H-A-R-T. Just an FYI, that's my affiliate link, which means that if you get a paid account, I'll get a little kickback for recommending it at no extra cost to you. Remember, you can get Show Notes for this episode, plus more information about Ben at learntocodewith.me/podcast. Enjoy.

Laurence Bradford 1:58
Hi, Ben, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Ben Dilts 2:00
So glad to be here.

Laurence Bradford 2:01
Could you introduce yourself to the audience?

Ben Dilts 2:03
Sure. I'm Ben Dilts. I'm the founder, CTO, and mad scientist at Lucid Software makers of Lucidchart.

Laurence Bradford 2:11
Yes, I'm so excited to have you on because I have been using Lucidchart for a few years now. So it's really excited to get one of the founders on the show and talk to you, of course, but I would love to go back in time of it. Because as I as I've heard, and as I've read, you began learning to code at a really young age, right?

Ben Dilts 2:31
Yeah. In fact, I had had my mom go back and validate my memory of this. It was so long ago from from her journal. I actually wrote my first lines of code at the age of six.

Laurence Bradford 2:42
Yeah, that's like so that's crazy. I feel like I maybe was by computer when I was six, but definitely have any recollection of it. So like, where were you like, what kind of computer was it? Like, what how did you even get like access to one at such a young age?

Ben Dilts 2:57
Yeah. So this is this was in the late 80s maybe 1990 my dad had actually taken a job working as a programmer, which was not a thing you used to go to school for it was a thing they sort of trained you on the job for. He took a job doing programming for EDS rosboroughs company back in Pennsylvania. And one day, we were driving home in the car, I don't remember where from and he said to my mom, you know, we should teach those kids how to how to program the computer. We had a Commodore we had a Commodore 128 at home and and you know, it was one of these computers that you put a you know, big cartridge in the back and maybe play some games or, but it was a My mom used it for her accounting work. And so we came home and dad sat us down in front of the computer. I mean, me and my two older brothers. And he sat down he wrote a couple of lines of code and and hit run and it said it typed out, what is your name, and I typed Ben and hit Enter. And it said, Hello, Ben. And my six year old mind was blown.

Ben Dilts 4:09
This was just the greatest thing I had ever seen in my life. We had just made the computer that we had sitting in our living room, do something that it had never done before. And I could understand what had happened to make that work. And I thought to myself, this is the greatest toy I have ever seen. And, and so I started spending a lot of time on it, just playing with it, seeing what I could make it. Do. You know, the Commodores at the time came with this big fat spiral bound manual of what you could do in Commodore basic. And in retrospect, I think it might be a little crazy, but I I think I read basically the whole thing over the next couple of years, learning how to, you know, listen to the joystick and draw graphics On the screen and all these kinds of things, and for me, it was just a fascination.

Laurence Bradford 5:03
Yeah, that that's so awesome. I have had a few other guests on the show that began, I guess you could say coda get coding on a computer or had really early exposure to computer like before the age of 10. And I just see, I think it's super interesting. I definitely had a computer growing up, but I was maybe just playing computer games. I don't think I ever ever dabbled that far into it. But I'm super curious because this, you know, this, what I'm assuming was like in the 90s. And before, there were all these resources online, and probably even there weren't even as many books as there are now on learning how to program. So how did you continue learning after that?

Ben Dilts 5:41
Well, you know, that's an interesting question. This was before really the web as we know it. I remember one time I was in middle school, and I was, you know, probably 12 or 13. And I was working on this game. I wanted to figure out how to turn the, the character on the screen, I wanted to figure out how to turn them left and right. And in order to do this, I needed to know some math that I didn't know about taking a point and rotating it around this other point by some angle and figuring out where it lands. And now you hit Google and give you back an answer in about four seconds back then, there was no such thing. I remember walking to the high school and finding a math teacher and asking them and when they didn't know I gave up. And you know that it was it was really interesting. Back then trying to figure it out. My dad was great. He was super supportive. He he bought a bunch of programming books of different descriptions to sort of helped me through a lot of the basics and, and different languages and honestly, he didn't really know what was going to be useful and so we had a pretty good bookshelf of written materials about how to program how to solve different problems. But mostly it was trying everything that didn't work until I ran out of them and found the right thing. That didn't work.

Laurence Bradford 7:13
Yeah, that's really neat. When you were telling that story about trying to make something like turn on the computer and what came to mind what to me is like scratch in the code or challenges and I know that I mean, completely different from probably what you were doing because now they're very animated and like, looks like Pac Man or you know, other like, like Angry Bird or something. But it just reminds me how to teach kids nowadays like to do simple math equations. So I can make the little character turn and go through like some maze and what have you.

Ben Dilts 7:42
Yeah, I'll tell you a scratch i think is one of these really fantastic inventions. I kid you not. My eight year old son who just turned eight called me up on my cell phone here at work about 20 minutes ago to tell me about this amazing thing that he made. Scratch. Oh, yeah, he, he was really interested in learning how to make computers do things. He sort of understands what I do for work. And and he thought that it was really cool and he wanted to learn how to do it and I found scratch and I set it up for him. We bought him a book from the Scholastic Book Fair on, you know, some instructions for different projects in Scratch, and he's really taken to it, which is exciting for me. I'm proud dad now.

Laurence Bradford 8:30
Yeah, there is a totally good topic here. But a few years ago, I helped out it was it's called Tech Girlz. It's it's with like a z on the end, and specifically for middle school girls. And oh my goodness, it was a game development class. And I totally forget what the name of the software was. It was at Microsoft though. It was a Microsoft like software, but it was for building games. And even though I think it wasn't just for children's for adults, but definitely remind me of scratch because of the way you sort of like animated the characters and have them Like a move through these different like these different I don't even know you spaces that you took you could create yourself. I'm gonna have to relook that up but I definitely think I could see how kids would love that. And I remember all the girls at this event love video games loved making these games and it was really exciting is really exciting to watch.

Ben Dilts 9:18
Yeah, I love that sort of thing. I love watching the the fire catch in their eyes, right when they realize that you can make something I think creating is something that is really exciting for everyone and, and knowing that you're making something new that's never been made before. There's something exciting about that.

Laurence Bradford 9:37
Yes. 100%. Okay, so back back to you back to your story. So you later went to college and I saw you studied computer science in college. Was that just like a natural next step for you?

Ben Dilts 9:49
Yeah, I came out here. So as I mentioned, I grew up in Pennsylvania, came out to Utah, went to BYU and took the computer science program. I was figuring out a physics minor Until I took some physics classes. It's a it was the math was far beyond me. But yeah, the computer science program at BYU is fantastic. One thing I'll say is that the university education in computer science is, is particularly useful because it teaches you things that you wouldn't ever think to go find out how to do on your own. You know, from my history of just building things with, you know, whatever tools I had easily at hand, I didn't realize all of the different fields of really rigorous study around computer science where if you want to, you know, if you want to parse a computer language, which I've now had to do a half a dozen times for different reasons. There's a really good way of doing that, right. And people have figured that out. And having a little bit of rigorous instruction, I think goes a long way towards opening your mind and the way that you think about how to write software.

Laurence Bradford 11:01
Yeah, a lot of the listeners are past college and, you know, maybe study something else, at least I certainly did. I studied history when I was in college and didn't even realize like tech was an option for me until I was out of college and fortunately, but yeah, for those that are still, you know, in high school, and I know there certainly are listeners that are at that age, I always tell people if they're deciding what to study in school, between computer science and something else to go with computer science, because I feel like even if they don't become like a full time software engineer, it has so many. There's so much value in so many different ways. Like even today at my at my job, my full time job. We did like a sequel workshop and a bunch of us from like, a bunch of people from all the teams across the company. Were there from your customer support to like marketing, and so on. And, like just because sequel has so much real world value in it, no matter what department you're in, you can use it for something.

Ben Dilts 11:58
That's right. It's great. Have a handle on what kinds of problems you can solve with computers. I mean, there's, I think for people who have never been hands on trying to make a computer do something new. There's no concept of what is easy, what is hard, what is totally impossible to make a computer do. And you know, obviously, those are moving targets. Five years ago, if you asked me if a computer could reliably recognize that a picture had a cat in it, I probably would have told you a little never be very good, but it's it's gotten pretty good. You know, there's there's been a lot of cool research around those things, but having a basic idea of what did computers actually do? What are they good at? What can I use them for? You know, trying to get a computer to do something new might be the best way to wrap your head around that?

Laurence Bradford 12:46
Yeah, certainly. So now I'm gonna totally like fast forward of it because you studied computer science. I was looking at your LinkedIn beforehand. I saw you also worked as a software engineer. And now of course, you start your own company. You're the CTO, and I also So I know that you were a CTO before that at another company. And I don't get too many people, I think you actually may be the first person on the show who is a CTO, I definitely have interviewed plenty of software engineers. But what was the transition like, of going from being a software engineer like coding the day to day to then being in a more of a leadership role in tech.

Ben Dilts 13:19
So it's interesting. You sort of, I think a lot of people grow out of coding as the organization grows around them, and it's sort of out of necessity. The CTO, that position is, I think, a little different from say, an engineer, like as Vice President of Engineering or a CIO, the CTO really continues to be involved in the important technical decisions. What does our technical stack look like? How does it operate? And so it's really important to maintain a grounded feel for what are we using? What are the performance characteristics, how do these things interact? How do they operate? And so for me, keeping my hands in it has been, has been a great way to serve the best way in the leadership role. So I actually continue to write code on a pretty regular basis. And it allows me to make informed decisions around bigger technical questions. If we say what we're having problems with our data storage system, and these are the kinds of problems I can contribute and make an intelligent decision that people can respect and get behind. Because they know that I've been in it and then I have a good feel for how the system actually operates, still.

Laurence Bradford 14:47
Yeah, that definitely makes sense. And how Lucid Software, obviously, you guys are a software company. how big is the engineering team there or the technology team? Whatever you guys call it.

Ben Dilts 14:57
Well, so that That question is going to have a very different answer really soon. And we hire a lot of people from universities. That's sort of our strategy is we run a big internship program for university students. And we hire a lot of them full time when they graduate. And school is getting out between now. So right now, I think we have around 35 full time software engineers, and seven or so full time QA testers, and then a number of people in product management and design and other sorts of related things in, you know, in the bigger r&d group, but it's about 35 full time software engineers. About four weeks from now, including interns, it's gonna be more like 60. And we we sort of breathe in this big class of interns and help them and train them and get them all ready and then breathe it back out in the fall and send them all back to school. And so it is an interesting place here. The team looks very different in the summertime than it does the rest of the year.

Laurence Bradford 16:06
Wow. So that's really interesting. And that's like the first time I've ever heard of a company hiring so many interns like it's like almost like double your current number of engineers. You said 35. And then you'll have about 60. And what is the reason for that? Or what? How is the benefit? Like, how did you guys start doing that? And what have you seen the benefits are?

Ben Dilts 16:26
So we started doing this very early, obviously, not to the scale, but we've always had every summer for the last four or so. We've had as I was going to say, as many interns as we can handle, but really, it's so many that we're desperately trying to not hire another intern, but we always do because we always find another amazing person who wants to come on the team and so it winds up being a lot. Literally every person who's worked here for six months or more is going to be mentoring somebody and bringing them up to speed and helping them learn how it works.

Ben Dilts 17:02
So it started several years ago, when we were still small, there were only a handful of software engineers. And like everyone else, especially here in Utah, we're having difficulty hiring full time software engineers who are, you know, at the top of their game. It's a difficult market to find people to hire in. But you could find people to give internships to. And so what we did is we went down to BYU, which is close by and we sponsor DCM club, we ran a programming competition, we sort of built up a good name for ourselves there and hired a few top students through the summer for an internship, sort of as an experiment, but with the idea that these guys seemed great. They were really smart. They were we expected them to contribute immediately. It wasn't, you know, like this unpaid internship for somebody who you're putting up with for a few months. We put them through the same interview process as we did our full time hires.

Ben Dilts 17:58
And we said we're pretty likely we're going to want to make a full time offer to this person. Let's bring him in. And in fact that first summer, the interns who we brought on, they're still here working. And they're all leading teams of engineers here. And so, you know, it turned out very early to be very successful. And the reason it did is that we kept our bar for bringing people on very high as the same. As I mentioned, the same interview process that we do for full time hires we were doing for interns. And what that does is it allows us to throw the interns into the fire. There's no intern tasks and full time people tasks. Everybody's on teams of three to five engineers, and everybody works on all of the projects and and from what I've heard, the people who come here for internships go back to school and won't stop raving about how much they loved it here because they felt like they were really contributing to something.

Laurence Bradford 18:53
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Laurence Bradford 21:05
That's really awesome that you guys, when I do that, again, I feel like I haven't heard that many stories of tech companies hiring such a large number of interns. It sounds like it really worked well for you. So, and of course, we could continue to do that. So there was something else you mentioned, when you were explaining about your role as CTO, you mentioned, the position of CIO, Chief Information Officer, could you explain to me and I'm sure other listeners are in my boat and don't fully understand what a CIO does. Could you explain the difference between the CTO and the CIO?

Ben Dilts 21:35
Sure, so the CTO. So to be fair, all these titles, maybe mean slightly different things at different organizations, and the CTO is the Chief Technology Officer, and it's my role to make sure that we're making good technological decisions that you know, in the example that I I said, where you have difficulty with the storage, so If you're going to move to a different database, or if you're going to, you know, you're going to move your web servers to Amazon Web Services instead of running them yourself, or you're going to, you know, these sorts of important decisions for the actual product that you're delivering to your customers.

Ben Dilts 22:17
That's typically, you know, the buck stops at the CTO, the CIO is very much more what technology are we using as a company, right, internally? What software do we do we use? Do we use Salesforce for our sales organization? What other tools do we buy? What versus what tools do we build, right, as a software company have the ability if you want to spend resources there to build most anything you need internally? And so what do you build? What do you buy? Those sorts of decisions. There's also the other one I mentioned was the VP of Engineering here. We have a Vice President of Engineering, whose job it is to really run the day to day operations of our engineering team. So it's his job to Manage who's on what team making sure that people are rotated around regularly watching the productivity of the team watching the the number of bugs that we're creating and the number of bugs that we're solving. And basically keep the trains running on time. Right? It's, it's that person's job to really run the engineering organization, but not necessarily to make the highest level of technology decision.

Laurence Bradford 23:26
Yeah, so that role VP of engineering, at least at lucid, lucid software, sounds almost like a big prize a big like a higher up like project manager or something that or even like HR in some ways, like someone who is just orchestrating the the engineering team and it sounds like they're not coding in their day to day.

Ben Dilts 23:47
No, although he was at first. So our VP of engineering Brian Pugh is tremendously talented, and he joined us very early on when there were only a few of us and he He wrote a whole bunch of code along with me and everyone else. But as the organization grew, we realized my talents were particularly in building and in dealing with the particularly difficult technological problems that we had. And Brian was a much better manager, he was much better at sort of organizing the people and maintaining, you know, good relationships with everybody watching and making sure that, you know, people were well taken care of, and that projects were not being, you know, keeping people accountable, but still, you know, protecting them from unreasonable demands and so forth. And and from that perspective, I really, I can't envision anyone doing a better job than Brian has.

Laurence Bradford 24:40
Awesome. So as I mentioned this already, you were one of the founders of lucid software. And now of course, he's CTO. How did you start the company or like, how, how did you how did that happen? Like, how did you get this idea and for the listeners, I mean, you could probably do a better job explaining this than than I can, but What I'm most familiar with is lucid, lucid charts, which is like a wireframing, diagramming prototyping type of tool.

Ben Dilts 25:07
Yeah. So I started it out of desperation. Honestly, I really needed it. Before here, as you mentioned, I was CTO at another company that was doing Health Benefits Administration software. It was a brand new company. It was actually a pretty exciting time to be there. Because we were building products around new legislation that had come out that really there was no precedent, nobody, there was not a best way of doing this. We weren't copying somebody else's product, we really had to figure out how do you comply with all of with all of these regulations, and still provide a great experience to the customer? And how do we do it at a low cost to us, and what does that look like and how does it operate? It was an interesting challenge. Now, we were using Microsoft Visio as a sort of flow charting tool to draw out how does the information flow who has access to what how does this whole thing operate? And it was this massive 20 page Visio diagram. Now the problem is Visio is really expensive. And we were a start up. And so we had, you know, one or two licenses and the rest of the people, we were physically printing it out and drawing on it, and we were losing everybody's changes. And it was it was just this big disaster. You know, I should have been excited. But the reality is I was sort of dreading working on it every day just because of the the tools in the environment that I had.

Ben Dilts 26:30
Now, this was back in 2008. And even then, you know, Google Docs, it was pretty rough in those early days, but it was starting to be well accepted in business, that this is what you use if you want to work together simultaneously with other people. And it worked pretty well for that. And I said, Surely somebody has done this for diagramming. I mean, we're boxes and arrows and text is not rocket science. Somebody must have done it. And so I went and hit Google and I came up with a couple of sort of half baked flash apps that You know, they were fine as long as you didn't want to print it out or undo or zoom in or, you know, the sorts of things. It was, it was really bad and so, um, I just decided that I was going to build it.

Ben Dilts 27:13
And so, um, you know, nights and weekends, I use that term liberally a nights and weekends like 30 hours a week, I started building this thing really, as a way to work together with my team there but obviously I was building it with an eye towards towards selling it if anybody else was ever interested in it. And so, you know, I built this thing up and at the end of that year, maybe four months later in December, I put up a you know, I would describe it now as mostly working most of the time prototype of what became lucid chart and I put it up online wrote some bloggers bought $100 worth of bad words and an effort to get people in and and see who might be interested in using it. You know, it got picked up by a number of different blogs, including I think life hacker was one of the bigger ones. But I signed up thousands of free users in the course of the first two weeks after I put it up, and, and I realized them very early on that I had my hands on something good. Obviously, I was not the only person who was out there looking for this. If, you know with with no brand name at all, and, you know, a pretty rough around the edges version of this that I built myself, if I could attract that kind of attention. I really had my hands on some good.

Laurence Bradford 28:37
Yeah. Wow, that is super impressive that you get so many users in such a short time, and it definitely reinforces that this was in demand having this kind of shared diagramming tool. And I think you mentioned it, but again, what year was this in when you first launched it?

Ben Dilts 28:52
This was 2008, at the very end of 2008.

Laurence Bradford 28:55
Wow. Yeah. And how has Lucid - so it was did start off as Lucidchart and then become Lucid Software?

Ben Dilts 29:03
Yeah, so I mean it was Lucid Chart, I mean Lucid Chart was the the thing that I built. And I think very early on. So so if I carry on the story, I released it in this form, I got a bunch of users, I had my hands on something good in that fall of 2009. And the next year, you know, six months or so later, I bailed on my day job, went back down to BYU to finish up the degree that I set aside for a few years, but also to start building the company up in a business up around the technology that it started to build very early on. I met Carl Sun, who, as a potential investor, you know, I was looking for investors, somebody who could put in a little bit of money so that I could hire some additional developers and really get this thing off the ground. I met Carl, who is a longtime executive at Google could come to Utah and was sort of looking around to see what there was in the local startup industry. And I met him, and we really hit it off. Well, I mean, he, after eight or so years at Google, he was really drinking the kool aid on web apps being the future of how software is delivered. And and so he was, in fact, as I say, the first sucker to write a check. He did invest. But we got along really well. And I convinced him to come on full time as CEO. And so he saw a much bigger vision very early on, maybe before I did that there was more to this than just diagramming.

Ben Dilts 30:35
And, you know, we started building it up with this idea that that the technology that we built here was pretty fantastic and pretty unique, especially in those early days, around doing real time collaboration around graphics, there really was nothing like it at the time. And so you know, maybe surprisingly early in our life as a company, we launched our second product lucidpress, which is a pretty layout and design, product and digital layout and design as well. But similar to what you'd get with InDesign. And we did that. Because it was a really interesting market, it was something that we could do really well. It was also something that we could leverage the technology that we built really well. But a little bit of it was just to prove to the world and to ourselves. We're not just one thing, right? We're the vision here is to grow into one of the great software companies of the world. And, and we didn't want to get ourselves so siloed into one particular application.

Laurence Bradford 31:38
Yeah, that's so interesting, and also shows like how important it is to surround yourself with great people. And it sounds like the CEO who had this much bigger vision is an example of that. So aside from lucid chart and lucid press, is there anything else you guys have now today?

Ben Dilts 31:52
No, although those those two have been a moving target, you know, the lucid chart that we have today is almost unrecognizable from what there was You know, in the early days, we and so we offer a lot of really specialized tools in there. So for example, we have the ability to go, if you use Amazon Web Services to host, you know, a bunch of servers, we can actually read the configuration of your Amazon cloud and pull it down and help you build very rapidly in an automated way, a diagram of here's all of your stuff and how it's connected, and who can talk to what and so forth. You know, and those sorts of things get added on as time goes on. And then the product becomes more and more valuable. And for right now, we're focusing there on saying, we have these two great products that really have the opportunity to lead these markets and we want to make sure that we win here.

Laurence Bradford 32:45
Yeah, I'm definitely really excited to see where you guys end up in the future and how these products and continue to evolve and whatever else you may add to to your offerings, yet Ben, thank you so much for chatting with me today. And as like a final piece of advice, or as a way to as a way to wrap up the show, I love to ask my guests, if they could give any advice to someone who is learning to code. Maybe they're studying computer science right now, whatever the case may be, but they want a job in tech. What can a person do to take a step in the right direction?

Ben Dilts 33:20
Find something you want to build, and build it. I think one of the biggest things that I've seen that that's been a problem for people is that they say I want to learn how to program computers, but they don't have anything they actually want to make. And, you know, they're they're asking you, what should I make. And so find something that you want to build. You know, if you want to build a cool video game, that's a great thing if you want to, you know, you want to build a website, you want to build a tool to make websites, but find something that you're really interested in. Because if you're not really interested in it, you're gonna give up when it gets hard and it's gonna get hard. But you find a great project and you and you stick to it, and you Find another project and you build that one and you find another project. There's no substitute for spending the hours. Just building.

Laurence Bradford 34:09
Yes, I absolutely love it that advice. I tell people that all the time and you're so true and you're building something that you actually care about, you're way more likely to follow through with it and to finish whatever it is and even work on it well into the future. So thank you so much for sharing that Ben. And lastly, where can people find you online?

Ben Dilts 34:27
Sure. You can find me on Twitter @bendilts, B-E-N-D-I-L-T-S.

Laurence Bradford 34:31
Awesome. Thank you again for coming on the show.

Ben Dilts 34:34
Great, thank you.

Laurence Bradford 34:40
I hope you enjoyed our conversation. Again, the show notes for this interview can be found at learntocode with.me/podcast. If you're listening to this episode in the future, simply click the Search icon in the upper navigation and type in Ben's name. It's spelled like B-E-N, and the last name D-I-L-T-S. And remember that you can sign up for a free Lucidchart account at learntocodewith.me/lucidchart. It's an awesome tool for making flowcharts. And it's super useful for project planning, brainstorming and a whole lot more. If you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe to this podcast on whichever podcast player you're listening on. And if you feel particularly generous, a show rating and review would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for tuning in, and I'll see you next week.

Key takeaways:

  • A college education in computer science is really valuable. It teaches you things you wouldn’t think to go and learn on your own.
  • Never stop writing code, even in leadership roles. It helps you make more informed decisions on big tech questions.
  • Find something you really want to create, whether that’s a video game, a website, or a web app. If you try to build something you’re not excited about, you’ll struggle to see it through to the end.
  • Once you’ve built something, build something else. There’s no substitute for building projects when learning to code.

Links and mentions from the episode:

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for tuning in! Remember, you can listen to the Learn to Code With Me podcast on the following platforms:

  1. The LTCWM website (https://learntocodewith.me/podcast/)
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If you have a few extra minutes, please rate and review the show in iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show. I would really, really appreciate it!

Special thanks to this episode’s sponsors

Rithm School: Rithm offers 200+ hours of free online courses and is an amazing resource for anyone looking to become an exceptional fullstack web developer. Sign up and start learning at rithmschool.com/courses.

Level: Level from Northeastern University provides short-term, intensive programs where learners gain in-demand tech skills and experience. Go to leveledu.com/apply and enter the promo code learntocode to get a 15% discount.