How I Became a Developer: Joseph Anderson

Southwest Coder Dojo


Southwest Coder Dojo is a member of Coder Dojo International, an organization of free, volunteer-led coding clubs. We were founded to provide introductory coding experiences for youth and teens (ages 11-18). Our volunteer mentors are software developers and software industry professionals from the Twin Cities.

Register with Hennepin County Library to attend our Dojo events. Tickets are free, but seats are limited. No experience in programming required. Remember to bring your laptop!


Joseph Anderson is a developer at The Nerdery in Bloomington. He's a volunteer mentor for Southwest Coder Dojo and a graduate of Prime Digital Academy, a coding bootcamp. Here we ask him how he got into computer programming.


How did you get into coding?

I've been coding for fun ever since I owned a Commodore 64 in the early 90s.  First, it was simple text based games in the BASIC language and then, as the web started to take off, it was a personal website using HTML.  It wasn't until long after college that I started to consider coding as a real career possibility for me when a friend of mine managed to get some work as a web developer after taking some online courses in web technologies.  I followed in her footsteps and took free classes online as well as enrolling at Prime Digital Academy here in the Twin Cities.


What was your first job as a programmer?

I got a job with a large software company building a web based software for large retailers.  From day one I was fixing bugs and extending functionality for an application that was going to be used by some of the very businesses I frequent.  I learned new technologies and was challenged every day to improve my skills and learn the art of software construction.

How has your career advanced from there?

Since then, I've continued to work on projects large and small but all within the realm of web based applications.  I still spend most of my day writing code but more and more of my time is spent reviewing other people's code and making bigger picture decisions about how our applications should be shaped and strategizing over approaches that will best fit our clients' needs. 

What advice would you give a young person who's interested in the field?


Curiosity is your best friend!  Find some aspect of technology that interests you and just jump in.  The resources available at your local library and online can help you develop a base of knowledge that will allow you to start building some pretty cool stuff.