About your instructor
Hi! I'm Ben Wilhelm. I've been a professional software developer since 2009, and teaching software development since 2017.
I started building websites as a hobby in college around 2001. I studied theatrical lighting, and made my living in theatre and TV production through my 20s. The idea of writing code for money hadn't even entered my mind. It was just a fun (somewhat addictive) pastime. But a confluence of events, including the recession of 2008-09, led me to double down on learning to code. And by the end of 2009 had I managed to start building a career of it.
Teaching myself to code was the most empowering thing I've ever done in my life. Learning how to fail, introspect, and improve built my self-confidence in a way that nothing else had. But in retrospect, I would have done a lot of things differently in my self-taught journey, and there are many things that I wish I had understood sooner.
By 2017 I was the Associate Director of Web Development for a consultancy with offices in New York, Chicago, LA, and Austin. I often found myself at the whiteboard mentoring younger devs, and almost on a whim, I decided to apply for a teaching job at a very highly regarded coding bootcamp.
While teaching myself to code was empowering, teaching others to code was the most rewarding thing I've ever done. Guiding others down the same path that I had started down almost 10 years prior was a daily joy that never got old.
Over time I started to notice some trends emerging in the grads that got hired right out of our program. The ones who excelled not just at learning the specific tools we taught, but who could think like software developers, had much easier time with the curriculum, and ultimately getting hired. Few if any bootcamps have time to really teach the higher-level thought processes and mindset of software development, and so I'm setting out to fill that gap.
I'm glad to have you along.
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