Omaha web developer Joshua Burden says coding is all about solving problems and brainstorming solutions.
“You get to work with puzzles all day,” he said.
Driven by the challenge of finding the right solution to a problem, Burden has recently taken on a teaching role at the code school where he once was a student.
His goal? Preparing students for careers in IT.
He admits his path to tech wasn’t obvious or straightforward. Burden joined the U.S. Marine Corps after high school, and continued to serve in the military in some capacity until 2014.
After he finished up with the Marines, Burden decided to study IT. He quickly learned what areas didn’t interest him, like network administration.
“I took a position where I was a glorified help desk, and I decided that wasn’t for me,” he said.
Then, after writing a successful script to run .exe files, he changed his focus. “I thought, if I can get that (program) to do what I want it to, maybe I should go into computer science and programming.”
Starting in 2014, Burden took two courses through the code school, choosing to specialize in the Java programming language.
After completing his coursework, he started working as a freelance software developer. He eventually took a position as the VP of technology at Beeso Studio, a company that partners with start-ups to turn ideas into successful products and companies. He reconnected with AIM Code School and updated the Java course curriculum.
He taught his first section of the class this spring and discovered a love of teaching. His course focuses on teaching skills that are attractive to employers and ensuring students understand core Java concepts.
“I tried to give (the students) real-world programming experience from day one,” he said. “I still speak with my students who are looking for work or advice, and I give the best guidance I can.”
That extends to help in solving a problem on a personal project or introducing students to his contacts at companies hiring entry-level developers.
In his free time, Burden enjoys cooking, relaxing outdoors and working on personal passion projects involving code. He looks forward to teaching at AIM Code School in the future.
For those considering attending AIM Code School or making a switch to a career in technology, Burden recommends doing research and preparing for action – a key lesson he learned in his time with the Marines.
“Anyone can program and learn these pieces,” Burden says. “But it takes willpower and mental fortitude to problem solve.”
These include reading books, searching online and having conversations with individuals about the IT field and what affiliated careers are like on a day-to-day basis. And, you can always connect with one of our helpful student coordinators to learn more about AIM Code School and a career in technology.
“Whatever you do, make sure it’s a commitment to yourself and your potential,” Burden said. “No one gets anywhere without commitment.”