Foot in the Door: My Self-Taught Journey Becoming a Software Engineer

You don’t need a degree in Computer Science or an expensive bootcamp to become a successful web developer and make a six figure salary.

This short book cuts out all the BS and details how I taught myself to code and transitioned careers into the lucrative tech industry, and how you can too. Each chapter discusses a different stage of my transition while sharing advice I would give my past self in each stage.

By Nadya Primak

Watch my Video Summary

Watch my presentation where I speak about my experience transitioning from design to being a full time software developer and tripling my salary.

Testimonials from Amazon

Riveting Experience

Some of the things Nadya describes are to me a foreign language. But even though systems and technology change, humans don’t change. And because of this, I found her experience riveting. She has structured her each chapter in two parts: Memories and Takeaways. This is a helpful construct.

Spot On

Nadya is spot on when she suggests that others should:
• Be quick to dive in and get your hands dirty,
• To surround yourself with mentors who inspire you to keep going and not give up on the face of adversity,
• And, to not be afraid to ask for help or advice.

Very Detailed

A very detailed account of getting acknowledgement and the courage to make the jump into software development. Anyone considering entering the field could read this to learn from Nadya’s experience.

Zero Coding Background

I have 0 coding background, but have always been interested. By your example, I’ve downloaded an app, several podcasts, and am browsing MOOC right now.

Delightfully Concise

A motivating telling of a woman’s self taught journey to a fruitful software engineer career. Delightfully concise ebook about a woman’s self taught journey to becoming a successful software engineer.

Pragmatic Advice

I LOVED this book. It’s a wonderful mixture of pragmatic advice and wonderful, candid reflection. The author is someone who worked hard to build herself up through college, then found out that things weren’t exactly as they cracked up to be.

Like Having Coffee with a Tech Friend

In my personal case, considering the fact that I don’t have many friends in the tech field, this book made me feel like I sat down in a coffee shop with a friend, which happen to be a tech expert, and got all the ins and outs of the industry before beginning my incursion in the tech world. She really wrote the book in an easy to understand language and short enough for you to finish it in a day if you have the time.

Highly Recommend

Highly recommend this book for anyone considering a career in tech. It contains a wealth of personal vignettes, followed up with practical advice . The book is well organized into memory and takeaway sections that address specific issues in a logical progression.

Testimonials from Twitter

Read my interview with Tanya K on TechTwoX

Hi, could you introduce yourself?

I'm a creative technologist who enjoys using code to make apps, games, and art.

How did you get into your current field?

When I was 4 my family moved from Siberia to give me a new life in the United States and as immigrants, they were always encouraging me to pursue a lucrative career. However growing up I wanted to be an artist or a writer so it took some time for me to change my path.


About The Author

Nadya Primak is a software engineer who may or may not have worked at more jobs than she has fingers (and yes, she still has all her fingers). She was born in Krasnoyarsk, a small icy town in Siberia, grew up in Rochester, a small icy town in Minnesota, and went to college in Oberlin, a small, icy town in Ohio before finally putting her frigid past behind her and moving to Washington, DC, where the dark forecasts tend to be more political and less weather-related.

After taking classes in art and creative writing and dreaming of an exciting life in game design, she settled down into a career filled riveting tasks like designing the look of a mass email (which was never actually sent), changing the display of an app to make it five pixels wider (because every pixel counts) and attending team meetings on whatever company synergy is. Big tech companies, small startups, and even a liberal arts college--she has worked at them all.

Along the way, Nadya learned a great deal about programming, which is complicated, and about corporate culture, which is even more complicated. After a few moments where she wanted to pull out her hair in frustration, she wrote her first book, Foot in the Door, so that other people would be able to jump-start their career with their scalps intact. She has also published blog posts on Hackernoon, Code Like a Girl, and Gamasutra, and, now that her career has finally settled down, is working on catching up on her game-making. Her first VR game, Nightcrawler Bowling, is available on Steam.