Bobby McKenna


Turn On, Code In, Drop Out: Tech Programmers Don’t Need College Diplomas

From our winter issue, GOOD 025: The Next Big Thing

David King got his start as a professional programmer working odd jobs. He took on small software projects, set up networks, that sort of thing. For fun in his spare time he’d contribute to the open-source operating system FreeBSD—a pastime many developers consider the most thankless job ever. People started to notice. Eventually, King landed a gig with Reddit, the biggest social news site on the web. Now he’s one of six engineers at Hipmunk, a travel site with good buzz and $5 million in funding. He works with his friends, makes a good living, has equity. By all accounts, Dave King is the midst of an impressive career. He’s a successful developer. And, like many of his peers nowadays, he did it all without a college degree.

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