Learning To Code

A teacher and trombonist turned developer: Garett Arrowood

Flatiron School / 23 November 2015

Garett Arrowood discovered Learn while at a crossroads in his life. As a freelance musician and former teacher, he’s always embraced a lifelong philosophy of learning and developing his craft. Now that he’s pursuing a career in web development, he opened up about what using Flatiron School’s online program Learn is really like, and gave some advice to those who are considering taking the plunge.


Garett says a key component to his success is a lifelong love of learning, studying, and improving his craft.

Why did you want to learn programming?
I no longer wanted to do what I was doing full-time, so I started looking around. I started reading one of those books that help you find your ideal career, and about a quarter of the way through it had me look at a bunch of different professions. That’s where I stopped. I got interested when I saw how much job opportunity was in this field and started investigating schools. I was planning on finding an immersive, but once I learned I could do it all online, I didn’t feel I needed to go to a physical school.

How is programming rewarding?
I started really liking it once I started doing it. I had no idea how much I would like it, but little by little what I found most appealing was the instant gratification. What’s really nice about coding is that you get what you put into it, so if you work and study hard, you’ll have a product right in front of your eyes. I’m a performing artist and teacher, and sometimes you can put in more effort than you get out. The more time you put into coding, the more value you get out of it. I feel like my time is always rewarded by having concrete things happening.

What were you doing before you started Learn, and how has that affected the way you learn to code?
I was and still am an active freelance musician. For the last five years, I also was a full-time teacher, but have been teaching in some capacity for my whole life. A major part of being successful in these fields for me was embracing a lifelong learning philosophy, forever studying and improving your craft. This lends itself very well to coding. As you meet more people in the tech community, you find that everyone is still learning and studying as they go. Since there is no way to learn everything out there, a good programmer learns how to learn, and keeps improving at it.

Read the full story here on CourseReport.

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