From homelessness to making six figures: On learning how to code.

lvrbrtsn profile image Levi ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ Updated on ・2 min read

Most people know I am a college dropout, not a lot of people know that I am a high school drop out as well. At 17 I was living in my car, and after I crashed that (and had no insurance) I was living in a park.

Life was fucking rough, obviously, and I knew I needed a change. I dropped out so that I could get a job and try to support myself. I had a 3.8 high school GPA when I left. I got my GED and started working, I was digging holes for a living in the Arizona heat for $12hr. I decided I would be happy doing anything but this. I ended up attempting to go to college, about 2 years later and over 20k in student loans I started to wonder if college would really pay off. That is when by chance I moved to LA with the woman I was dating at the time (who became the love of my life).

There in Los Angeles I was introduced to a few self taught programmers who hired me to hand out drink samples for their e-commerce energy drink brand. These guys where just a couple of goof-off bro's that I got along with well. Not stuffy business dudes who I typically imagine when I think of the wealthy. I decided to teach myself to code that day. I remember sitting on the curb googling "Ruby on Rails" because its what those guys knew. 2 years later I was making over 100k.

My life changed forever because of a chance meeting and determination. Teaching myself how to code was difficult, but when contrasted to the time I spent in college it was obviously worth it. 2 years in college got me sitting on a curb after a long day of slinging drink samples. 2 years of learning to code has me sitting in my living room playing Skyrim VR. It is a no brainer really. If I could go back in time I would not change a single thing. This was the greatest investment I have ever made in myself.

Now I am trying to help others do the same. I am a true rags to riches story, and I want to show others how to do the same exact thing. If this interests you follow me on Twitter to get updates about my upcoming one-on-one mentoring program and courses!

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Levi ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ


I help people teach themselves JavaScript @thinkful & @trybloc. Working on my courses. I’m nice at ping pong 🏓


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You and me, Levi, share a similar story. I have respect for anyone who has the sheer determination, drive, and self empowerment to make something of themselves. Respect to you sir.


Always good to see others have done the same! The respect is mutual friend!


Well, I've just followed you on Twitter for sure. I'm not a newbie programmer, but have always had issues getting hired at any companies. I was a developer for several years at a mortgage bank, but only because I was there as an IT Technician first. Being self taught hurts me there. I've been a freelancer for many years now, but where I live is a .Net and Angular area and I'm a Python developer so I would love to see how you made the connections necessary to do what you've done. I come from a difficult background and have really had to claw past several issues in my life (albeit much less than yours). Great story man!


Thanks man! You should jump in my discourd, maybe I could give you a few tips that might help a little.


(Eng not my Native, srry)

I do identify with your story.

I started to work since very young due some family abuse context and the wish of have my own space in the middle of it.

I didn't care nothing about School wich was public, boring, and very, very low quality as our government never cared about people education even steal ITS funds being VERY corrupt.

Anyway, I started a very coarse (idk if It means what I want but It was a very stupid place) private college where I paid just to wacth my teachers harassing female students, being sexist and... at this point I was just truly fearing be living a meaningless life, so, even not playing well my guitar, as a songwriter, Bob Dylan fan, and with a brother I met on Internet, I decided to take my low economies (something around US$ 150) and make my way to the other side of the country, occupying the streets with my music...

In fact, after that decision, I survived/lived 3 years and a half from that, It took me to all kind of places I never tought I would go! I had very good, dreamful, perfects moments that made It all count, and the worst and harsh moments that teached me a lot, like live in the streets phases where I truly got scared about the chance of lose my life wandering there from there...

It was traumatic sometimes but It teached me a lot as a human being.

And as I was far from my family and struggling with my bills, even being able to conquer a cool house with a lot of cool friends, a cool life to be living, I decided to go back some steps, I got back to my family and as I self-learner and hard-worker, I started to tought very much on what I could do that I would love and make me some real good cash, and then, suddenly, all my love for computer, internet, video games, came to my eyes and I saw myself learning some languages (Java, python...) and working with Web Dev (HTML, CSS, JS, Sass, BEM).

Some choices happened after that, after spend some months on this process and one year with in my parents home, I went to work on mall to pay my move to the capital of the state, wich took my time I was investing on programming and the real deal happens there!

After all this and as I was struggling again to pay my Bills on capital, my family moved in to the Capital too and with my history, I got a scholarchip on the best computer science college on South América/América Latina, at least it's for me.

And don't think I dropout from músic, Im a multi-instrumentist nowadays, I still act as a músic producer when I have time, in fact I have some project on-the-go. I worked on some friends albums, and launched 3 by myself, for myself. I have an Idea to transform my label on a huge web platform to close the gap between different niche artists and between blogs, sites, yt Channel, magazine, places to play etc... And help people wich is beggining and much more (:


That is when by chance I moved to LA with the woman I was dating at the time (who became the love of my life)

So then the secret is to pick a woman that earn money.


Thank you for this!!!

This may work well as a “series” if you weren’t already thinking along those lines.


Oooh! I like that idea. What would you like to hear more about making this series worthy?


Well it’s really just a tool for you to use. Really just an implementation detail. It just means new readers can pick up on old stories more easily.


Bringing the power of Functional Programming to software near you.

This is a very interesting topic I'd like to know more about it (functional programming in JS).


I was solving challenges on Edabit in JS. I was doing it in an imperative way. But I thought it would be a good idea to takes the others' people solutions and to refactor them in a functional style. If I were proficient I'd make youtube videos out of that.


Wow, while I'm sorry to hear you were in such a place, this is an amazing story. Your post is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing.


Thanks! I am glad you found it inspiring. I try my best : )


I would love some help to find a new job, im stuck at my current job barely making any money and i go to school. Im a mainly a web dev but i love learning as much as possible


Thanks for this story Levi. I Needed to hear it.


No problem Stan! Thanks for the kind words!


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