CodeWizardsHQ instructors are all expert coding professionals who share a passion for teaching. While they have these attributes in common, it’s their unique abilities and diverse life experiences that make our classrooms such rich learning environments. Instructor Michael Joseph’s coding journey has given him a special appreciation for students who show enthusiasm and dedication, especially when they put in extra effort to succeed.
Michael’s Coding Journey
While many programmers credit a love of gaming for their initial interest in programming, Michael Joseph cites a childhood filled with logic and building-based hobbies as his entry into the world of technology.
“As a kid, I wasn’t really into video games, but what I did have was a lot of Lego sets and Lincoln Logs, so building and being creative and innovative was something that was instilled in me.”
Inspired by his dad, who worked in the hardware side of IT and a few high school coding classes, Michael, an Atlanta native, set off for Florida State with his eye on a degree in computer science. The out-of-state college experience was not the best fit for Michael, and neither was his first coding class. Undaunted, after a year in Florida, Michael enrolled at Georgia State University. He appreciated the professional downtown Atlanta location of his new school in the heart of a fast-paced city. This turned out to be the perfect track for Michael, and his love of coding was rekindled.
During his tenure at Georgia State, he was recruited to manage a local restaurant. The offer was too promising to turn down, so he suspended his college studies to take on this challenging role. The position was short-lived though, as the pandemic’s lockdown affected the restaurant industry. As a result, Michael turned his attention back to Georgia State, completing his degree in 2022. He particularly enjoyed classes in mobile app development and machine learning.
After graduation, Michael decided to take advantage of the break to travel abroad. He spent the summer in Europe, exploring Paris for two months and visiting Amsterdam and Berlin. Michael appreciated the European lifestyle, especially the ability to walk to daily activities. He took another month that same year to visit Mexico City.
A New Career
Michael returned home, excited for a fresh start and his new career. He worked a variety of jobs that included coding instruction and then stumbled onto CodeWizardsHQ. He was thrilled to start a position as a coding instructor. With almost a year at CodeWizardsHQ Michael has taught all age levels. While he has experience teaching many classes, he enjoys the introductory classes the most. He draws from his own experience.
“I know how I struggled early on, and I know what that feels like. I love communicating with the students, and I look for the aha moments when they understand and everything clicks.”
When asked about classroom memorable moments, he remembers a specific student in an Intro to Python Middle School class.
“He was a good kid. Anytime I asked a question, he was always up for answering it, but he didn’t always answer correctly, and sometimes when he turned in his homework, there would be a few bugs. But as the class progressed, I could see the effort that he was putting in, and I knew that he was working hard.”
Michael empathizes with hard-working students and remembers his own coding experiences.
“I enjoy being on their learning journey with them. Once you’ve learned something, it’s easy to take for granted how hard it was to learn that thing. Being on the journey with them is very fulfilling for me.”
Michael is emphatic about giving kids the opportunity for early coding education and has advice for parents.
“If they recognize that their child is interested in coding, I would absolutely get them signed up for coding classes because that early exposure is critical. I always think about where I was when I started coding versus where my students are. Taking the time to practice and learn coding now will pay off for them in the long term.”
Hobbies and Downtime
Outside of instruction, Michael spends time staying fit and exercising. He looks for opportunities to incorporate the healthy European walking lifestyle that he enjoyed during his travels. He is a self-described huge football fan. Michael loves following college and professional football and has an affinity for the Seminoles from his time at Florida State and his hometown Atlanta Falcons. Fantasy football is a big part of his life.
“Fantasy football is interesting because I’m no longer rooting for any specific team, I’m rooting for specific players. When I’m playing fantasy football, I’m glued to every single game going on in the NFL.”
This year, Michael earned third place in his fantasy football league. Michael describes the fantasy football experience.
“There’s a group of people. Everyone has their own team. We have a draft at the beginning of the season. You pick players from any team to build your own personal team. You pick a quarterback, two running backs, a receiver, a kicker, a tight end, and a defense.”
He admits to being immersed in football statistics all season.
“Fantasy football is basically data analytics. You just pay attention to the stats. I always like to see what rookies I can pick up each year.”
Michael is also an audiophile with a growing collection of vinyl records. He listens to many genres, including R&B and Daft Punk, and shared that he inherited his grandfather’s vinyl collection, which includes the Jackson 5 as well as one of President Kennedy’s speeches.
“On vinyl records, the actual sound waves are engraved into the wax, so when you play vinyl, it’s like hearing your favorite artists live. I feel like it’s a form of media that will never die.”
CodeWizardsHQ is proud to shine a light on instructors like Michael, who bring programming expertise, teaching dedication, and their own unique experiences to our classrooms. We are fortunate to have him as part of our coding family.