The PopSmoke Show

Transitioning Veterans Can Learn to Develop Software (PS007)

Meet John Davison

John Davison PopSmoke Show

John Davison, founder Antipattern

My friend John served in the Navy as a Financial and Logistics Officer.

He’s a 2012 Dev Bootcamp Alumni and 2013 TechStars Patriot Boot Camp Alumni. With passion for software and product development, he has helped numerous startups grow with his technical skills.

John loves teaching people how to code and is currently working on building a marketplace for code reviews called Antipattern.

I met John at TechStars Patriot Boot Camp in Washington D.C. TechStars like I said on the previous episode has a special place in my heart because it’s the 1st of 10 conferences I attended.

About Antipattern

A community of developers committed to improving each others skills through the act of code review.


  • RallyPoint: RallyPoint is the world’s largest professional military network. Signup for Free and start making valuable connections.

Show Notes

In this episode I ask John:

  • How do you evaluate different opportunities presented to you?
  • What’s 1 thing you would have done differently when transitioning out of the military and joining 1st Civ Div?
  • What made you interested in learning to code?
  • What’s 1 thing you learned teaching courses online?
  • What’s 1 personal or professional challenge you’re experiencing right now?
  • How do developers charge for their work?
  • As a developer, what’s your biggest pet peeve when working with an entrepreneur?
  • If someone is transitioning out of the military and they’re interested in learning how to code…what’s the 1st step they should take to start their journey?
  • How do you minimize distractions when you’re trying to work and get things accomplished?

Key Topics discussed:

  • Whether you should get an MBA after getting out of the military or not.
  • Smart online-teaching tips to communicate better with your audience
  • Should you go all-in when starting your business or keep your day job
  • A great way to approach a developer for your startup
  • 2 topics entrepreneurs need to understand to be respected by a developer
  • The most important skill entrepreneurs and developers need to learn

Weapons Mentioned

  • Screen Hero: A tool to help you pair program with a mentor.
  • Operation Code: Hopes to expand the GI Bill to include code school tuition for military veterans.

Favorite Weapon

  • Slack: Team management and communication on steroids.

Favorite Quote

Perfect is a matter of perception.

Favorite Read

  • Find Dune by Frank Herbert on Audible for Free: The world’s best-selling science fiction novel. And 1st fiction book recommended on The PopSmoke Show (called it!)
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