How Did Mark Zuckerberg Learn To Code?

Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest men in the world and has changed the lives of everyone on the planet in some way or another. Without Zuckerberg, our idea of social media would be vastly different than how we see it today. It’s safe to say that Mark owes most of his success to his innate ability to code which he acquired early in life. But how exactly did Mark Zuckerberg learn to code? Was he truly a gifted child or did his childhood upbringing attribute more to his success than his natural talent?

Well, I have done the research and can tell you that the Zuck did have a pretty interesting childhood that transformed him into the man he is today, and lucky for you, I am going to share it here.

How Did Mark Zuckerberg Start Coding?

Mark Zuckerberg started his coding journey in Grade 6 when he got his first computer. In his own words, he didn’t start because he wanted to learn all about computer science or master the discipline of code, but rather because he wanted to build something fun for himself and his sisters.

I think this is really inspiring and the reason most of us pick up coding and stick with it. Normally, we don’t pick up programming because we want to know everything about code. We pick up programming because there is something that we want to accomplish and understand that we need to utilize these tools to accomplish it.

However, it appears that Mark Zuckerberg found this out earlier than most. Allowing him to really hone his skills at a young age.

To find programming at such a young age must make you assume that Mark had an engineering parent that guided him on this path. To my surprise, Mark’s father ran a dental practice and his mother was a psychiatrist. Two professions very far removed from the tech world.

However, it seemed his dad did have a fascination with computers and was obviously business savvy. When Mark was 12 years old, he created a messaging program called ZuckNet that his dad used in his dental office so that his receptionist could inform him of a new patient without yelling across the room.

I think this early connection between code and business really helped Mark understand the entrepreneurial benefits that coding skills can bring. By building a successful, practical piece of software at such a young age, it was no wonder Mark would go on to do big things.

What Methods Did Mark Zuckerberg Use To Learn How To Code?

As I mentioned above, Mark Zuckerberg learned how to code mainly through trial and error and by building projects he was interested in. However, his parents did hire him a private tutor to help guide him through his learning. As mentioned in this video, Mark’s tutor actually found it very difficult to keep up with him, so I think it’s safe to say this wasn’t a major factor in his talent today.

Mark continued to code and in 2002, Zuckerberg enrolled in Harvard University where he went on to create Facebook and eventually drop out to work on it full time. From there, the rest is history!

Wrapping Up

So that’s pretty much the whole story of how Mark Zuckerberg learned to code. Obviously, Mark was gifted from a young age with a lot of natural talent. The fact that he found coding so young and had a father figure who taught him how to mix programming with business were key factors in Mark’s early success.

Are you in the early stages of learning how to code and want to learn where to start? Well, check out my free material for learning web development here.

Happy coding!

Grant Darling

Grant is a full-stack / frontend software developer passionate about writing & coding. He has many years experience working in the tech industry both as a freelancer and as an employee.

The Code Bytes is all about providing people with honest information about programming. To learn more about Grant, read his about page!

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