David Cunningham [Humanoids of Huntsville]


Before he was a coder, David Cunningham was a mechanical engineer. Before he was a mechanical engineer, he was a business student. And before the pieces started falling together for his own startup, he didn’t really believe in fate.

And now?

“While I maybe haven’t historically thought that way, it’s gotten me thinking about some things,” David says. “It’s like, if I had started software earlier, like in college for example, maybe I would have gone straight into this very prestigious software job, and then I maybe would have just focused on my corporate career track instead of starting my own side business. So I think about some things like that. It’s not a straightforward answer. If I had started software earlier, maybe I would have taken for granted a lot of the things that learning software while I was experiencing the real world taught me.”

More than anything, experiencing the real world probably taught David that he’s a problem solver. Initially intending to study creative writing and business in college, David took an engineering course after a conversation with his parents. He found he had a knack for the problem-solving aspect of mechanical engineering and decided to pursue it as a career.

But it was only when he started coding that everything came together.

“I just loved to dig into a problem,” David says. “And when I started doing software engineering, if anything it was a more pure way – it was an even more pure form of that. I was able to dig into problems and create my own models for these real-world problems.”

David’s work with software also aligned with another long-term ambition to start a business. So in 2017, he founded Bitglade, through which he builds websites and apps both for clients and personal ventures.

“I’ve always wanted to create something that people use and find useful, and that the world can use,” he says. “Software is great for that. I just love to problem-solve.”

For others interested in learning to code, David suggests starting with plenty of projects before moving on to literature about good coding practices. While reading a textbook can teach you algorithms, projects provide an organic way to learn many interrelated concepts at once.

“The beautiful thing about software,” David says, “is that there’s no end to the learning opportunities it gives you.”