#GirlsWhoCode – Why coding might be your best career change yet

#GirlsWhoCode – Why coding might be your best career change yet blog post

There are lots of myths around coding, but why let them hold you back from a career supercharge? We’re here to give it to you straight.

First and most importantly: you don’t have to be a socially awkward super-nerd with genius level maths, to learn one of the fastest growing career skills in the digital age.

And you certainly don’t have to be male…

You love learning new languages

SQL, Java, HTML, Javascript, C++, C#, XML, C, Perl, Python – you’re spoilt for choice. The good news is there’s no right or wrong one to begin with – they all kick you off in the right direction. If you still want some guidance try Python or Java. Naturally you’ll need to add some more strings to your bow later down the line, but to get the hang of it, choose the one which best suits your situation, needs and personal goals to get you started.

You aren’t a maths genius but have strong logic and reasoning

Don’t get maths and logic mixed up. You aren’t writing maths formulas. You are creating a string of instructions which, in the right combination will begin to create. Untangling a mystery through step by step problem solving. Although some basic algebra will come in handy in terms of grasping the skill of logic, there are endless libraries and plug ins to support more advanced jumps. 3000 lines of code is just consistent repetitive statements, methods and loops rather than one intensive language to learn. Once you get started, you’ll be addicted.

You aren’t afraid of making mistakes – it’s something about that challenge…

Let’s be under no illusions here. Coding isn’t easy. Failing repeatedly, learning from your mistakes and trying again isn’t just a life skill – it’s essential for coding too. Does this spur you on? Using the process of learning as a lucrative learning tool – trying to solve the problem, persevering when the answer eludes you, working hard until the pattern connects and you find the missing link.

This starts right from choosing your method of learning. By all means explore the streams of training courses on offer, but don’t be put off if one or another doesn’t work out. There are multiple approaches which may be too fast, slow or overwhelming with complex information, but that doesn’t mean coding isn’t for you. It just means it might be worth giving another one a go.

You didn’t go to university – or perhaps you did – it doesn’t matter!

Opportunities in coding are on the look out for efficiency, innovation and people skills – new ways to boost business revenue, with communication across departments to innovate new and creative solutions. Universities can give a boost but employers tend to look for programmer experience, the number of years in action plus the number of coding languages known. So if you’re looking for a career change, don’t strike off the value of your previous experience just yet. It’ll all be a great complement to your new skill set; learning the language is the more than likely the final key step.

You’re looking for a long term career skill, not a fast track to cash

Passion and motivation only takes you so far, consistency will get you to the top. This career path will take weeks to learn, years to master but every time you fail is a step forward in your progress as a programmer. No need to rush, all of those setbacks will build far more valuable experience – plus digital isn’t going anywhere soon!

That said, you wouldn’t mind making some money in the near future… and coding’s the future right?

Those lists of technical jobs may look intimidating but if you aren’t afraid to start at the beginning, internships will very often hire and help you kick off your reputation. Not to mention open source projects, freelancing for small start ups or even for friends…. you’ll be surprised how many people will be looking for support to kick off a project they’ve been meaning to get round to.

You know you have exactly the same potential as a woman, man or child

The earlier a child starts flexing the relevant muscles in their brain, the easier they will pick up coding and similar skill sets in the future. Women have always been pioneers on programming, they are just too often overlooked:

  • Past: It was the women who kept the WWII programming initiatives running.
  • Present: Marissa Mayer was one of the first programmers at Google, rising up the ranks as the current CEO and President of Yahoo
  • Future: Ada Lovelace was the very first coder in the world – who knows what you could achieve!