Five top tips to make the jump into a coding career
The art of coding is reported to enhance productivity and communication within businesses, therefore, it is fast becoming a sought-after skill by employers. As the tech industry continues its exponential growth and becomes an integral part of every business, where’s the best place to start for a career in coding?
Online smartphone retailer, e2save, enlisted the help of developers in a range of roles, to share advice for those looking to break into a career in coding.
Don’t worry about which language you learn at first
Learning code is just like learning a new language and takes patience and hard work. Luke Davis, Founder of Pandog Media, advises simply picking a language you enjoy: “Whatever language you choose to learn, take it at your own pace. I started coding in Python last October and I had moments where I saw other people doing these really cool projects and I felt like I was way behind and never going to get there. I skipped steps and tried to reach them without knowing the syntax and I got lost in it all. So I stepped back, focused on the course I was following and got back on track.”
Get some practical experience
When it comes to using code in practice, whilst theory and courses are a great option, learning with practical and relevant tasks are often most effective. Gulliver Whaite, Logistics Manager at Huel, advises: “I had an issue and an end result I wanted, so I just had to work out how to reach it step by step. I spent time Googling each line of code until eventually, I had a script that did what I wanted - and I was motivated because it would save me time.
“So find something you want to achieve, then work on that and only that. The rest follows much easier once you've started, and starting is much easier if you're motivated.”
Use all the tools at your disposal
There are plenty of methods to help you start your coding journey nowadays, often with different options to suit different learning styles. Incorporating your learning into everyday life can be an extremely effective learning tool, which can be achieved with various coding apps on the market. Platforms like SoloLearn, for example, provide thousands of lessons in coding available across multiple devices, so you can easily learn on-the-go, or dedicate more time to lessons at home.
Other platforms, such as Udemy, often run free trials or offers on courses such as 'Automate the Boring Stuff', which can be a fantastic resource for people who are looking to automate daily tasks and save time.
Find a community
Kimberley Cook is a director at codebar, which runs global coding workshops for underrepresented groups, her advice is to find like-minded people to help: “Learning a new skill is hard, regardless of what it is. Find a community, such as codebar, so you can regularly get together and chat with people who are also learning. You’ll be able to support and guide each other whilst also learning new skills from on another at the same time.
“Find a mentor who is experienced in the area you want to work in and ask to catch up with them regularly. They'll also be able to give you advice and support along your journey.”
Remember there’s no right way to learn
It can be easy to get caught up in what others are doing or recommending, but the most important thing is to take it at your own pace and remember there’s no right or wrong way to learn to code, Luke says: “You can use online courses, YouTube videos, books - just choose anything that makes it easier for you to understand the language.”
Kimberley adds: “Don’t feel pressured to do a bootcamp, there are so many resources out there to try. My method is likely slower than getting a teacher or an app, but the things I learnt are much more relevant and entrenched in my brain. When it comes to language, Python can be great for beginners, but ultimately just pick something you enjoy and go with it.”
Karl Middleton, mobile expert at e2save, commented: “Whether it’s for a new career or simply just a hobby, learning to code can provide you with plenty of valuable skills you can transfer into your day-to-day life. All of the tech we use in modern life is powered by some form of code, so beginning to understand this can unlock all kinds of new and exciting opportunities and experiences.
“By no means is coding the easiest thing to learn, but it’s certainly not impossible. There are so many apps, platforms and groups that exist now to help everyone from beginners to seasoned professionals.”
To find out more about the best apps to help you learn something new, click here.