With software developers ranking among the highest-paid and fastest-growing jobs in the world, you would be forgiven if you consider switching your career path or learning how to code. But getting into the industry can feel intimidating if you don’t have a background in computer science or a related field.
Michael Ellison, founder and CEO of computer science education non-profit CodePath.org says setting a goal is a critical first step. “If you’re building a career based on what you’re interested in, it’s going to be a lot more sustainable.”
So how do you learn how to code?
It’s not about the money. If your goal is to have a job or make a lot of money, then it’s not going to be as motivating and potentially as rewarding and exciting and interesting for you to go down this learning path. Don’t do it for the money, but for the love of it. Cliche as it may sound, setting a goal around building an app that solves a particular problem that you’re passionate about or interested in is a possible better start.
How can you apply your attrib-utes toward a new career path? Maybe you don’t have an imme-diate goal but what are you already good at and what do you enjoyvmost in your current role? Asking yourself this will help you find your focus. Perhaps you are interested in solving human problems thinking about systems and optimization, or managing complexity. The technology and the tools are the means to get your interests.
Start with mobile development as an introduction. Why mobile app development? It is lucrative, it’s a familiar platform that most people use every day, and it involves developing for a single form factor and operating system.
It sounds complicated but unlike full-stack or front-end develop-ment, focusing on developing something like an iPhone app can be simpler. That’s because it involves developing for a single platform, meaning you won’t have to worry about accommo-dating as many different screen sizes or operating systems at first.
Try out some online courses. An online coding course might be a bettef option that an in-person coding boot camp. There are many different online classes that teach the same program-ming languages, and it can be jard to figure out which one is truly worth your time and money. If you don’t mind practicing solo. The Odin Project is a free option that pulls together some of the best open-source content for turning a coding newbie into a programmer.
Start building. Think big, start small, start now. Immediately you’ve learned the basics, one of the best ways to move foward is to start working on projects, especiallu with other people. Your prokect should involve skills you currently have in your toolbox, but you should also have a plan for future features and skills you’d need to turn that vision into reality. Without applying your coding skills in a few projects, you wouldn’t even be considered for professional coding gigs.