Coding can be fun and hectic at the same time. It depends on why you want to code and what you want to achieve at the end of the day. Many people find themselves stuck in a career they don’t see their future in, not because they hate it, but because they didn’t evaluate their whys and what’s before getting started. This write-up isn’t intended to scare or drive you off the career path, but it’s there to guide and educate you on how you can learn to code and land your dream job. Let’s get right into it.
What Do You Want?
This is a critical question you should always ask yourself when you’re about to make a lifelong commitment: career-wise, lifestyle-wise, etc. Before you can sign up for some coding classes, you have to think twice about what cheers your day and what annoys you the most. If you love challenging assignments, love solving problems, and can persevere the long and tedious hours in front of your computer, then coding could be your thing.
But even then, coding is an umbrella term that houses hundreds of programming languages, and not every language will work for you. Variety is strength, but not when you’re trying to write your first line of code. Depending on what you want to achieve with a given coding language, you can choose either the high-level or low-level language or the front-end or back-end programming languages. If you’re unsure which coding language to pick, consider reviewing the different coding languages and their applications.
If, for example, you’re into web and apps development, Java and C# would be your best pick. For statistical analysis and data manipulation, python and R would work perfectly. But remember, developers have varied tastes, and someone’s preference isn’t necessarily your cup of tea.
Which Language Should you Pick?
Picking one coding language as a foundation for building your coding career isn’t as easy as it sounds. Many coding enthusiasts have been misled by fancy programming languages that do not sync with their goals or aren’t effective in executing the required tasks. This is a challenge, and paying attention to your first programming language means you’ll build a good and scalable foundation.
To answer this question right, you need to have a long term view of your coding careers, then choose a language that’s not only flexible but also beginner-friendly. If you’re not sure which language you should start with, you can refer to this guide.
Once you’ve made your mind on which programming language to choose, it’s time to search for reliable learning resources. Many people would opt for cheap or free coding lessons available across the internet. The advantage of this is obvious. You get to pay no fee. However, the disadvantages are quite many. You will not only lack the guidance of a mentor, but you might also end up spending too much time on some invaluable or less marketable skills and courses.
Coding bootcamps, on the contrary, can be a bit expensive but will accelerate the learning process, and you’ll be equipped with industry-specific, trending, and marketable coding skills. If you’re considering taking a coding Bootcamp, keep an eye out for financial aid opportunities. For example, this Bootcamp accepts G.I. Bill’s benefits. The GI Bill helps qualifying veterans, including their immediate families, to get money for school fees or professional training programs. The platform offers the following three courses to qualifying veterans: software development, web development, and cybersecurity training.
Landing Your First Job
Before you can land your first job as a coder, you’ll surely need to prove to your employer that you have what it takes to solve their problems. This isn’t any easy, but not impossible. You’ll need to constantly refresh your coding skills and stay updated with the market trends.
Networking and selling yourself to potential employers is also necessary to progress onto your dream job. Competitive coding events such as Hackathons are great to meet new people and to showcase your coding prowess. You don’t necessarily need to walk away with the prize; you just need to show up, participate, and sell yourself.
Learning to code begins with knowing what you want. The code also keeps evolving. The coding skills that were marketable a decade ago are almost obsolete by now. Technology keeps advancing, and so do people, jobs, and ideas. Businesses want cost-effective, streamlined, and agile solutions, and people who can solve problems faster and effectively are an asset to the world. If your coding career advances in this direction, you’re sure to land as many and lucrative jobs as the market can offer.