For a long time now I’ve wanted to learn how to code.
I consider people that know how to code as having super powers, the ability to turn keystrokes on a keyboard to a ‘thing’ on the screen blew my mind the first time I saw it. So much so that for the last 3-4 years learning how has been a thought that never went away.
A couple of things…why & how?
The why is the easy part, it’s practically a no-brainer. Know how to code and there is every chance you’ll never be out of work ever again. You’ll have hard skills that someone somewhere in the world will pay you for (and pay you well for that).
The demand is always going to exceed the supply. Well unless A.I. kills everyone but that’s a different story altogether. In 2016 there are still 4 billion people not connected to the internet, that’s a lot of code left to be written and a bigger opportunity for those who know how.
So the why is simple, like Marc Andreesson said “Software is eating the world”.
How to learn is another kettle of fish altogether. Where to start? What language to learn? Self-taught, University or Bootcamp? Google “Learn to code” and you get 609 Million results.
I was at this stage a few weeks ago so here is what I did. First stop, watch this video.
“Right that’s it, Zuckerberg and Gates said it’s important so let’s do it”
After that there if you think you may be on to something here then head over to FreeCodeCamp.com which dives a little deeper and takes a slightly more hands-off approach to learning. FreeCodeCamp also has local MeetUps in most areas for people at various stages of the online course.
These are I forgot to mention all free resources and by no means the only ones.
From here I had two options. Carry on the free resource route and learn gradually in your spare time or move to something more intensive.
More intensive can come in a couple of forms, a paid resource such as Treehouse.com which is more intensive but gives you access to mentors and a qualification at the end of it or if you truly want to dive in then go the Coding Bootcamp route.
This is the route I’ve decided to take and here’s why.
What is a Coding Bootcamp?
A Coding Bootcamp is exactly what it says on the tin. An intensive course which aims to provide you with all the skills you need to be able to get you first job in development.
In a nutshell Coding Bootcamps are usually between 8-12 weeks in length and cost a few thousand pounds either paid upfront or differed until you get your first development job (for a more in-depth understanding of how Coding Bootcamp work read Your Complete Bootcamp Guide at CourseReport.com).
Decision made, for the next 12 weeks I’ll be attending the NorthCoders Oct cohort with a view to coming back into my current team with some valuable technical skills. I have to say thanks to my current employer for providing the flexibility and support to be in a position to do this :).
Why I’m doing it.
I have always wanted to build things from scratch, start businesses, try things and fail. So far I have had to rely on other people to do the things I couldn’t which was code and design. To the point where I lost a lot of money not once but twice on businesses where a large proportion of said money, went to development.
Although those were years ago and we did not have access to the amount of free tools available today I vowed to learn how to build things myself. What road this leads me down I don’t know exactly but what I do know is that is a big skill up. Just being able to read/write code, know what it does and talk on a technical level is the pull.
As it’s the first time back in full-time education since leaving school 13 years ago, it’s going to be tough but hopefully hugely rewarding in the long run.
If anyone is interested in Coding Bootcamps and you by some miracle read this then check back as I’ll be documenting the whole thing.
Wish me luck.