It can be argued that coding is one of the most democratic careers in the world – by that, I mean that anyone, anywhere, at any time, can learn to code or be engaged in a coding career – you just need a computer and (preferably) internet access. The products of coders are quite literally all around us, from the webpage you are reading this on, to social media app that you scrolled through first thing this morning, to the video game you might relax into after the working day. Subsequently the demand for coders is increasing at an exponential rate as the supply tries to keep pace with the demand.
If you want to see whether coding is right for you there are countless articles, YouTube videos and web forums that break down the process for you, give you a taster of what writing code looks like, what your career path could look like, and crucially, what coding languages you might want to concentrate on as you embark on your career.
The decision around what coding language to learn is the first choice you will have to make as it plays a major part in dictating where you get your coding education as well as dictating the trajectory of your career. Broadly speaking these are some of the popular coding career areas and the main language(s) you need to make a start in them;
If you want to develop apps for Apple phones or tablets, then Swift is the code that you will want to learn first. It's been around since 2014 and is an open-source programming language that is easy to learn and supports almost everything from the previously ubiquitous programming language, Objective-C. Swift requires few to no previous coding skills and is gaining in popularity all the time.
If Android development is more your thing, Kotlin is a good choice as most Google applications are based on this language. Learning Kotlin requires some experience of other languages, particularly Java. Some other companies using Kotlin as their programming language are Coursera, Pinterest and PostMates.
If this is an area that interests you, the real go to languages are C# and C++. They are both general object-based languages built on the foundations of the older but still ubiquitous 'C'. C was originally designed by Microsoft as part of its .NET framework for building Windows applications and has been 'baked into' the windows experience for many years. Some of the popular games using C++ includes The Witcher 3, Counter-Strike, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Gears 5, and Dark Souls.
As alluded to earlier, one of the main attractions for a career in coding is the flexibility you are afforded when learning your craft (which is, in reality, a never-ending process as you need to stay current with coding trends / practices) and practicing it with whatever organization you find yourself in when you are qualified. Coders are often afforded the opportunity to work from home or work flexible hours. This can make the role far more accessible to workers who have family commitments or even other gigs, as well as enabling coders to collaborate with teams in different time zones or countries.
Job security is another very important benefit that a career in coding can offer, with it being impossible to envisage a future where we are not increasingly interacting with the products of coders, it is very hard to imagine a qualified coder looking for work for long. From the BBC, 'the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting a job growth rate of 22% for developers between 2019 and 2029, compared with 4% for other occupations. Another byproduct of demand outstripping supply is that employers are keen to secure talent and will pay well in order to do so, with the BBC reporting that the average coding salary is $74,000.
Of course, where you choose to get your coding qualification(s) from is an important decision you have to make, and there are many options to select from. Start your journey by taking a look at the schools on the right and good luck with your new career!
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