You don’t have to be a computer whizz to learn to code

Aug 21, 2014 by

I’m studying an arts degree, but learning to code has increased my job prospects, writes a student blogger

If you think that coding isn’t for you, it might be time to think again. I’m not the standard coder. I didn’t dismantle computers as a child, I’m female, and I’m in the fourth year of a humanities degree (English & Spanish at the University of Exeter).

The fact that I’m learning to code may not make much sense to you, but I think it’s time well spent, particularly when it comes to preparing for the graduation job hunt.

Firstly, the tech world is an exciting place to be. In a survey of UK adults by hotels.com, 28% wished they had pursued a career in technology but felt themselves lacking in skills. This statistic should change now that coding is due to be introduced to the UK school timetable from September 2014. But for those of us already at university, I think we have some catching up to do before we graduate.

It’s not really enough to simply know how to use computers. If you’re applying for a company that has a website or application, a knowledge of how these work could be a great advantage when it comes to getting the job and succeeding at it. If you can show off a customised blog (even if just on Tumblr) or a tech project to a prospective employer, it could make you stand out.

You could start learning to code in an afternoon. Head over to Codeacademy, and in approximately seven hours you’ll have grasped the basics of HTML and CSS with minimal confusion. For a go-to list of other free online resources, check out Year of Code, an initiative to get more people into coding during 2014.

Some major tech companies are also putting money and effort into getting more students into tech and coding, particularly when it comes to encouraging diversity. One great example is TechAbility – the result of Google collaborating with UK-based organisation EmployAbility – to offer selected disabled students an exclusive programme of career events and mentoring opportunities.

via You don’t have to be a computer whizz to learn to code | Education | theguardian.com.

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