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If you’re here, the chances are you’re considering a career in tech. Hopefully you’ve already tried your hand at writing some code, if not - now’s the time to start.
I’ve been exactly where you are now. Thinking that I wanted to learn to code, not knowing if it’s right for me, or even where to start. I’ll share the few pearls of wisdom I have with you.
The first piece of advice I’d give, is not to think of software engineering as this big scary thing that’s reserved for people that are amazing at maths and have years of tech experience. Essentially, coding is about problem solving. If you’ve got a logical mindset, enjoy problem solving and continuous learning then it might be for you. Essentially, you won’t really know until you try.
There are loads of free resources out there to learn the basics of coding in almost every language you can think of. Codecademy & Sololearn are two that I really like. Once you’ve got the basics down, head over to CodeWars and put what you’ve learned to the test!
Experience doesn’t have to be from a full time role, although that’s always a bonus. Have you considered starting a personal project? This could be building a website for yourself or someone you know, building a to-do-list app or creating a tic-tac-toe game. An important part of this process is to track your progress and start to build a portfolio. I’d suggest creating a GitHub profile to do this. If you don’t know what GitHub is, there’s an online course for that too! (Google really is your friend).
Three of my favourite words are; ‘learn by doing’. However, this doesn’t need to be a lonely journey. Contrary to popular belief, coding is a team sport. If you know someone else who is learning to code or working as a developer, pair program with them.
Jump on Google, and search for coding meet-ups near you. This is a great way to accelerate your development and get comfortable with communicating as you code.
So, you’ve been enjoying learning to code and you’re wanting to kick-start your career. If you’re here, it means you’re considering the apprenticeship route. The most important thing is that you learn in the academic and professional environment that will set you up for success. Whatever you decide as your next steps, there are few things to remember when making applications:
“Love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes and keep on learning” - Carol Dweck