Today there are over 100 sites to learn coding and its theory. With a growing number of employers looking for experienced coders and a boom in tech markets, there are a large number of people learning how to code across the globe. This new generation is not only being employed, but also creating companies in the tech industry and consulting for industries using this skill.

Why code?

WEB DESIGN

A few examples of practical coding uses are through website design (using languages like HTML/CSS). These coding languages and some add-ons including Bootstrap allow you to make elegant websites. Many young entrepreneurs utilized this business because it can be learned and preformed with only a computer and an Internet connection.
• HTML/CSS
• Django
• Ruby

WEB APPLICATIONS

Cloud Networks is one example of a web application, which is currently flooding the market place. Businesses such as Dropbox are helping users store data online. Amazon is also entering this market with their own cloud services. Web application coding can be a strong asset after you have learned the basics of Web Design or can complement a business partner with a Web Design background.
• jQuery
• PHP
• Javascript

MOBILE PHONE APPLICATIONS

Languages such as Objective-C and Java are popular among younger entrepreneurs because of the applications these languages have for Apple® and Android® products respectively. Both languages are centerpieces to mobile phone development. Before committing to a single language do some research and determine the best language for your needs and your market.
• Swift (iOS)
• Objective-C (iOS)
• Java (Android)

DATABASE & ANALYSIS

SQL is another language used in the workforce that is highly sought after. Coupling SQL with a language such as PHP a coder can access and modify a database. Recent opportunities are in the 2015 buzzword, Big Data, where companies are using hard evidence via analysis to make educated business decisions. Languages in this field rely heavily on taking large data sets and extracting useable information by algorithms and user specified functions. Here are a few languages used in Database Analysis:
• Python
• R
• Matlab
• Octave

Many progressive schools are now taking action in teaching coding basics in elementary schools replacing the obsolete cursive lessons once taught. Living in a digital age where we want things faster and more reliable digital devices are becoming more prevalent in our daily lives. Personally I have used coding to create a grade calculator, web crawling/monitoring scripts, and to implement machine-learning algorithms. These projects look great to potential employers and are staple pieces to a timeline of engineering projects I will remember and build off of.


Now if you are interested in taking the next step here are the next steps I recommend!

NEXT STEPS

1. Determine why you are coding.
Do you want to build an Apple Phone application that watches stocks or are you more interested in creating an online game that you can use to teach kids how to count?
2. Find the BEST language for your reason.
Research which language best suits your “why.” Many times there are multiple languages that can do the same task. Read online reviews/testimonials or ask a coding friend for best advice.
3. Take an introductory level online class or read a book.
Below I have posted numerous online sites for introductory level coding. These might feel boring at first, but stick to it! Some of them will overlap so if you already have some experience these classes shouldn’t be difficult. Another good option is grabbing a book with good reviews to learn from.
4. Complete a project-based class.
During this step you should start to enjoy the end product you are completing. If at this point you are not interested consider switching to a different language or to a different field (i.e. web design or database analysis).
5. Come up with your own projects.
By this stage you might have some projects already in mind. If you don’t try building off a project you have already completed and add some extra features. I enjoy asking someone what would make his or her life easier and trying to complete a project around the same idea.
6. Take part in a network of people coding in your field.
At this point connect online or in person to help you develop yourself even farther in a language! Many times you will learn shortcuts or tricks others are using and can teach them a few on your own.
7. Teach.
One of the best ways to learn is by teaching someone else. It helps you to slow down and really understand why you have coded in a certain way and how it can be improved.
8. Broaden.
You might have noticed at this point that to really make some impressive products you have to start utilizing other languages. Consider side stepping and picking up another language that can complement the one you currently are learning. For example many HTML/CSS coders will take up JavaScript to add another component to their webpage.
9. Reap the benefits!
Self-explanatory.

Please comment or email me any success stories or questions you have! brendonjgeils@gmail.com


Written by Brendon Geils

Hi. My name is Brendon Geils. I'm from the Chicago Suburbs and go to Iowa State University. I enjoy studying my butt off as an Electrical Engineer and doing triathlons. Start-ups and Entrepreneurship are two things I enjoy participating in. I write, read, and program when I can. Send me...
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