Coding is one of the most sought after skills in today’s job market and not just for developers! From receptionists to marketing directors to CEOs, having a basic understanding of coding can go a long way toward boosting your career potential. A good grasp of coding can bridge the gap between a great idea and execution. It can streamline communication between different departments to accomplish a larger goal. It can even build something from nothing! The good news is that you don’t have to have a degree in computer science to master this skill! Here are three innovative ways that anyone can learn how to code.
1. Teach Yourself Online
There are a plethora of options for teaching yourself the art of coding.From videos and reading materials to full fledged interactive courses, the internet has an option to fit your learning style. Many online options, such as Code Academy and Coursera are free or very reasonably priced, making this a very cost efficient option. Teaching yourself requires commitment and can take time but, as Sugata Mitra demonstrated in his educational experiments in India, we can teach ourselves anything!
For those disciplined enough to tackle the challenge, the flexibility and freedom of teaching yourself can be a very rewarding experience. As Winston Churchill put it, “I always like to learn, but I don’t always like to be taught.”
2. Night School
If you are like me, you might require something a little more structured to keep you on course when learning a new skill. That’s where night classes at a local coding school come in! No need to quit your day job or drastically alter your current schedule. Just commit a few nights a week to conquering the coding skill set. While requiring more of a monetary investment, you’ll have the benefits of classroom instruction and a live instructor to whom you can direct your questions.
For the curious mind that likes to dig a little deeper, having the ability to address questions in real time with an instructor can be invaluable! Just make sure you invest your time and money wisely! Find a night school with excellent references from previous students, that partners with local employers, and has highly qualified instructors. You may even want to see if financial aid is available to reduce your financial investment.
3. Get An Online Mentor
Perhaps you aren’t really sure about teaching yourself but you don’t relish the idea of classroom instruction. Then mentorship is the option for you! Several online providers, such as Thinkful or AirPair, offer the flexibility of online instruction, largely self-led, with the added bonus of one-on-one mentorship from an experienced coder. It’s the perfect marriage of self-taught flexibility and expert feedback. Like any marriage though, a fair amount of work is still required. Be a courteous mentee. Take notes, be prepared, ask questions, and be mindful of your mentor’s time.This option will require a commitment of time and financial resources, but the balance of self- paced instruction and expert guidance make a great learning experience if you are up to the task.
So, what are you waiting for? Branch out and learn something new today. It’s a challenge you’ll be glad you accepted later. Adding a new skill to your repertoire will boost your confidence and will certainly repay your investment of time and resources in the long run. You may find it will open doors in your career, provide an opportunity for a lucrative side-hustle, or just open your mind to a new passion. However you choose to master your newly minted skill, I’m sure you will find it was an effort worth pursuing.
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.