You Can Code.
All the marketing out there about coding explains that anyone can code. That is true, but anyone can do anything if they put the time and effort into it. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
I didn’t start out coding or in the tech industry. My career began in architecture, the kind where you design buildings and physical spaces, not databases or software. I got into coding by taking online tutorials and using free resources where I could, like edX and codecademy. This was all in whatever spare time I could scrounge after a full time job and time spent with my family. There was a lot of frustration involved, and the only way I could keep pushing myself was having a stronger reason than my frustration of why I was coding. If you’re thinking about transitioning your career into coding, just keep a few things in mind.
It isn’t a way to get rich quick.
The majority of the coding boot camps out there are following the economic principle of supply and demand. There is a demand for qualified coders/programmers that needs to be met, but the supply is pretty limited. Coding bootcamps try to fill the demand by supplying newly minted programmers. The applicants are sold the idea of attending a 3-month intensive programming course, and coming out with a 6-figure job as a reward. Does this actually happen for people? Yes. Will it happen to you? Probably not.
The fine print they don’t tell you is that the people who graduate from these accelerated courses that do secure the higher paying jobs actually had a background in tech, one way or another. Some might have been managers in the tech world, but never knew how to code. Others were doing sales or something else, but in the tech environment. They had years in the tech industry that they can leverage when applying to jobs.
Troubleshooting is a daily occurrence, and a huge pain.
Frustration and troubleshooting go hand in hand when you write code. If there’s anything that’ll make you quit your pursuit in coding, it’s the debugging and troubleshooting. This is the biggest pain you will have, at least, for me it was. You won’t exactly know if something’s a variable or a reserved word for the language you’re writing in. You can spend hours, days, and maybe even a few weeks trying to figure out a solution to a problem you’re having. All the time you spend searching for answers, reaching out to people, and just scrounging for an answer might reward you with a solution, even if it is just a missing semicolon on line 47 of your code.
Is learning to code worth it?
For me, it is, but you have to decide for yourself. I love learning to code, creating websites, and writing functions that automate daily procedures. There’s a beauty to consistent formatting and a well designed structure of a program or website. The biggest reason to learn to code is that it gives you time back. Something that might take you hours can be automated so you it’ll take you minutes and sometimes seconds. Coding gives me the freedom to turn my abstract ideas into something tangible.
My advice if you still don’t know if you want to code: “Just start.” It really doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you do something. The only mistake you can make when starting out is not even trying. You’ll know soon enough if it’s for you. Happy coding or whatever else you decide on doing!