In the Lost Interview with Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder said, “I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”
I like to think of coding as applied math and sciences because it teaches us an iterative approach to solving problems and testing out our ideas. While I don’t consider myself a coder, apart from HMTL/CSS I don’t code in my daily work, I did find that learning the basics of how to code on CodeAcademy has done wonders for improving my problem solving skills.
Now that software is eating the world by automating all kinds of routine jobs, the basic knowledge of how lines of code create the digital worlds we explore every day is becoming a fundamental digital literacy. Coding isn’t particularly easy to learn but that’s exactly why it’s so valuable. Even if you have no plans to become a software developer, spend a few weeks or month learning to code and I can guarantee it will sharpen your ability to troubleshot and solve problems.
Watch the video below to discover why coding is the new “superpower” that isn’t being taught in in 90% of schools.
Fortunately, it has never been easier to learn how to code. There are now so many education platforms and tools to make creating software applications and mobile apps easier. Who knows, you may discover that coding is something you really enjoy and you may actually want to become a software developer. Considering that a experienced developer can earn more than $100,000+ a year, it’s not a bad skill to master.
How You Can Start Learning To Code Right Now:
There many different options to learn to code online. A good place to start is by trying out Codeacademy, joining the GitHub community and regularly reading coding related posts on Hacker News. You’ll be surprised that coding isn’t nearly as difficult as you think and you can start creating and executing your own programs on your laptop or smartphone in a matter of weeks.
Their Code Year initiative helped introduce over 450,000 people to coding through a series of a simple code exercises that land once per week in your email inbox. And now they have made it even easier for anyone to learn the basics of coding with the release of their Hour of Code app for iPhone. This fun app let’s anyone code and run their first program in less than in an hour on their iPhone.
For their latest Hour Of Code initiative they have teamed up with Code.org. This initiative even received a shout out from President Obama who ask every young Americans to learn to code by saying, “Don’t just play on your phone — program it“. To stay competitive in the fast-growing digital economy, the young people of the world need to know how to read, write and code.
Incredibly, CodeAcademy’s project-based learning programs remain 100% free for everyone.
This initiative backed by Silicon Valley heavyweights like Facebook, Google and Apple offers a number of excellent free beginner’s tutorials for learning how to code.
The problem sets in this course force you to do the work to finish the course. Each of them are inspired by real world issues in biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. This course is 16-weeks long and it is available for self-directed study on edX’s platform.
The future of applications is on mobile so why not learn to make your own apps? The University of Toronto’s new iOS development specialization gives you a strong foundation in app development for iPhones, iPad, and Apple Watches. This 4-course online program includes a Capstone Project where you apply and showcase the skills, which will be invaluable in showcasing your abilities to startups and future employers.
With Android now powering more than 80% of mobile devices, the demand for Android developers is only going to grow. This new 4-course specialization in Android app development from Vanderbilt University teaches you the fundamentals for starting a career as an Android Developer. Like the iOS specialization, you must apply and showcase the skills you have learned in the courses in a Capstone Project at the end of the program.
Master teacher Rob Percival is renowned for breaking down tough coding concepts into easy-to-follow learning processes that anyone can understand. If you want to learn by doing, he has taught a 100,000+ absolute beginners how to code and he does it by having you build actually real web apps like AirBNB, Instagram, and Uber (which will give you an amazing portfolio to find work after you finish his programs).
Udemy recently announced a new pricing model that makes all their costs less than $50, which is a fraction of the $7000-$1000 it costs to attend offline 3-month intensive coding bootcamps. While online courses like this are much cheaper, you will need to work really hard work and commit yourself to a disciplined weekly learning schedule to get results.