Originally published September 27, 2017 on The Original BritishPandaChick blog. I made tweaks to the original post so it would work for Code Newbie.
We have learned some of the fundamentals to web design, HTML and CSS with Skillcrush career blueprints. Lately we’ve been taking some of those concepts and applying them to Codecademy projects from their HTML & CSS section. These projects are the start to your tech portfolio, a must-have item if you are looking for a new career especially in tech.
While the posts seen on this blog show you how to do things in tech, I never explained why you should learn tech skills. Today’s post is going to be different since its going to give you reasons why you should learn tech skills and what it can do to change your life.
it is time for another webinar.
This webinar is another Skillcrush webinar. It is the first presentation in the first webinar summit Skillcrush hosted last year. In March 2016, Skillcrush hosted the Land Your Dream Job webinar summit. There were different webinar presentations set up throughout the day on different topics related to finding your dream job.
These presentations featured speakers who were experts in networking, remote work, and more that regularly help people land their dream jobs. The first webinar in this summit was 8 Ways Learning Digital Skills Can Transform Your Career and Job Search which featured Skillcrush founder Adda Birnir. Adda's presentation goes over 8 ways learning tech skills changed her life and the lives of some of the Skillcrush team members.
The hour-long presentation didn't just go over the reasons why people should learn tech skills. The end of the webinar included a Q&A with the audience where she answered questions about getting started in tech to finding a job. This post is going to review the 8 reasons Adda discussed in the webinar.
If you are interested in learning tech skills, you can look at the last webinar post to see some of the important takeaways from the webinar.
What are the 8 ways?
If you are interested in seeing the full webinar or would like to see any of the other webinars in this webinar summit, you can get all the webinar replays from Skillcrush for free. Just visit the link below to go to the Skillcrush’s blog to sign up for the webinar replays. Skillcrush will e-mail you a link with all the webinar replays for the Land Your Dream Job summit.
You won’t be able to win any of the giveaways mentioned in the webinar, but you can look at Adda's slides and hear more about her story. It is also a great way to watch all of the presentations at your own pace.
1. Learning digital skills opens the door to a brand new world.
This is how it often feels for me when I'm learning a new skill and was certainly how I felt when I started learning how to code. Coding isn't just learning how to read or write a programming language. It just transforms your life by simply immersing you into a brand new world with lots of possibilities of what you can do with this skill.
A lot of developers have talked on podcasts or done speaks at conferences where they talk about just learning how to code introduced them to tech and got them on the path to doing great things in tech. When Adda was talking about this step, she described what coding is. Her point is to show that a computer is just a combination of metal and plastic.
Coding allows the computer to do amazing things.
That means a person just like you is responsible for having the computer do something awesome. Adda points out examples of things we do today are just a bunch of code a person wrote to make our lives a little easier. So if you are trying to throw a file in your trash bin, someone wrote a lot of code so you don't have to type out all the instructions just so your computer removes a file.
There is even code on your mobile devices. When you get updates on your favorite app or game, those updates mean a developer was debugging the code to make things work better. When you are starting to learn how to code, you won't be making an app or building an awesome website right away.
It will take time and lots of hard work, but learning how to code will empower you. Adda encourages participants to think of coding like an ocean. However, I consider coding is a lot like playing in a sandbox.
Anything is possible.
There are endless possibilities and routes you can take. Just knowing that these skills could build anything you want or go in any direction you want in tech will make you very inspired. Often times when developers ask why they love coding, many often say they love it for the fact that it makes them the creator. It gives them a chance to play and see what things they can make by simply writing lines of code.
2. You’ll be developing a growth mindset, a must for all developers!
Writing code isn't just about learning how a programming language works. Coding changes the way you think and perhaps how you approach your own life. As you code, you will start creating a growth mindset.
Adda does a great job explaining the growth and fixed mindsets during the webinar. A growth mindset is a must when it comes to learning how to code. Avi Flombaum (he's the Dean at the Flat Iron School) always says in webinars that developers need to not get upset if code breaks because that is a developer's job. Developers often act like car mechanics except they just fix broken code instead of cars. If code wasn't broken, developers would be done for the day.
So what is growth mindset?
Growth mindset is a positive mindset which focuses on what a person can do. People with growth mindsets aren't afraid of failure and use every opportunity as a way to learn.
If you have a growth mindset, you aren't afraid of a challenge. Fixed mindset is the complete opposite. People with a fixed mindset think and feel on things they know they are good at or not. They give up easily and don't like challenges.
Tech is constantly changing and developers are just like every other profession by staying up with the latest changes. Coding is very similar to teaching on this part since teachers have to stay up with what is current in order to know what is the best way to achieve academic success with their students. The same can be applied to developers since they have to keep up with what is current in tech. It is ok if you have a fixed mindset now, but learning how to code will help you get a growth mindset.
3. Tech lets you work in any industry.
Tech skills don't mean that you can only work in tech. The most important takeaway from this lesson is actually the quote Adda uses during the webinar. Software is eating the world and disrupting every industry. She gives lots of examples to show some of the changes affecting the industry.
These changes aren't just the rise of new companies. Adda points out that companies we all know are constantly having to evolve in order to fit in with the new tech world. This is seen with Netflix from the days they were about DVD rentals. Now the company has evolved into its own production company where they make TV shows and documentaries.
These examples show that this disruption is felt everywhere. This means you can work in any industry with your new tech skills. As companies are trying to fit into this new tech world, they are constantly on the lookout for people who can understand the latest tech and can help them fit into this brand new tech driven world. If you love the industry you are in now, there are probably ways to using your new tech skills to help you at your job or get a promotion.
4. You can get a side hustle.
Side hustles are becoming common ways of building experience and achieving your career goals. I often read lots of career websites along with tech sites and side hustle is one of the things often suggested for people making a career change. It helps you get your foot in the door and even make a little money on the side while keeping your own job.
Adda encourages participants to do a side hustle because it a less pressure way to start reaching their career goals. A side hustle is great to break your career goals into stages so they see what works and want doesn't work. At Skillcrush, the side hustles allow many students to start making these transitions at the right pace for each of them.
A lot of the Skillcrush content talks about freelancing and Adda suggests checking one of their guides during the webinar. If you want to see this guide, you can click the link below to get a copy sent straight to your inbox.
5. Tech skills help with networking and making new friends.
Networking is very important part of the job search these days since it benefits everybody. Companies love networking because that is how they get fresh ideas. Remember companies are looking for ways to evolve to fit in the digital landscape. That means tech skills have lots of value since companies want to understand the tech world.
Every industry is looking for people who understand tech. Adda talks about how tech skills helped her meet people she'd never expect meeting and how these meetings got her to where she is today. Now Adda does remind participants that networking isn't just what everyone is getting.
Networking done right is about what people are able to offer each other and help. Adda talks about how she was trying to help solve some of the pain points people had and was trying to help them bridge these gaps. People will take notice.
6. You have a calling card in networking situations.
There is a lot of demand for tech skills. You can look at a job posting or look at lots of coding websites for facts and data on tech jobs. The data shows everyone is looking for tech skills and how in demand tech careers are.
Adda uses this reason to explain how she's seen this first hand from going to art exhibits or going to events. Although there are website builders such as Wix and Squarespace, people still want to ask someone they know to make them a website and will pay someone to get a customized website that stands out from everyone else.
7. You can go your own way from anywhere.
Tech is full of different possibilities and industries. This means you can customize tech to fit the career you want. You can work for a company or go freelance full time. It all depends on what your career goals are. You are the boss!
One of the nicest aspects about tech is being able to work remotely. During the webinar, Adda showed pictures of how people at Skillcrush work remotely. Skillcrush shows that as long as you have a good internet connection, you can work anywhere you want in the world.
8. Turn that table around-Jobs applying for you!
Tech skills won't get you noticed at networking events. Recruiters will be taking notice and trying to contact you. Adda shows a screenshot of her LinkedIn inbox where a recruiter sent her another message letting her know about a job at Amazon. Instead of applying for jobs, recruiters could be e-mailing you and sending you messages on LinkedIn.
If you are still undecided about learning how to code or aren’t sure if learning tech skills will pay off, this webinar is for you. 8 Ways Learning Digital Skills Can Transform Your Career and Job Search is the perfect webinar to help you decide if you should learn how to code. This won't be the last post of the Land Your Dream Job webinar summit. I plan on covering all the webinars throughout this blog.
If you would like to get started on landing your dream job or want to see what the other webinars are, don't forget to sign up for the webinar replays through Skillcrush. What are some of the ways coding could change your life? Share your thoughts in the comments.