The Future Is Coded

Let's talk about coding! Not talking in code, not the kind of codes you used to make up with your friends and siblings at school and when you were little, not morse code but computer coding - HTML and the like!

It's a known fact that currently in the UK job-market there is a huge skills shortfall in the IT sector with last year seeing the sharpest growth in demand for permanent IT workers since 1998. With this desperate need for skilled staff the problem is beginning to create a huge and, in the long term, unsustainable and unrealistic wage growth. Coders, programmers and developers are in short supply and as we move further into this technology driven world that demand will only continue to increase. 

Coding

To try and address the problem, towards the end of last year it was announced that children from the age of 5 upwards will soon be taught how to program and code in school. This, I believe, is great and important news for the future generation. Some haven't responded so positively but I personally feel that it can only be a good thing. If you're interested in learning more about coding and programming classes and are looking for suitable resources for children then next week marks ComputerXplorers programming for primaries awareness week - you can find a tonne of brilliant, useful information on their website here.

Another example of just how important and prevalent the need to code has become was demonstrated recently when BBH, one of the worlds leading and most forward thinking advertising agencies, sent their entire UK office on a days course to learn exactly this skill. Realising the importance of knowing how to code in this growing digital age, they knew it was a day well worth investing in for the growth and innovation of their staff.

Yet what about those of us who've already left the education system behind long ago or who aren't lucky enough to have exposure to such resources in our daily working lives? What can we do to learn and enhance our own skills and keep up with the changing pace of the world that we now live in?

Well although I write and edit this blog, my own coding skills leave a lot to be desired. It's a skill I am slowly learning (I'll tell you more about how later) but as the platform that I use for this blog has a very functional, built in template I can make this blog look quite nice without using a lot of code - or by copying and pasting the odd bit here and there!

However as the blog grows and my ideas develop I'm getting increasingly frustrated by my lack of ability. Therefore spending most of my afternoons trying to remedy this sat at my laptop and working my way through various tutorials to get better at what I very clearly need to get better at. The thing is, it isn't the chore that I thought it might well be. In fact it's actually quite simple and rewarding if you can find the right help and begin to make progress without too much of a headache. Don't get me wrong, a genius computer programmer I am not, and I'm sure I never will be. Yet building on new skills in this area has been a real eye opener and something that I'm enjoying getting stuck into.

So with this in mind, if this is an area that you would like to learn more about I thought I would share some of the resources that I've personally been finding very useful.

5 Awesome Places To Learn To Code Online is an article from the brilliant online lifestyle magazine A Little Opulent that provided me with some great initial resources to get me going. From this list I immediately connected with, and got started using Codecademy where you can literally sign up for free and begin a guided tutorial in basic coding in a matter of seconds. Cue sense of achievement and disbelief that I could actually start to make some sense of the whole thing - ish!

Another fantastic resource is General Assembly where you can find courses both on campus and online in technology, design and business skills. I am told that the online Dash course is well worth checking out for learning HTML, CSS and Javascript easily from the comfort of your own computer. This is next on my personal training to do list (alongside quite a few other things!) so I will be sure to update you on any progress if you're interested. 

So that's a little starter list that I hope will help you out if, like me, you're looking to learn more about this mystical world! Have you tried out any of these resources and do you have any feedback? Or do you have any other great recommendations that you can share in the comments below? As always it's more than lovely to know what you think and if this is on your 'to learn' list then happy, happy coding!