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Learn To Code

In the US we are in a glut of doctors and programmers. One path is a long, hard road resulting in people depending on you for their lives, but the other is a short, soft path where you can almost immediately be helpful.

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Written by DeletedUser

I work in the web design and development business. We build websites for everyone from political figures to non-profit organizations to universities and more. My industry is plagued by a lack of web developers to the point that we seek out people who are interested in development, but have no experience with it. I don't believe we're alone in this practice and the result is almost always incredible. Taking the time to teach and push people to learn has always helped us in the long run.

That's where services like codecademy come into play. It's a service that goes way beyond the typical book of learning to code and actually forces you to get your hands dirty. Learn like this and in no time you'll find some work or a full-time job. Everyone needs a website. 

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DeletedUser

While it is undoubtedly true that learning a few relatively simple skills could enable one to provide valuable services in building websites, I think it is important not to underplay the challenge of learning to program at a high level. Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google, has written an interesting article titled "Teach Yourself Programming in 10 Years." http://norvig.com/21-days.html

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DeletedUser

I would say learning to code is equivalent to learning carpentry. You can't expect to do great work until you have a ton of experience, but you have to start somewhere. There's a much lower barrier for entry in web development than in a high-level programming language like C++.

You also have to know your audience. You won't be building a international online brand after taking a codecademy course online, but you certainly can build a website for your Aunt's pet washing business. If we're talking about skills that lead to jobs coding, especially on the web, is a nice skill to have.

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DeletedUser

True. I also think when it comes to web design, a lot of smaller companies have fairly low demands for what they'd want from a website, and it's also work that I've found is best to learn on the job, so building a basic knowledge from online resources and honing them through practice projects for small local businesses could be an effective approach.

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DeletedUser

I am currently taking classes on Codecademy, udacity and coursera mostly in web development and program design. Deploying web-apps, understanding the wider context and actually taking the understanding into project work appears to be the greatest obstacle for many in those Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) , including myself. I hope to see an even stronger emphasis on this phase of learning e.g. with assisted project work, inter-platform trouble-shooting(-->there is a tutorial for everything and almost every problem has been discussed somewhere but how can I just find the exact thread I need) etc. . It would be interesting to find ways to give beginners the most suitable course schedule and order of classes for a given skill in web-/software development which they seek to learn!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great discussion you've triggered here Mike! You might want to add a link for Code Academy to your post for folks out there who don't know about it. (To activate links in your post, hit the Update Entry button up there on the right, then follow the instructions here: http://bit.ly/oi_link )

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