How to learn how to code like a pro — for free — in just a few weeks
You need to learn to code.
Even with just two to four years’ experience, Americans in jobs that require coding knowledge can make bank, according to a new report from recruitment platform Vettery.
Technology management professionals (such as directors of engineering) in tech mecca San Francisco can earn as much as $125,000 per year with just two years logged on the job, followed closely by data scientists ($123,000) and product managers ($122,000). In New York City, director-level tech executives with the same level of experience in the role can earn $122,000 per year, followed by development operations engineers ($115,000), and data scientists ($113,000).
If those numbers sound unusually high, it’s because they are — PayScale says the annual average salary for workers in San Francisco is $85,338. In New York, it’s $68,787.
To land high-paying jobs like these, it’s not just any coding skills that matter — recruiters are after people with specific chops.
Vettery found that increasing numbers of employers are expressing substantial interest in new hires who are proficient in two major coding languages: Python and React. Employers expressed 20% more interest in candidates who know how to code in the former, and 10.5% more interest for coders proficient in the latter.
“Python is the clear favorite among employers as a difficult to find skill,” the company wrote.
While knowing how to code is clearly a moneymaker, it currently benefits more men than women. “Women make up 47% of the workforce, but are less than 25% of computing jobs,” said Reshma Saujani, founder of the nonprofit Girls Who Code, an organization that helps young women develop these skills.
And, despite the growing demand for these skills, computer science is an arena which remains riddled with gender bias, Moneyish recently reported, where women are subject to widespread discrimination in seeking jobs and promotions.
“A lot of people will say that there’s not many women [in tech], so clearly they’re not good at it. But the reality is there are a lot of forces against women to get them interested in it in the first place — it’s a very multifaceted problem,” said Dinah Davis, founder of the online publication “Code like a Girl,” and director of research and development at Arctic Wolf Networks.
So how can women learn to code the most in-demand coding languages? Both Saujani and Davis pointed to the plethora of online resources available to both men and women interested in learning to code, and Davis named a few specifically: CodeCademy, Khan Academy, FreeCodeCamp, and CodeWars are among them — and all are entirely free of charge to use.
Developing a basic proficiency in certain leading languages like Ruby and Python can take just a few weeks, Davis added.
Shy Averett, the Communities Program and Event Manager for Microsoft Store, believes it’s crucial for young people — especially young women — to learn the basics of coding early, particularly as we enter into a more computer science-centric workforce.
“I cannot think of one career path, not one, where at some point in time it’s not going to benefit someone to understand that ground-level knowledge… of coding,” Averett said, speaking from Microsoft’s headquarters in Seattle. In her view, learning code is a path for people to elevate themselves out of their economic circumstances and retain value in a workforce defined by growing automation.
As Saujani concluded: “President Obama once said that the people programming the computers will be the last jobs to go. And I think that is absolutely right.”
“I think if you understand it and have a desire to keep learning, you’re going to be the least likely to be unemployed — because that’s what the future of work looks like.”
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