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November 14, 2016 | By

On Learning to Code

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Once upon a time, I was riding on a bus with my friend when she told me she could speak binary code.

“Well,” I said. “That’s nice.”

I had no idea what she was talking about.

Of course I’d heard of binary code before. It had to do with computers, the ones and the zeros and whatever it was computers did with them. Computer code, binary or otherwise, was just a phrase to me then, one you threw around when talking about computer science and other things you didn’t know much about, like fourteenth-century French politics or iguanas.

But since I began working at Jive, I’ve found there’s a bit more to coding than that. There are many different kinds of code, and they do different things. I have even—be impressed—written a bit of code myself.

This adventure started with me thinking about writing an article about raising the next generation of software engineers (as it turned out, things happened and that article never materialized—I know you’re heartbroken about that, but you can find others). In my research, I found some interesting articles about how important it is for kids to learn to code early, what a fundamental skill coding’s going to be in our future society, how it should be taught in elementary schools, etc. I also learned what code is, i.e. written instructions telling computers what to do and how to do it, and that there are many coding languages, such as Python, JavaScript, Ruby, and so forth. At that point, I came across a website with free coding tutorials, and I thought, “Why not?”

Thus began my experience with Codecademy. (I included the link because I liked the site a lot, but I’m sure there are other coding websites out there too if you prefer a different one.) Through a series of exercises in Codecademy, I have practiced writing code in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I’ve mostly succeeded and sometimes failed (there’s still one pesky bit of code in the HTML series that’s eluding me), but overall, I’ve learned stuff. Proof that if you don’t happen to be a natural coder, you can learn.

And this is important because computers are the future. Cliché, yes; true, you betcha. As the world becomes more and more digital, those who know how to create digital things will thrive. I’m no expert in computers, but after realizing what coding does, I can see the value of knowing even a little bit about it. If you’re playing around on Jive’s developers’ blog, chances are you already agree with me about that and are looking for somewhere to put your coding abilities to use, and that’s great. Apply with us; we want people with talent and passion for coding software, who want to use software to change the world. But if you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry. A lot of resources exist to help you in your quest to become a coder. Your future as a coder is open.

 


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