What Is Coding For Non-Tech People And Where To Start Your Learning Journey?

Coding is one of the most in-demand skills in today’s world, and learning how to code efficiently could be a great way to find yourself well versed in the tech industry. 

However, the vast plains that are covered under coding can be overwhelming for a beginner. Despite this, once you get the hang of it, it is a very powerful skill that can get you to many places.

What is Coding?

Coding or Computer Programming essentially involves solving problems with code. It is the process of creating a computer program to execute a particular task. 

Coding is done using separate languages. It is the communication with computers to get them to do specific tasks. You tell a computer what to do in a language it can understand, in order to get the outcome that you are looking for. 

A simple program, for example, can involve telling the computer to print out a sentence or do some basic arithmetic. 

There are a number of fields that fall under the broad terms of coding. Some of the most common of them are:

  • Software Development – Software Development involves building and working on Operating Systems – such as Android, iOS, Windows etc, which are the core of phones and laptops.
  • Web/App Development – Web Development involves creating and maintaining web pages and mobile apps. This has two parts, the front end or the part of the website that the user sees, and the back end – which is the behind the scenes operation of a website or app, its functionality and more.
  • Game Development – This involves processes that are involved in the gaming industry.
  • Machine Learning and Data Science – One of the buzzwords in today’s tech world, there are many more subfields that fall under Machine Learning and Data Science alone.

There are many more fields as well, such as databases or embedded systems. 

Some of the most used coding languages are C++, which is one of the first programming languages to be created and considered the mother of all coding languages, Java, Python, Node.js, Javascript, etc. Java and C++ are mostly used in software development, for large scale software projects. Python and Javascript are called General Purpose Languages, as they can be used in a number of separate fields, such as web development, Machine learning, and more. They are also easier to learn as well. Node.js is built on javascript and is intended mostly for the backend. Another set of languages are NoSQL and SQL languages which are used for manipulating databases.

Where To Start

Before beginning to code and learning to improve your programming skills, you should ask yourself some questions. 

  1. What is your goal – Understanding your goal is vital in realizing whether or not you should learn how to code and to know which field of coding you want to get into. For example, if your goal is to become a software engineer, you should probably start learning languages like C++ and Java. If you want to automate a part of your workflow, learning python or javascript may be enough. Knowing what your goal is will help you know where to start.
  1. What is your background – What background you have can influence and shape your learning journey. This is especially true in the case of fields like Data Science. If you have a background in finance, you might be recommended to start with Python, as it will help you learn Machine learning and with it, you can build models for analysis, fraud detection, stock predictions, and more.
  1. What do you like – This can be a tough question to answer, as you may need to try something out before understanding what you like. But based on some of your basic interests, your coding learning journey can be narrowed down. For example, if you like data and numbers, data science might be something that interests you.

Another tip to figure out where to start from is to talk to people. Find people in the tech industry and talk about what you are interested in and the technology that they have experience in. 

Once you can answer these three questions, the next step is to learn and practise. You need not worry that you might have started too late, as the coding field is one that is constantly evolving.

Where To Learn

There are a number of sources to learn coding, both for free and paid. Some places to learn to code online are:

  • Coursera
  • edX
  • Khan Academy
  • Codeacademy
  • Udacity

You can also learn from offline coding boot camps. If you have some basic knowledge of programming, and you want to learn a new language, doing a course online would be a great idea. However, if you are completely new to coding, then having a mentor or instructor explain the basics to you might be an easier process. This can be done via universities or personal contacts. 

What’s Next

Once you understand what you want to do, and have learnt the language that you’ve chosen. The next step is to build projects. In the beginning, it is recommended to 

  • Do personal projects
  • Do non 9-5 projects
  • Do projects for friends and family

This means you should work on projects that you are passionate about. Try to create things that will help you in your workplace, but that isn’t included in your direct work burden. You can also do projects that might be helpful to your friends and family, such as building them a website for a local business. Doing projects will help you understand the language that you have been learning.

The next step is to do internships and work on freelance projects. Internships can give you industry-grade exposure while still working on your skills, while freelance projects will help you understand the same without being restricted by a company. 

The next step in expanding your tech knowledge is to find a full-time job. The reason this sequence of steps is preferred is that it will help you build your portfolio. In the tech world, a portfolio is a very important factor. By following these steps you can work on your portfolio that can help you land a job. 

Whether you are starting out on your coding career or looking to see what the industry will be looking toward in the future, staying up to date on new technologies and constantly learning helps a lot. 

Job Hunting 

Once you have some basic skill set, the next step in this progression would be to apply for a job. However, job hunting can get tough at times. This is also highly influenced by the current market and technologies. Many job recruiters might be looking for an idealistic candidate, and such a profile may be hard for you to replicate for yourself.  

One classic method to get into companies is via contacts, or by following your dream company closely and trying to contribute to them.

Today thousands of people are very often found applying for tech roles such as that of a full stack developer. With so many applications coming in daily, your profile would have to stand out from the rest. This means that your profile or resume needs to have something different from everyone else’s. 

Even though the work being done in many companies and positions may be the same, the recruiters should have a reason for selecting you. For this to happen your job profile needs to be very well optimized. 

Another method to make yourself stand out would be to directly approach the hiring manager or recruiting professional. You can connect with other employees working in the domain you want to get into. You can send them an email, or chat with them on professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

Your LinkedIn profile can also play a big part in what the recruiter sees of you. Due to this, optimising your profile and making it tailored to the company or position you are applying for can help you get in. Recruiters may be filtering the applicants or profiles on LinkedIn with the help of keywords. 

So if you have the relevant keywords appearing on your profile the right amount of times, it can help you get the attention of the companies that you are looking into. Any relevant information that you want your hiring managers to know must be on your profile.

You can try to change your profile and compare the views it gets before and after you’ve optimized it. With trial and error, you can find the right keywords and information that is helping you increase your reach. 

A big part of maintaining your LinkedIn profile and attracting the right recruiters is by growing your personal network and posting. You can try to be a thought leader in the position or domain that you are interested in. You can share posts and articles on things that have helped or educated you in some way. But for your connections to gain value from your posts and for you to get value from theirs, you should be connecting to people who have similar positions as yours. 

You can also connect and network with senior managers, as they can have many aspects from which you can learn. They may also be able to refer you to jobs or positions. Share posts and articles on important or relevant information, and let your network know about your passions. Make sure that you have a professional profile photo that is sending out the message that you want to show your recruiters and network.

Some of the best places you can be searching for a job role are:

Being on these platforms can help you put yourself out there, and increase your chances of getting a position that you are satisfied with. You can explore other platforms as well, and find the one that best suits your needs.

Upskill Yourself

You should never stop learning, and working on your skillset is the best way to improve and get hard in your career. A great place to increase and work on your skills is Github, which is a great open source community that can help you go a long way. It is a platform that helps you learn and connect with people from the industry. 

Building your CV For the MENA Market

Having a well-built CV is the first step in securing your dream job. For this, your CV should be up to date and structured. A good CV should have:

  • Personal Profile
  • Education and Qualifications
  • Employment Experience 
  • Other Experiences
  • Achievements and Interests
  • References

Make sure that your personality shines through your CV. Remember that you should find your CV interesting because if you yourself find your CV boring, the chances that others will also find it the same increases. 

You need not have a picture on your CV unless you are comfortable with it, as it may not make much of a difference. This is different from the case of LinkedIn, as a profile picture is necessary to have a good profile on LinkedIn. 

The last and most vital thing you should consider in your CV is keywords. Chances are that your recruiters might not have the time to go through every CV they receive, so you will need to get through the starting screening. 

The process from a complete beginner to a professional in the coding or technical industry can be something that seems terrifying without any guidance. However, this is a journey that is definitely doable. If you follow the right steps and work hard, the tech world will certainly be somewhere you can find yourself thriving. 

Join our Coding Bootcamp to learn all about coding and launch your coding career with ease.

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