At just 10 years old, a girl in California is currently being scouted for some of the top tech firms in the country. How? She learned to code starting at just age 8 and built a community of young developers. This experience and hands-on training made her a developer everyone is keeping their eyes on. Now, not everyone is a child prodigy to this level, but it does exemplify an important lesson. It is never too early, or too late, to learn new skills and set the path for a career.
Students come to Eleven Fifty from all walks of life. Some seeking training for a career path straight out of high school, some with 15+ years in a career completely unrelated to coding, some with a college degree looking for skills to set themselves apart and secure the best position possible with the skills employers are looking for in employees. In this week’s blog, we’re taking a look at people who changed their careers, and lives, through coding.
Finding the Passion for Technology Early
There is no shortage of children’s toys, games, activities, and groups to help kids learn the foundations of coding from an early age. With a new focus on STEM for young boys and girls alike, toys teach much more than fine motor skills and the art of sharing. We’re seeing more and more young people taking this passion for tech at such a young age and applying it for future growth and success.
Let’s take a closer look at the 10-year-old coding superstar we discussed above. Samaira Mehta is a 10-year-old from Silicon Valley with a huge following from kids, and tech giants alike for her skills, passion, and know-how in coding. At just 8 years old, she created a board game called CoderBunnyz to help kids learn how to code. After the wild success of the game, she went on to found a company with the same name to spread awareness and excitement for kids in coding through speaking engagements and boxed coding games for children and school to learn the basics.
“In the world, there are over 1 billion kids,” she said. “There are people who are willing to donate CoderBunnyz boxes to schools and to people in need all over the world who want to learn coding.” – Mehta
Since the launch of her game, company, and speaking engagements, Mehta has been the focus of talent scouts from Google to Microsoft and more. This young mind just goes to show it is never too early to get started, and workshops, weekend courses, and code-focused games are all great opportunities to start learning what many employers believe to be one of the most important skills of the foreseeable future.
Changing Careers After College
The opportunity to do something different than the path initially chosen from college or trade school has opened up immensely for people looking to transition out of a career path into the technology industry. This means more adult learners looking for ways to quickly skill up with new education paths without going back for another four-year degree. At Eleven Fifty, we have many students come to coding bootcamps with degrees or years of experience in other fields. One recent graduate of Eleven Fifty set out to follow his passion for problem-solving after earning a degree in Biology from Indiana University. Ransford Walker made the transition to coding after pursuing a career in Biology and found that the opportunities were not as readily available as other fields, namely coding. We had the opportunity to sit down with Ransford and learn more about his experience and what he would say to others considering a career in coding.
“I would tell people it’s not as scary as it sounds. I really did think it was all ones and zeros, but it’s not. If you can think logically, you’ll be surprised by how much you already know. The methods in coding can be applied to so many other things and once you start understanding the code, it becomes easier to problem solve.”
Learning to Code Later In Life
Not all coders come directly to coding. Many students spend years, even decades, in career fields but feel the push and desire to challenge themselves and find something more fulfilling. A dear friend and former student of Eleven Fifty came to coding after a decade in insurance. He always felt the pull to coding and thought about doing it for years before finding Eleven Fifty. While a four-year degree was not something he was interested in doing, he found the bootcamp style learning to be the perfect fit. Hear more from Rhys and learn where he is now and his perspective on changing careers after success in an industry he performed well in for years.
Whether you are taking the first steps into education or looking for a change after years of experience, it is never too early, or late to learn how to code and start a career in a high-growth, fast-paced industry. We encourage everyone interested in coding, or technology to put personal fears aside and embrace their personal potential. When you follow a passion and challenge what you think is possible, you can do incredible things. If you are looking for a new passion, or just want to know what coding is about, a great place to start is a conversation. Feel free to come by Eleven Fifty to talk with staff and students, or enroll in a free introduction to coding class with the code CODE2018 to see what it’s about first-hand!