Imagine a skill that would make you more marketable as a job candidate and increase your earnings potential. Now envision that you can start learning this skill at any age and at any time. Of course, we are referring to coding. Having a background in coding will open doors to dream careers with outstanding future possibilities. If you need more convincing here are four reasons that coding improves your chances for success.

Exceptional high-paying career opportunities

STEM jobs are all the rage in our modern economy, and yes that includes coding. A study conducted by Burning Glass revealed careers that require coding pay an average of $22,000 more per year. Just imagine, in ten years that would equate to $220,000. The same study also found that half of the highest paying jobs (in the top quartile) require coding skills. A rewarding career that makes more money chalk one up to coding.

Flexibility

Would you like a career that would enable you to work from home either part- or full-time? Jobs in coding tend to offer flexible schedules allowing you to work from just about anywhere. A high paying career that allows you to choose your work environment and, in some cases, even your schedule is appealing to those who want to spend more time with family or travel to other cities. Or perhaps someone who just doesn’t enjoy the office life. Regardless, having a background in coding provides more opportunities for high-paying jobs that offer more flexibility.

Choice of industries

Whether you want a job in technology, banking or health care, having a background in coding will help you land a great career. Looking for more excitement? Being a skilled coder can catapult you into a cool, fast-paced field like artificial intelligence. A field that is growing at a rapid rate. A report by the World Economic Forum states that AI will create 58 million new jobs by 2022. You can work on the cutting-edge helping to develop new technologies that will shape the future world. No worries if you opt to steer clear of advanced fields like AI, with a background in coding you’ll have your choice of incredible industries.

Coding improves your problem-solving abilities

Beyond providing a tangible skill you can add to your resume, coding can teach you to become a better thinker with improved problem-solving abilities. Why? Because coding takes attention to detail and an ability to break down problems into smaller pieces. This approach can be utilized in different areas of your professional and personal life. The more you practice coding and solving the issues that arise, the more skilled you will become at tackling problems.

From high-paying job opportunities to more flexibility and even improved problem solving, coding is a skill that will increase your chances for success in business and life. Don’t wait, start your coding journey today and get ready for an amazing future.

Learning a new language can be difficult, no matter the origin. That’s not to say that it’s impossible! We have put together some tips for learning almost any coding language:

First off, there are over 100 languages that coders and programmers use (actually, we’ve heard that there’s even more than 2,000, and that’s just because languages are developing every single day!), so don’t feel overwhelmed. You can just simply pick from a list of 10, or whatever serves your coding goals best! Some of the most popular are JavaScript, Python, Java, Go, Elixir, Ruby, Kotlin, TypeScript, Scala, and Clojure.

You know what one you want to learn? Great! (If not, don’t stress, these tips apply to ALL languages.)

1. Actively practice.

You can’t just read something and then let it be. You have to continuously keep practicing and using the language in order to become fluent in it. A fun way to practice is by solving coding challenges. There are websites such as LeetCode that can help you increase your fluency, and will teach you more about the structure and syntax of the language.

2. Write things down.

While typing on a keyboard is the way you’ll be using the coding language in the future, writing it down helps burn it into your memory and store it somewhere where you can easily access it. We’re no brain experts, but have you ever noticed that you remember something better after writing it down? That’s why. Give it a shot!

3. Don’t over-do it.

It’s exciting, yes, but we’re not machines. Our brains need a break — even though it’s for fun, and you WANT to do it. You still need a break, to give your mind time to store what you’ve learned, give your eyes a rest, and get the blood moving through your body again. Don’t be a coding zombie.

4. Read a lot.

While you might not understand the language as a whole yet, reading the language in question — and reading a LOT — can’t hurt, because you’ll find yourself picking up on things as you go. Eventually you’ll train yourself to read almost effortlessly.

5. Build something!

Use the language that you’ve learned, and use it often! Even if it’s in something small, you’re still applying the knowledge that you’ve gained, and making it part of your life. This ultimately helps build fluency and recognition.

6. Use a linter.

Linters are code-analyzing tools that flag any errors or bugs you may have created in your newly-learned coding language, so that way you can go back and fix the problem. Think of it as a SpellCheck for coding.

It might be hard to do at first, but don’t give up! Once you beat that learning curve, you’ll find that learning these new languages is fun and effective! Go on! Try it!

It’s the end of another year, your mistakes behind you, your successes looming above them all like a brilliant golden trophy. You made it, and now it’s time for another year of growth and learning! Have you gotten more into coding over the last year? Want to get into it next year? Well here’s a list we’ve come up with, featuring goals for our coding friends to conquer in the next year!

1. Increase your typing speed.

Typing is an important aspect of the coding world, and you need to have a good speed going if you want to be able to master any other coding-related skills. You can do this simply by practicing, or using games and software specifically for building your typing speed. You can read more about increasing your typing speed here.

2. Learn about a new area of coding that interests you.

You can do this in several different ways, such as doing your own personal research, watching Youtube videos, or even taking a class or attending a camp. This gives you the opportunity to expand your knowledge, give you something challenging, and another way to practice.

3. Learn a language!

We’re not talking about Spanish or German here, we’re talking about a coding language! There are over 100 different coding and programming languages (some lists even say over 2,000!!) to choose from, some are rarely ever used, so the sky’s the limit. You may be able to find information on a language at the camp list we gave you in number 2, however, some might require a little more. Do some research and see which one appeals to you, or will serve you in a future career and look good on a job application!

4. Upgrade your computer.

BONUS: upgrade your computer MANUALLY. What we mean is, you can get software add-ons to boost the speed and space on your machine, and get a new keyboard or a mouse. That’s a job in of itself, but what if you took it to another level? What if you took your machine apart and added other things? Sound fun? Scary? Impossible? Well, it’s not, but it’s definitely a project. While it may help you get to know your machine better, you need to have the patience to do it, so if the project sounds too big for you and your busy schedule, settle for a lesser upgrade!

The possibilities for the upcoming year are endless! Tackle something new, big, or just downright not like you. Triumph over it all and show 2020 who’s boss!

Christmas shopping is a real pain, especially when you’re shopping for someone who, while you love them dearly, you know nothing about their likes and dislikes. So, here to throw some inspiration your way, here are some of what WE think are the best gifts to give your coder and programmer loved ones!

1. Classes and courses.

This one might be a little tricky, but ask around and see if there is a specific skill area your gift receiver has been wanting to work on, or learn more about, and see if you can find some classes! A simple Google search will help in a lot of that, and other times you can audit a class from an online or local college or university.

2. Computer gear.

Providing you’ve asked around a little and know what it is the coder needs, you can get them anything ranging from a new keyboard to an updated software package and even to a brand new monitor or computer system! There are thousands of choices when it comes to smaller items like a keyboard, or a mouse, or even headphones. Look for comfort as well as quality!

3. Apparel.

Believe it or not, clothes are a great option, too. There are tons of shirts and hoodies that have fun jokes, puns and references that only programmers can understand, and those tend to be perfect gifts. Plus, these can be fun and inexpensive gift ideas for any coder!

4. Sustenance and ironic mugs.

So as it turns out, food is always an amazing gift to receive. Maybe consider an “energy box” full of healthy snacks to keep their minds going and fingers moving. While mugs might not be just for coffee, they sure are fun to have around for late-night coding sessions. A quirky mug says a lot in just a small package!

Hopefully these can spark an idea in your probably overwhelmed, holiday-worn mind and save your from a last minute panic! Have any other ideas? Let us know in the comments!

It’s the perfect time to set new goals for 2020. While you reflect on all you’ve accomplished in 2019, we encourage you to set a resolution of learning how to code in the new year. Whether you are familiar with or a complete stranger to the concept of coding, this post is for you! So, why exactly would learning this skill be a great move for the turn of the decade?

Knowing how to code unlocks many job opportunities.

It’s true! Being skilled in coding is a very desirable skill in the tech industry. It provides you with the means to understand the language that is used to program the tech that impacts your life every single day. What a commodity!

Learning the skill would provide you with a meaningful challenge.

Sure, it’s easier to coast and avoid learning new things, but where is the fun and fulfillment in that? Learning how to code is definitely a challenge. You will struggle and fail sometimes, but it’s all part of the process and you will come out better for it. You’ll gain a new perspective on the world around you and exactly how tech plays into it.

You’ll potentially be able to craft solutions to real-world problems.

The world of tech development is ever-evolving and ever-expanding. Coding is foundational in those functions. By knowing how coding works (and how to do it yourself), you could flex that skill by, for example, crafting an app or website for an organization that helps people in need. Your options on making an impact on the world around you would be virtually limitless!

You’d become part of a powerful, supportive, and collaborative community.

Coders love collaborating on their development projects and are always in constant communication with each other. Whether you’d be struggling or excelling in your endeavors, you’d have a knowledgeable and skilled network supporting you the whole way through. It would provide you with the opportunity to create fruitful professional and personal relationships alike.

Let’s be honest, the reasons to learn coding far outweigh the reasons to not. Part of living a well-rounded life is committing to being a lifelong learner, and coding is a great choice for deciding where to focus your efforts. We hope this post has inspired you to consider learning this interesting and all-important skill and we also hope you have a fantastic start to the new decade!

If you’re a part of the coding or tech community and you have a milestone coming up that you’d like to celebrate, organizing your party around a computer theme is a fun and interesting choice! Continue reading for some tips on how to make yours the best it can be!

Craft well-designed and tech-oriented digital invitations.

The first impressions your potential guests will form of your party will be based off of the invitations you send out. What better way to reel them in than flexing your design skills and interest in tech by creating interesting and relevant ones?

Choose a relevant color scheme and matching decorations.

Blues, greens, and neutral colors are great choices for your color schemes. You can choose or order a banner that is related to your party theme as well – for example, one that says “Happy Birthday!” (or something similar) spelled out in keyboard squares or binary.

If your party will have assigned seating, you could create tags for the guests’ tables that feature a picture of an open laptop with their names and assigned seats. For an extra flair, you could orient the guests’ cutlery in paper or plastic sleeves that display fun sayings, such as “have a byte,” or design placemats that look like mousepads.

Order food items that relate to the theme of the party.

For example, you could order cupcakes that have a power on/off symbol on each of them. Another interesting choice are cookies that are iced and decorated to look like keyboard squares. If your party will feature a cake, you could choose to order a custom-designed one that will look like a PC tower, monitor, and mouse on top of a circular or square base that is designed to look similarly to a desk.

Choose interesting party favors!

Everyone loves party favors, and by providing ones that are related to your theme choice, you will help your guests have more fun! Order laptop stickers, mousepads, mice, flash drives, or other interesting computer accessories. It’s your choice on whether to order custom designed favors that represent your event, but chances are that your guests will be more likely to use generic (but still visually appealing) favors on a regular basis after your party.

Parties are meant to be fun and engaging celebrations. Regardless of the event you’re celebrating, there are so many ways to express your love of computers in your party planning! We hope this post has given you some inspiration for your next big get-together.

Tech-driven careers are high in demand these days with all of the technological advances we’ve made in just a short ten years. Twenty years ago, our cell phones and laptops were big enough to be used as weights! So if you’re thinking about joining ANY techy career, there are some things you need to think about; one of which is “Do I have the skills required for this industry?” What are these skills, you ask? Take a look!

Communication.

You’re probably thinking, “Well, duh, of course I know how to communicate” — but do you, really? Communication is more than speaking casually in a conversation; it’s being able to relay your thoughts, information, and ideas clearly, creatively, and confidently! Especially in a world where you may be speaking, writing, or presenting to people who don’t understand technology languages, it’s important that you can translate effectively and make it as easy as possible for others to understand. That is going to be one of your biggest strengths, as well as giving this information and your thoughts through a creative outlet that doesn’t put people to sleep.

Teamwork.

This is one of those skills that everyone says they have — because you think that if you can work on group projects in school, you can work as a team at a professional job, right? Wrong! While there are some jobs that allow you to work by yourself for most of the time, and then occasionally work in a small group to get a project done, most tech jobs require constant teamwork, and oftentimes you have to rely on other people to get their work done so YOU can get YOURS done.

Organization.

While we’re sure you’ve heard this quite a bit, organizational skills are incredibly important when entering the tech world. Even an “organized mess” would do — so long as you have a system and can find anything in any given moment.

Driven.

Some tech jobs can be thankless, especially when you’re involved in the back of a project, working on things the client and customer will never really see. You have to be driven enough to know that your part is still important, and therefore it needs to be done. You have to have the self motivation to push passed the ache of sitting in front of a computer all day!

Though these may not seem like “skills” they can certainly come in handy for any tech-based career. With these in hand, you’ll be able to conquer your new professional life!

We all want to be able to type faster — it not only saves us time, but it also just makes our lives that much easier. Sure, you can practice, but if we can’t train our brain to follow along, then there’s really no point, right? Well, as it turns out, there ARE ways to put your brain through a mental boot camp and bump up those typing speeds.

Physical training.

It sounds silly, and we promise it’s not anything like what you do when you’re training your body — there are no weights to be lifted here! Instead, use your eyes. When your brain uses both the left and the right hemispheres during a task, it increases memory as well as muscle function; so the trick here is to move your eyes to the left and then the right repeatedly. You’ll find that, after doing this little exercise for only a moment, your typing will become faster and more fluid.

Practice.

That’s literally one of the easiest ways to get better at typing, but you have to be practicing correctly. That means using your fingers in the right positions, avoiding looking at your fingers as much as possible, and sitting straight.

Fix your mistakes.

Some people say not to look back — just type until you’re done and then fix what needs it. This is doable if you’re trying to work solely on your speed, rather than your memory as well. Typing and playing the piano are both right- and left-brained involving activities, so it’s important to train your brain to memorize the keys and how it relates to the word as a whole. Rather than fixing the single letter that was wrong in your word, go back, erase the whole word, and re-write it. You’ll be able to look back and see the progress in just a few sessions!

Sleep.

This is probably one you’ve heard before — and that’s because it’s true! Make sure you’re getting enough sleep before you tackle looking at a screen for long periods of time; the strain on your eyes will make it easier to miss things and harder to concentrate.

Keep up the brain training.

By that, we mean keep looking at complicated pictures, keep buying puzzle books and finding solutions to apparently impossible problems. The healthier your brain, the better. Keep these things in mind the next time that you want to alter any skills you may have, and you’ll find yourself changing into a magnificent person sooner than you think.

The word “coding” has a lot of connotations with it — with many leading to “hard work!” It can be a challenge, but challenges offer incredible opportunities. A lot of young coders, before they even dip a toe into the coding world, ask themselves, “What about coding is cool? How can it be fun at all?”

Here’s your answer!

Coding makes you feel good.

People learn to code for a variety of different reasons — the money, to create, to help people, to challenge themselves, etc. Some people just like being able to have fun with what they’re doing! Coders who do the work professionally and as a living have said that some days, you feel like you don’t know anything because of a new challenge or something you have yet to master, and then there are other days where they feel like they ought to be riding down from Mount Olympus on a flaming chariot. When they see the result of their work helping others or creating something new and fascinating, they can’t help but get the warm fuzzies all over. It’s just good.

Coding continuously shapes your brain.

Learning something you enjoy isn’t the same as learning something for school, because you don’t like all of what you’re studying. When you sit down and pick apart something, and exercise your brain to absorb this new information, it’s really quite enjoyable! You walk away feeling like a genius. Not only that, but your brain will also reap the benefits of coding with an increased memory function and problem solving skills, among other things!

Coding comes in many different forms!

You’ve probably already learned some coding without even knowing it through games and toys. Have you ever heard of Minecraft? It teaches you basic coding concepts through a very immersive game that can be played individually or in a team. LEGO can do the same, especially if you have the Edison Coding Robot, an add-on for the blocks that also teaches you many different coding techniques — from beginner’s algorithms to advanced coding languages!

Not everyone may consider coding as a hobby at first, but to put it simply: coding is fun. For many, many different reasons, and worth giving a try at least once! What have you got to lose?