Coding on Film: The Good and the Not-So-Good

Technology has always looked good on film, since the days of D.W. Griffith’s Metropolis filmmakers have showcased their vision for the future. Up until the 1980’s, the technology shown on film was from the future, but at some point, our actual technology began to catch up to what was being shown on screen.

Pretty soon life began imitating art, and in the world of movies the opposite became the case.  Computer programming provided inspiration for new heroes on screen and also villains who would use their knowledge of technology for evil. As a result, some movies have given us a glimpse into the world of computer programming and the lives of the coders who make it happen.

GOOD: Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

There’s no better portrayal of computer technology than a movie about the men who gave us the computers we use to this day. This 1999 television film tells the fascinating story behind the birth of Microsoft and Apple. 

GOOD: TRON (1982)

We still haven’t found a way to get transported into computers like Jeff Bridge’s character in TRON, but the film did a good job of giving seemingly abstract computer terms a face. It’s also the first film to use a large amount of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in production.  

GOOD: The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

The film series that inspired a whole generation of filmmakers also inspired a new wave of computer programmers. While source code is usually portrayed unrealistically on the screen, there is a scene in the second Matrix film in which Trinity hacks into a system using a real method for SSH exploitation.

GOOD: The Social Network (2010)

Social media started off in the form of AOL Instant Messages and Myspace profiles, then Facebook entered our lives. This film takes inspiration from the story of Facebook’s creation, and the legal battles that followed.

GOOD: Office Space (1999)

Working as a computer programmer is a fun and interesting job, but sometimes it can get repetitive and mundane. No film parodies the perils of falling into a coding rut than Mike Judge’s Office Space.

As you can see, some movies get it right, and others… well, not so much.

But, it’s not entirely the writer or the director’s fault. While coding can lead to some pretty exciting things, many aspects of programming just don’t look that exciting on screen. That is why Hollywood has had to take some liberties with how computer programming is portrayed. Here are a few movies that, while they had good intentions, missed the mark when it comes to coding.

NOT-SO-GOOD: Weird Science (1985)

Coding can do some amazing things, but it can’t bring a Barbie doll to life.

 NOT-SO-GOOD: Hackers (1995)

While this film is semi-inspired by some prominent events in the world of hacking, most of the things portrayed on screen are more comical than accurate.

NOT-SO-GOOD: Jurassic Park (1993)

This 1993 movie is a classic and there’s no arguing with that, but scene where John Hammond’s granddaughter hacks a Unix system is so bad that it’s inspired hundreds of memes. 

NOT-SO-GOOD: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Kevin Smith is great, but a hacker named “The Warlock” who has access to the nation’s security systems just isn’t realistic.

NOT-SO-GOOD: Independence Day (1996)

It only took Jeff Goldblum’s character a couple of hours to figure out how to upload a computer virus into the alien’s spacecraft that would bring down the whole defense system and save the day. Welcome to Earth.

Just because a film depicts coding and programming in an unrealistic fashion, doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed! These films spark our imagination, and inspire many to learn the truth about coding, hacking, and computer programming.

After all, what is unrealistic today, may not be in the future.

What Jobs Are Available for Coders?

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When you think about the future, where do you see yourself?

Maybe you’re making tackles in front of thousands of cheering fans, or creating breathtaking dishes at your restaurant, or you’re in your home playing hide and seek with your kids; the possibilities are endless.

For many of you, your passion for computers and technology has led you to learn more about coding. Now that you’ve taken the steps to harness the power of coding, let’s discuss what you can do with your new powers in the future.

Web Developer

Programmers who work almost exclusively with websites are web developers. They design, maintain, and modify websites with a variety of programming languages. A 2016 survey conducted by Free Code Camp found that 39% of respondents saw “Full Stack Web Developer” as their ideal job; in fact, web development jobs held the top 3 spots in the survey.

Video Game Programmer/Designer

Your parent’s old Nintendo games may not look like much, but they required whole teams of coders to create what was then, a groundbreaking feat. Today, the video game industry is massive and a huge part of our culture. As a result, companies are constantly looking for new talented and created individuals to design and program the next wave of video games.

Software Developer

If you like being picked as “team captain” then this job is for you. Software developers help teams of coders through every stage of the software creation process. This is also one of the many coding jobs that allow you to work from home. 

Network Administrator

As a network administrator, you will oversee an organization’s computer networks. Large companies, universities, and government entities all require network administrators on their staff.

Mobile App Developer

Take one look at your phone’s App Store and you can see just how big mobile app development is. On top of that, iTunes is expected to have 5 million apps by the time we hit 2020. That’s good news for the next generation of coders.

Coding Cosmologist

That’s right, coding is even being used in the study of our galaxy. You can apply your love of space and coding towards a career in coding cosmology and use programs to track stars and learn secrets about the planets in our solar system.

Systems Analyst

If you like getting lost in the details, then a career as a systems analyst may be right up your alley. Systems analysts pour over multiple lines of code in order to find ways to improve systems and the processes carried out by the programming.

IT Manager

It’s hard to find a business that doesn’t need some sort of IT department, and the embrace of technology by companies from all over ensures that we’ll always need knowledgeable individuals to keep the computers running and the internet working.

As you can see there lots of great jobs you can get with a coding education, but that’s not even all of them!

You will also find yourself capable of getting other jobs that are not traditionally thought to be coding related. That’s because coding is growing even more important across many industries. Coding knowledge can lead to careers in engineering, AutoCAD drafting, architecture, medical systems, and business.

So, what we should really be asking is “what jobs aren’t available to coders?”

Can Coding Be a Hobby?

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You’ve probably heard about how important coding will be in the future, how industries are implementing more technology into their operations to save money and create better products or services. Parents know the importance of learning coding, with 58% of them feeling that coding and programming is the most beneficial skill to their child’s future. When it comes to careers, few can argue that learning coding puts you in position for a great one.

But what if you just want to code for fun?

Hobbies Are Fun

Having a hobby gives us a sense of excitement and happiness when we’re pursuing them. Your grandpa had fishing, your dad had woodworking, and now you have coding. Once you get a hold of the basics you can, you can apply what you can continue to dig deeper into coding or you can just start applying it to another hobby.

That’s right, you can take your knowledge of coding and programming and apply it to activities you really love. For instance, let’s say you love writing and you have a blog that you update weekly. With coding, you can now make your blog pop even more now that you know how to manipulate the code.

You Learn Hobbies at Your Own Pace

Hobbies like playing the guitar or learning to skateboard take time to master the skills necessary. Hobbies differ from school work in that no one forces you to learn a hobby; there’s no mandatory homework or tests at the end of the year. Unless you’re taking coding classes in school, coding can be tackled on your own time. Let’s say you dive into the basics, and after a couple of weeks decide that you’re bored.

Take a break. We guarantee you that some time after you’ll want to revisit the hobby.

Many places like theCoderSchool understand that too much information at once takes the fun out of coding, so curriculum is often tailored to children based on age, skill level, and general coding goals.

It Could Come in Handy

With technology having more of an influence on our lives every day, it’s hard to imagine an industry that won’t use coding in some way or fashion. Your coding hobby could play an important role in your future and you might not even know it. Your dream could be to be a graphic designer, and when an employer has a pile of resumes to pick from, your coding hobby might make you stand out from the crowd.

While we do predict that you’ll fall in love with coding, we know that everyone has different dreams and goals. Coding may not be the most important thing in your life but having a general knowledge of it could make your dreams come true. It’s all about being well-rounded, people who are get the most attention from colleges and employers.

So can coding be a hobby?

Yes, not only can it be, but it should! After all, you want to do something you love, whether that be for work or in your free time is up to you.

3 Things You Should Know About Coding

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Coding is growing more popular in schools, with classes offering small glimpses into the world of computer languages to teach more kids about technology. Maybe you’ve heard about coding, but still don’t know too much about what it does or takes to be good at.

If you’ve thought about learning to code but want to know more, here are three things you should take into consideration when it comes to coding.

1. It’s Not Rocket Science

Okay, learning to code could very well lead to a future working with rockets so it technically can be “rocket science.”

What we mean is that coding isn’t only meant for mega geniuses and child prodigies. In fact, anyone can learn to code! People from all walks of life have learned coding, whether it’s for their current job, a job they want in the future, or just to have a new skill under their belt. The best part is that there are tons of ways you can learn to code, whether it’s through videos online or taking classes at a coding school, you’re bound to find a way that works for you.

2. It Takes Practice

Even though coding isn’t impossible and can be learned by anyone, it doesn’t mean that it will always be easy. When you first start to learn how to code you could run into moments where you want to pull your hair out in frustration. Just remember to relax, and don’t be too hard on yourself. There are topics which you’ll have to go over time and time again just to understand, and it might be weeks before you learn how to create something you can show off to the world.

Like any skill, coding takes practice to perfect, and even when you think you’ve perfected it there’s something new just over the horizon that you’ll have to learn.

Coding is Fun

The most important thing you need to know about coding is that it’s fun to do! You may think it’s only fun for people who love computers, but coding can be applied to so many hobbies, projects, and careers.

Here are some of the things you can do once you learn how to code

  • Create fun web sites

  • Program robots and other machines

  • Develop mobile apps

  • Make video games

  • Design virtual reality systems

  • Work for hospitals and healthcare companies

These are just a few of the areas you can apply your coding knowledge to, and as technology becomes more important there will be more uses for coding in the future. This is good news for kids who can already code by the time they start deciding on their future.

Patience: A Coder’s Best Friend

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There was a time when if you wanted to watch a movie, you had to go to the video store and rent it; if they were all out of tapes, you didn’t get to watch it. You’d have to wait, days, sometimes weeks just to see that movie – which begs the question…

Could you survive?

Luckily, we live in an age where if we want to see a movie, we just download it or stream it off any number of streaming services. The move toward convenience and speed has reached all areas and industries, and the same progress has been demonstrated in the world of coding. Simple processes used to take copious amounts of code to carry out, but now many things are carried out through automation and can be accessed with a variety of resources online.  

Despite advancements that have simplified coding, there is one thing that hasn’t changed, you still need lots of patience.

Patience is needed when you start learning to code, and when the only languages you’ve learned up to that point are human languages, the lines of seemingly unrelated characters can take time to understand. This is no different than any other hobby or skill, like playing the guitar, you have to learn the chords before you can play a song. With coding, you must understand the importance of each character in order to build upon them to create something big like a website or a video game.

Once you start learning more advanced techniques, you’ll be required to start solving problems or going deeper into the lines of code you write. Not only will you need to pay attention to detail, but you may find yourself going over the same line multiple times before you find what you need.

Patience can help you later in life, not just while you’re learning to code. The sooner you learn patience, the better off you’ll be in the future whenever you encounter a problem or situation that takes time to resolve. When you finally get a job applying your coding knowledge, whether that be in a DevOps, Video Game Design, or Systems role, you’ll find that patience is going to be required every day on the job. That’s because you’ll also need to have patience with other members of your team, and since many coding jobs involve working in a team, those with a short fuse are not going to have an easy time.

The good news is patience is contagious, and that cool, calm demeanor you demonstrate will soon rub off on other members of your team. Who knows, that attitude may even get you a promotion, in which you’ll need even more patience for dealing with employees that you manage.

As you can see, patience will always be your best friend if you befriend it early. The start of your coding journey will be challenging at first, but you can develop habits now that will help you the rest of your life, both personally and professionally.

5 Reasons to Choose a Career That Allows You to Work Remotely

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Learning to code has an array of incredible benefits – from teaching soft skills for everyday use to cultivating a hobby that keeps you challenged and entertained. Coding trains the brain, inspires patience and opens extensive career opportunities. Regarding the latter point, understanding how to code can also clear the path toward coveted remote job possibilities as well. Why choose a career that allows you to work remotely? Read on to find out.

 

1.       Your career doesn’t have to define your life. As much as you may love coding, a job still just becomes a job over time. Thankfully, by working from home, you can spend plenty of time pursuing hobbies and spending time with family.

 

2.       Explore side opportunities. Not sure about sticking to one job alone? Want to start your own business? Coding is a highly qualifying skill. There are abundant fields that benefit from hiring someone who understands coding. Not only can the knowledge itself lead to jobs – such as in web development – but the skills that come along with coding can also boost your resume for other opportunities in design, marketing, business operations and more.

 

3.       Save money on gas, food and other reoccurring expenses. Commuting takes a toll on your day, car and wallet. You aren’t paid for the time spent getting ready, driving and pumping gas. Working remotely allows you to make the most of each paycheck.

 

4.       Create a flexible schedule – and a flexible workplace environment. When you work remotely, you are in charge of your schedule. Yes, this means you need to have great time management skills – but, as a coder, you are probably already proficient at setting aside time to work and study. Additionally, working from home means getting to wear whatever you want – which is pretty cool, right?

 

Have you ever considered the possibility of having a full-time career while living the way you want to live – with more time, money and a flexible schedule? That’s one of the many benefits of learning how to code: You immediately qualify yourself for great work-from-home opportunities that pay well and offer you the ability to create your own lifestyle while working a job you love.