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Actualize Blog

September 4, 2015

Planning for Success: Learning to Code in 2016

By Jay Wengrow, CEO of Actualize

While losing weight, getting organized, and traveling to new places are all worthy New Year’s resolutions, gaining code literacy should be at the top of your list for 2016. Here’s why.


The world is rapidly becoming more tech oriented each and every day. We are now surrounded and dependent on internet and mobile technology like never before. Understanding how these technologies work will make you all the more effective in harnessing them to their fullest, and taking advantage of them to live a more efficient life.

Haven’t we all thought of ideas for apps that can make life more convenient, allow us to save time, or add some other value to our daily lives? By learning to code, you can actually turn these ideas into real applications without being dependent upon anyone else.

Coding skills can allow you to launch an entirely new career which is both exciting and profitable. Software engineers are in extremely high demand, and computer programming can even make you a better marketer, graphic designer, or biz dev professional in tech companies. Tech is the field these days, and having development chops is the #1 thing that can help you start your career there.

So how do you get started?

Firstly, it’s a great idea to begin dabbling in code. Signing up for a four year university degree in Computer Science may be a bit premature before you actually familiarize yourself with what coding is all about and making sure it’s something you wish to pursue. There are numerous online tutorials and websites that can give you all the dabbling you need. Here are some options, but a little Googling will reveal many more:

Our own Anyone Can Learn To Code Ruby Screencasts

While these sites are great, they serve only as ways to get your feet wet in code, but do not take you all the way to being capable of building fully functional applications and certainly do not make you career-ready. The next step is to see if there are local meetups near you that teach introductory classes in programming. We host free meetup classes in Chicago and is a great source for finding such groups.

But even these groups will generally provide introductory level classes, but not much beyond that. If you’re really ready to make the leap into learning career-ready coding skills (and you are, because that was your resolution, right?), you should enroll in some sort of programming school. But don’t worry, the commitment may not be as big as you think.

The good news is that you don’t have to go back to college to accomplish this, as there are many “coding bootcamps” all over the world that provide courses that last just a few months, and cram all the skills you need into that short timeframe. If that sounds intense, that’s because it is. But you’ll be able to learn enough to actually land a job as a software engineer if you so choose, and you’ll have saved yourself years of your life as well as college tuition.

There’s still one tall hurdle to jump, however. Virtually all of these bootcamps run on a full-time basis, and you’ll need to quit your current job to attend one. However, Anyone Can Learn To Code provides what is currently the country’s only in-person intensive bootcamp that is run on Sundays and weeknights so that you don’t need to quit your full time job while learning to code. So if you’re in Chicago, or have the ability to work remotely, ACLTC may be the best option for you. If Chicago is not an option for you, and you’d like to see if there’s another bootcamp near you, check out Course Report for an extensive list of code bootcamp options. To learn more about ACLTC, check out our homepage or contact us at hello (at) anyonecanlearntocode (dot) com.

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