Despite being a millennial freelancer living in the digital world I’m an absolute noob when it comes to computers and programming. As the world is consistently becoming digitalised, it scares me how computer illiterate I am. You may have noticed job market sites in Prague are saturated with IT and design jobs. More specifically, programmers.
A programmer or coder is someone who designs, writes and maintains computer software.
And programmers are IN D E M A N D.
I went to Green Fox Academy‘s Basics of Programming Workshop for a crash course into coding. I’m not a maths person and thought I would just struggle. Maybe that’s why I was way too happy when I was able to produce five coloured squares. The mentors were very helpful and attentive and I found programming language to be a lot friendlier than I thought.
I got the opportunity to chat with James Dang, Green Fox student and soon-to-be Junior Full Stack Web Developer about his last four months at GreenFox.
‘I used to work as a graphic designer at an advertising agency, predominantly for Samsung. I just got bored with it. At first, I was learning a lot, and then the learning sorta plateaued. But here you learn something new everyday. Because of my background in design I like the idea that I can turn something intangible into something tangible. I get a sense of gratification seeing what I make work.
Coding opens up even more possibilities.‘
The course is no walk in the park. It’s ‘Fast-paced, challenging, and a sense of camaraderie – in that we are all motivated and are willing to share knowledge‘.
The mentors are there to help every step of the way. ‘They encourage you to ask questions all the time. We’re mostly doing problem-solving and working on algorithms. The mentors will work on it on the projector. They’ll show you what they’re doing and how they’re thinking’. Green Fox’s methodology is a flipped classroom teaching technique, meaning it’s mostly hands-on. You learn mainly by completing assignments and group work.
James loves creating digital products, so learning to code just made sense. ‘We’re going through an information revolution. There’s a lack of developers, we’re in high demand. It’s difficult to learn, but salaries are high. You can work from home remotely or one month overseas. It’s one of those rare jobs where all you need is your laptop and the internet. I couldn’t really do that with design. ‘
After the course, James wants to continue in design. ‘I’d like to continue creating digital products, and now I can liaise between the two fields. Learning to code has enhanced my existing skillset as a designer. ‘
Can anyone do the course?
Yes. James admits he’s no math wiz but a problem-solving mindset helps.
His hot tip for new students is balance. ‘The course can be intensive and overwhelming at times. It’s not a bad idea to consider tweaking aspects of your life i.e. sleep, exercise, social life etc. When you do enter the industry, it won’t get any easier. You’ll still have much to learn if you want to grow your career. So you might as well try and design a system that would be conducive to your learning and growth’.
Thinking about changing your career? Check Green Fox Academy’s career-changing Junior Developer Course.
Do you have time to learn coding only outside of your working hours? Then check out the evening and weekend Part-time Foundation Course.