A quick google search for places to learn to code, and you’ll see a plethora of online spaces to develop your technical skillset.
Spaces such as SuperHi, Codecademy and Udemy have free courses to discover and develop new skills.
They have taken on extensive popularity in recent years. In 2021 Codecademy raised $40m and registered 45m users for their platform.
Platforms such as Codecademy allow you to discover new languages and explore what it is like to build things with code. For those interested in web development, SuperHi’s free course in HTML and CSS allows you to build a beautiful responsive website for free.
With low barriers to entry, self-taught platforms are helping to democratise the world of Tech. They are driving tech literacy and in some cases elevating people to new careers in tech.
There are a couple of limitations to be aware of. Firstly, it can be overwhelming when deciding which language to use. While you can search the frequently used languages in tech companies and work back from there, without guidance from those in the industry you can concentrate your efforts in the wrong place.
Secondly, learning specific languages will help you understand the vocabulary of the languages but not necessarily the frameworks behind the syntax. Frameworks that can be applied to a multitude of different languages.
As a software engineer, you’ll have to jump between languages, learn as you go and apply common foundational frameworks behind languages. By focusing on specific languages you might not be building the muscle in your brain that allows you to pick up new languages quickly.
Finally, these programmes are self-taught. This helps you establish a good routine of discovery and problem solving, however, peer-to-peer learning is an incredibly conducive environment for learning tech skills. It can be hard and frustrating learning new skills. Being able to work in a group to solve those problems helps your learning and is a skill that will set you up for success in tech.
These platforms are an incredible way to explore new skills, especially when you’re dipping your toe into the world of tech and building your tech literacy.