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Posted on September 10th, 2020 in Eleven Fifty Academy
How to Code at Any Age

Goldilocks never walked into the house of the three bears and said, this bear’s too young to code, this bear is too old to code, but this one is just the right age. While it may sound cliché, you truly can learn coding at any age. It’s a skill you can attain and apply regardless of educational background, technical training, or career experience.

The Young and the Restless

Perhaps you’ve heard of Samaira Mehta. At just eight years old, she created a board game that helps kids learn how to code. Her game, CoderBunnyz, is a runaway success and she has gone on to found a company with the same name to spread awareness and excitement for kids in coding.

Mehta’s blend of ingenuity, technological savvy, and entrepreneurship is earning her the attention of some of the world’s biggest names in technology, such as Google and Microsoft. Her story is proof that it’s never too early to get started.

Abi Tambasco, director of career services at Eleven Fifty, advises kids to get involved early. “Coder DoJo, robotics classes at school, and coding classes online – there are so many outlets for our youth interested in getting involved in tech.”

Workshops, weekend courses, camps, and code-focused games are all great ways to introduce children to coding. For those living in Indiana, Tambasco suggests checking out the non-profit TechPoint.org for opportunities.

Coding Over 40 (or 50! or 60!)

Not all coders begin at an early age. At the other end of the number line, mid-to-autumn career professionals are looking into coding as a skill to help them pivot from their current career path and into technology.

“We have seen so many coders over the age of 50 who are thriving and enjoying their career!” says Morgan Walker, MS, manager of employer and industry engagement for Eleven Fifty. “Be open-minded and don’t give up,”

Many of the graduates of Eleven Fifty’s course offerings spent years, even decades, in career fields but felt the push and desire to challenge themselves and find something more fulfilling. 

“I recommend that someone interested in exploring a tech career take Eleven Fifty’s free intro courses after speaking with one of our admissions coaches. We have had a number of people come through our program after having spent time in other fields besides tech,” said Chris Hutchinson, vice president of partnership development at Eleven Fifty.

Hutchinson also recommends that those looking to get into coding in their 40s or 50s connect with an Eleven Fifty graduate of a similar age and ask questions about their experience.

A Case of the Alumni Blues

It’s easier than ever to transition into the technology industry. Moreover, people are doing it without regard to their college major or trade school training. This means more adults in the 20s and 30s are looking for ways to quickly skill up with new education paths without going back for another four-year degree.

Ransford Walker set out to follow his passion for problem-solving after earning a degree from Indiana University. After pursuing a career in biology only to find limited opportunities, Walker made the transition to coding, beginning with coursework at Eleven Fifty.

“It’s not as scary as it sounds,” said Walker. “I really did think it was all ones and zeros, but it’s not. If you can think logically, you’ll be surprised by how much you already know. The methods in coding can be applied to so many other things and once you start understanding the code, it becomes easier to problem solve.”

In addition to those with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, students straight out of high school can set themselves up for success. 

“Teenagers who took computer science or IT courses in high school are at a tremendous advantage,” says Hutchinson. “They should enroll in a bootcamp ASAP and begin earning money and experience in the workforce in a very short period of time. They will be able to stack their credentials and really become a well-rounded asset to any company.”

The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For

 Whether you are taking the first steps into choosing a career or looking for a change after years of experience, it is never too early nor too late to learn how to code. It’s a skill that many employers believe will be one of the most sought-after for the foreseeable future.

Anyone interested in coding or technology ought to put fears aside and embrace their potential in a high-growth, fast-paced industry. When you follow a passion and challenge what you think is possible, you can do incredible things! If you are looking for a new passion or just want to know what coding is about, a great place to start is a conversation. Contact one of our counselors to learn more or enroll in a Free Intro Course to dip your toe in the water.

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