Before I started working at the non-profit campaign WorkingNation about a year ago, whenever I would hear about coding, my immediate reaction would be it was not my thing. It’s computer science, it’s the tech world – that can’t be for me, right?
But as WorkingNation raised my awareness about the future of work in the U.S., I kept hearing over and over again about how learning to code is one of the greatest approaches to making yourself future-proof in the workplace. Technology is changing the landscape of work. I see it every day, in my own role in the company. There’s no way to hide it, so why not learn to work alongside it?
So I started to ask myself some questions. Do I really want to start taking classes again? Do I have the money for this? How can coding fit into my world – and will I ever fit into the coding world?
As a communications major, I’ve always loved learning whatever language I can to speak to all kinds of different people. So when I talked to my math and science savvy sister about it, she said something to me that stood out: coding is like a language. If you look at it the right way, it’s a type of expression that can introduce you to an entirely new group of people, and, as a result, open up many new opportunities. That’s when I realized this was something I could do.
Many people are learning to code through numerous programs because they want to be a part of this community. So I decided to take a free introductory class through General Assembly, a coding school startup that offers courses in coding, marketing, UX & design, product management, data science, and career development.
It was eye-opening to see people there from all different careers and it reassured me that I wasn’t the only one taking a stab at something new – everyone was there, in one way or another, to learn a new skill that could improve their careers.
If you had told me a year ago that I could take a coding class and enjoy it, I never would have believed you. Thanks to this experience, I see more clearly the opportunity I have to improve my future in the workplace. All it takes is the right approach to learning a new skill and the willingness to step into a new world.